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April 2016 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

April is upon us and that signals the upcoming end of our ski season. Thanks to El Niño the Tahoe resorts received an abundance of much-needed snow and provided us with a good ski season. Northstar and Heavenly are closing on April 17th, and as expected Squaw Valley will remain open into May, and other resorts haven’t indicated when they will be closing. Hopefully you had a good ski season this year, whether it was at Tahoe or the Park City/Canyons ski week.

Nominations & Elections

Election-buntingWell, it’s that time again for holding our board nominations and elections for the 2016-2017 season. By now you’ve received an email for making your nominations for the board. As you know, volunteers run this club, and without them this club would cease to exist, and it’s been in existence for almost 60 years! You are encouraged to take this opportunity to nominate an individual for one, or more, of the board positions. All individuals that accept the nomination(s) will go through an election process in April, and final results in May. Ask any of the current board members and I’m sure they will tell you that by volunteering they get back more than they ever gave. By volunteering you will experience social benefits as well as provide a greater sense of self-worth, trust, and lots of fun. Many of you have served on the board in the past, and your efforts were greatly appreciated and perhaps you would like to join the board again. For those that have never served then perhaps now is the time to consider a board position and provide new ideas and useful experiences.

Ski Week 2017

Now that the Park City/Canyons trip is behind us it’s time to think about the NSC ski week for next year. It’s been quite awhile (2006) since we’ve been to Snowmass. I distinctly remember that trip because right after I somehow managed to get elected President. Yes, there were other memorable events, such as finding an anatomically correct snowman at the front door of our condo. And the food at the potluck was just amazing! If you’re considering Snowmass for next year then you might also want to look into getting the Mountain Collective Season Pass, which will be good for two days skiing at Aspen Snowmass, plus a third resort of your choice. Tentative date is January 28 – February 4.

Hi Fujii Tribute

hi-fujii-tributeAs many of you know Hi Fujii, a founder of the Nisei Ski Club, passed away in August of last year. As a tribute the board decided to create a photo album of Hi’s involvement and participation in many of the NSC events. Hoyt Nelson, a longtime friend of Hi, spearheaded this effort and gathered as many photographs as he could, which took several months to collect. With the help of his wife Nancy, they created a photo album highlighting Hi’s NSC activities. On April 1st, Hoyt and I visited Phyllis and presented her with the photo album as a tribute to her late husband. Needless to say, Phyllis was quite surprised and quite thankful for receiving such a tribute. I would like to thank Nancy and Hoyt Nelson for the many hours working and producing the photo album.


April 2016 – Season Passes for 2016-2017

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

Now is the time to pick up your season passes for the 2016-2017 season. There are three passes that you should consider: the Tahoe Local/Value Pass, the Squaw Tahoe Super Pass, and the Mountain Collective Pass.

The Tahoe Local Pass (Adult – $529) is a good deal if you plan on skiing at least five days at Northstar, Heavenly Valley, or Kirkwood. The Tahoe Value Pass (Adult – $449, Senior – $369) is an even better deal if you ski at least four days at Northstar, Heavenly, or Kirkwood. However, Saturday’s are excluded for Northstar and Kirkwood. The Tahoe Value Pass also offers a Senior pass (65+) that is the best overall deal for those that qualify. Purchase by April 10 and you also get six Buddy Passes. For details go to this website: Tahoe Local Pass.

The Tahoe Super Pass offers three levels of passes for skiing at Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Sierra-At-Tahoe, and Sugarbowl:

  • Gold Level – (Adult – $829, Senior – $679, Super-Senior – $359)
  • Silver Level – (Adult – $589, Senior – $439, Super-Senior – $269)
  • Bronze Level – (Adult – $469, Senior – $379)

The various levels have restrictions and prices listed are good thru April 19. Details can be found at this website: Squaw Alpine Tahoe Super Pass.

The Mountain Collective Pass is a single pass that is good for 24 days of skiing at 12 different ski resorts (2 days at each resort), and the price is $379. However, they do limit the number of passes sold. The pass is good for Aspen Snowmass, Squaw Valley/Alpine Meadows, and Mammoth (just to name a few). If you’re planning on going to Snowmass in 2017 then you should consider this option. For details go to this website: The Mountain Collective.

April 2016 – Senior Skiing – Who Me?!

Karen Soo

With lift tickets costing $130 a pop at Heavenly and Squaw Valley, we’re always looking out for bargains related to the outdoor industry. Here’s one. All you have to be is 50 + and sign up at Seniors Skiing.

On the promotiveright hand side of their website, you can sign up for the Promotive deals. is the online community for industry experts and influencers. It matches qualified ski members such as yourself with top brands offering exclusive discounts on all your favorite gear.


Go to the Seniors Skiing website and get a code to join the “snow influencers” group for Promotive. You then have to register for the Promotive website using the code. The discounts are pretty decent. Not all companies are listed in the group, but they do include Asics, Clif Bars, Fischer, Swix, Mountain Hardware, Camelbak, and Scott (skis only!). About 240+ companies (ski, biking, outdoors, etc.) are included in the group.

The membership is good for a year. I don’t know if they allow you to renew your membership after a year. We’ll find out later.

Happy Shopping!

April 2016 – So You Wanna Go Skiing This Weekend?

Karen Soo, Trip Director
El Nino predictions came true with plenty of snow for the Lake Tahoe area. Nisei Ski Club had 36 sign-ups for trip 1 for the Heavenly weekend trip. For trip 2, we ended up short.  We had only 9 sign-ups and we were forced to cancel the bus trip.

apr2016-trip-pic1What happened here? Good snow conditions were not enough and we needed more bodies. Maybe the weekend trip was too close to the returning trip from Park City. In any case, I was determined to get a trip going.

Six NSC members were willing to go up for the weekend. We had two cars to take everyone. I was able to secure NSC rates at the Sands Hotel in Reno. Discounted lift tickets were purchased from Sports Basement and Craigslist. Can you imagine me meeting all these strangers at my local Peet’s coffee shop in Alameda? So far they were all pretty cool — I haven’t met a psycho yet.

Following the tradition of a NSC trip, we served breakfast: egg, ham and cheese omelet with veggies wrapped in lavash bread. When you see me next time, ask me how I heated up the breakfasts.

The original Saturday plan was to go to Mt. Rose. Upon hearing the news of high winds and the possibility of upper mountains being closed, we decided to go to Diamond Peak. This is nice family resort plus it was my first time there. It’s an easy mountain but we think it’s pretty steep for beginners. Skiing down on one of the runs called the” Flume “run was challenging. We were hit with 50 mile per hour winds and corn snow was blasting our faces. There was no way we could fall because the force of the winds was just holding us up.

We skied a full day at Diamond Peak and afterwards we stopped off at Jim Sanchez and Janice Malena’s house (members of NSC). Jim is a ski instructor at Mt. Rose and we had our après snacks there. The high winds continued to howl around the area of his house.

On Sunday, high winds and a new snow storm were in the forecast. We opted to skip Squaw Valley and decided to drive home early. We stopped off for pies at Ikeda’s in Auburn. The snow was coming down and the roads were really icy. We got home safely and even though we only skied one day, we had a good time being together.

On the next day, I heard that the upper mountains of Squaw Valley closed due to high winds. They did not open up the lifts until 9:40am plus there were tons of people waiting in line. So, good move on our part.

Thanks to Curtis O. and David U. for having SUVs and being the designated drivers. It was good to have Tom L., Haruko N. and Edna K. (from Oregon) on the trip. We all had great time.

We will continue to make these last minute weekend car/ ski trips. If you are interested in driving or going up skiing on the NON NSC weekend trip. I encourage you to sign up for the rideNSC Yahoo Group. Please email me for information.

apr2016-trip-pic2 apr2016-trip-pic3
apr2016-trip-pic4 apr2016-trip-pic5

April 2016 – Bocce Ball Anyone?

Hoyt Nelson

With the start of warm weather, my thoughts turn to bocce ball.  I don’t think we have enough people in the club to make a long term commitment for places like Campo di Bocce, but if anybody wants to get on a list for a game at other free locations, I will gladly organize it and supply the equipment.  Since I last talked to you about getting games started, I’ve been playing at the very nice courts at Lake Almaden in San Jose.  There are 4 first-come-first-served courts with bathrooms and water fountains within 100 feet.  Just send me desired times and your e-mail address if you are interested.  Any time you want a game, e-mail me and I will notify the rest on the list to see if anybody else wants to be included.



NSC bocce ball players


Hoyt will supply equipment

April 2016 – Donations to Achieve Tahoe

Sandy Kiyomura

In the February newsletter, I wrote about DSUSA, the ski school at Alpine Meadows which provides ski lessons to persons with disabilities. Disabled Sports is now called “Achieve Tahoe”,  and provides the same services as it has for the past 48 years.

As you may recall, I won a California Gold Pass which lets one ski at any California resort. It is fully transferable, so anyone can use it. Since I already had my Squaw and Epic passes, I lent out the pass in exchange for a donation to Achieve Tahoe. I am happy to announce that Nisei ski club has donated almost $1,000 to Achieve Tahoe. Thank you to all the members (and non-members) who contributed.

This is an example of how Nisei ski club has “given back” to the community. It was a “win-win” situation for all.


March 2016 – President’s Message

Armand Gutierrez, NSC President

So what happened to El Niño? January was very promising with plenty of rain in the Bay Area and snow in the Sierras. February turned out to be a mild winter with less rain and snow and now we’re back to average rainfalls and snowfalls. Let’s hope that March really does come in with higher than average rainfall and more snow, otherwise it might be a short season.

 Trip 2 Cancelled

Although there’s plenty of snow up at Tahoe, there weren’t enough signups for Trip 2 to Squaw Valley and Sugarbowl. Perhaps it was on the heels of the ski week trip to Park City, or the warmer temps that have been predominate in February. Our trip director, Karen Soo, is looking into arranging for smaller groups to take trips to Tahoe for weekend skiing.

 Park City/Canyons Ski Week 2016

The Park City/Canyons trip was a great trip and everyone had a great time. Although Park City is in the midst of a “mild” winter there was plenty of snow in Park City and Canyons. Incidentally, the Park City trail maps only refer to Park City, although it includes what was the Canyons ski resort. On Monday we received 4″ of fresh snow that was an extreme delight for skiing. The remainder of the week brought us clear, blue skies and higher-than-normal temps (in the high 40s). The Potluck Dinner was one of the highlights of the week. Picture in your mind 47 people roaming the halls of a four-story building in search of a tasty meal. At the end of the trip many people were already asking about next year’s trip. If you have suggestions for next year’s trip, then let me know. I would like to thank everyone for coming on this trip, as it was a lot of fun for everyone, meeting new friends, and exploring new runs at Canyons. Thank you for your generous gift. As a token of my appreciation, a portion of it will be donated to Achieve Tahoe (formerly Disabled Sports USA Far West).


Park City 2016 Trip – Group Photo

March 2016 – Editor’s Musings on Park City Trip

Let’s be honest. It’s a lot of work to prepare for these weeklong ski trips. If you’re like me and ski infrequently, you have to find your ski clothes, skis, poles, boots, and helmet. Where did I store all this stuff?! Luckily, my husband Winston is good at finding them. You wonder why you are going to all this effort when everything is s-o-o-o-o-o heavy and bulky. Aiyyyahh! Then, you go on the trip and it’s clear why you do this. I love the camaraderie, catching up with good friends, and the pain fades away.

The Skiing

Despite the spring conditions, it was fun skiing at Park City/Canyons. There were lots of pleasant long blue cruising runs. Yes, the snow conditions weren’t ideal. It was icy in the morning and slushy in the afternoon. The snow conditions are reversed for Utah and California his year. The Utah snow reminded me of our traditional Sierra concrete.

The Canyons was another world with multi-million dollar mansions along the ski runs and $23 burgers. So, this is where the 1% stays!

The Eating

Of course, NSC is all about eating. For potluck night, Matt Rahmani taught our team how to make Persian dishes. Under Chef Rahmani’s direction, we made pureed eggplant, potato pancakes, Kiibudeh Kebab, roasted tomatoes, yogurt dip, Persian rice, and an herb appetizer.  On Monday night, we formed an assembly line to chop and grate the ingredients for the kebabs, potato pancakes, appetizer plate, and yogurt dip. On Tuesday night, we turned into line cooks and fried the potato pancakes and kebabs. Haruko’s Persian salad and Ken Takata’s pear custard pie rounded out our offerings.  I had so much fun! The food was delicious and abundant. We made enough to feed every single person on the trip. I am collecting the potluck recipes and will send a copy to anyone who is interested.

On Thursday night, a few of the condos held a “leftovers” potluck. The objective of this potluck is to use up all the food in the refrigerator so you don’t bring anything back home. Amy Tsuhako worked magic that night. She made a super tasty lettuce wrap with an amazing sauce that was whipped up from peanut butter, tabasco and honey packets.

The Pictures


NSC Amigos


Judy, Amy, David Schultz, Matt, David Tsuhako


David Tsuhako, Greg, Judy, Amy, David Tom


Your board members at the farewell dinner

where do you feel the burn

Armand took a poll and “ahem” many of us are older skiers — so where do we feel the burn?

If you’re interested in seeing more pictures of the Park City trip, check out Bill Lee’s (NSC’s unofficial official photographer) photo albums.

  1. Photos by Sandy Kiyomura
  2. Photos by Bill Lee
  3. Videos by Bill Lee

March 2016 – Fine Dining at the Park Station Condos

Sandy Kiyomura

If you read Armand’s message, you have already heard about the scrumptious potluck everyone enjoyed. Amy and Judy suggested that condo teams choose a theme and provide appetizers, salad, a main dish, and dessert for 12 people. There were four different themes: American, Persian, Mexican and “favorite home recipes”.

Elaine, Matt, Amy, David Tsuhako, and Jenny’s condo hosted the Persian dinner. It consisted of Panir Sabzi, puree eggplant, potato pancakes, Kiibudeh Kebab, roasted tomatoes and pear custard pie (made by Ken Takata). Matt introduced his team to Persian cooking and this group made their dinner into a culinary and learning adventure.

The Mexican meal was hosted by Armand, Andrea and Rick who made chicken enchiladas and Sangria. Liz and Dave made Calabacitas and the “Dave Condo” (David Shultz, David Tom, Dan Lew and Lieu Shultz) brought the margaritas, salsa and chips and flan.

Greg, Sandy and Lansing’s condo hosted the “favorite home recipes”. Judging by the number of requests for her recipe, Sandy’s peanut butter and jelly salmon was a hit. Greg made teriyaki beef, mashed potatoes, and carrots. Lansing (who is quite a baker) made a pear tart. The back story on Lansing’s tart is that he couldn’t find a rolling pin so he used a wine bottle to roll out the dough.

The American dinner was hosted by Joanne and Ron Nishimura’s condo. There were two kinds of chicken, mac and cheese, salad, fruit, chocolate cake and apple pie.

Total number of calories unknown!

As you know, food (and spirits) bring people together. The 40+ participants on the trip were able to enjoy great food and company after a hard day of skiing. Amy and Judy, thank you for organizing this potluck. If you have never experienced a week long ski trip with Nisei ski club, make sure you plan for next year’s trip. Come for the skiing, stay for the food.


Sandy’s peanut butter and jelly salmon and Greg’s steak


Lansing’s pear tart


Food and spirits bring people together


Food for all!

March 2016 – Trip 1: It Wasn’t So Heavenly After All

Karen Soo, Trip Director

trip1-karen at heavenlyIt’s been over 5 years since the Nisei Ski Club went to Heavenly. There’s never a dull moment with these Nisei Ski Club weekend trips. We actually got a bus load of 36 people. Eight people were on our trip for the first time. Some found us on the internet. NSC members brought new friends and 2 boarders from Santa Cruz Ski Club joined us. Social media does work.

We started our adventure with the same routine. The bus picked up half the group from San Jose and made its way to the El Cerrito Community Center to pick up the other half. Grady was our gracious and skilled driver. After our skis and luggage were stowed away at the El Cerrito stop, we were finally on our way. We served a delicious dinner – chicken Thai green curry over rice with mango pudding as our dessert. The Nisei Ski Club ski trips are all about the food.

Luckily, there was no chain control on our way to the South Shore so we arrived at the Blue Lake Inn by 12:15am. Room keys were distributed and everyone scurried off to their rooms. On Saturday morning, lift tickets were distributed and everyone walked 150 yards to the gondola to find out that the gondola was not running.  Everyone had to squeeze into the crowded shuttle bus and take the lift chair from California Lodge. We also found out that the entire Nevada side of Heavenly was CLOSED DOWN.

I was the one of the last people to depart from the motel and I did not get my first run in until 11:00am. What was the problem here? We heard there were high winds at the higher elevation and a tree had fallen over a transformer, which caused the power to go out. You can just imagine the swelling crowds and lines getting longer and longer. Many of us jumped over to the singles line to help add runs to our day. I barely skied a total of 7,800 vertical feet for the day.

At the end of the day, everyone made it back to Amy and David Tsuhako’s room where we broke out the beer, wine and snacks. Imagine squeezing in 36 people into a motel room!

We heard from the locals that the Nevada side was going to be closed again on Sunday. We decided not to take that chance and voted to go to Sierra-at-Tahoe. Hmmmm…..maybe it was the locals way of telling us to go somewhere else.

Thanks to Sandy Kiyomura, our BAC Benefits Director, who made a few phone calls and sent a few quick emails so that group rate lift tickets were ready for us when we arrived at Sierra-at-Tahoe. We all got on the mountain by 9:30am and we had fresh POWDER. Sierra was very accommodating and it definitely made up for Saturday’s skiing fiasco.

When we left Sierra, it was snowing and it took an hour just to get out of the parking lot. By the time we were on Highway 50, Amy served her dinner. A new recipe – sesame chicken pita wrap with pickled carrot, daikon, onions, lettuce, and cilantro with a squirt of hoisin sauce and sriracha mayo, plus a side of edamame beans and a cream cheese brownie for dessert. She definitely went all for our hungry patrons.

It was smooth sailing home but took a bit longer than expected. We got into El Cerrito at 10:30pm and the bus arrived at San Jose around 11:15pm.

We all made it home safely. No skiing accidents were reported. We met some new people and we all had a great time.

Unfortunately, NSC Trip 2 is cancelled due to lack of sign ups. For the few who signed up for Trip 2, we are planning a car caravan trip. Stay tuned for next month’s article about this adventure.


Waiting for the shuttle at Heavenly – Santa Cruz peeps Aryeh + Nicole, Amy + David



We’re finally on the slopes: Wes, Margaret, Curtis, Morgan, Greg


Snowboarders Andrea and Rick


Powder ski day at Sierra-at-Tahoe: Sandy + Sarah


Co-tour leader Amy is still smiling



Powder ski day at Sierra-at-Tahoe: David M

Check out this short video of Curtis skiing down the Gunbarrel run at Heavenly.