BOARD OF DIRECTORS
– Toby Kravet – 808-224-1065
Vice President - Anita Hodges
Treasurer - Jonathan Carr
Secretary - Stewart Taggart
(Click on Contacts for e mail addresses)
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
Every Monday evening (except on holidays and, of course, during Hawaii Ski Week), at 4:30 PM, a group of ski club members and their friends play tennis at Keehi Lagoon Courts, off Lagoon Drive. Stay in shape and enjoy a "careful social hour" afterwards.
April 6 (Thursday), 5 PM General Membership Meeting/Annual Board Election at Mangiamo, Navy Marine Golf Course.
What a ski season it has been, and did the Club luck out or what? We had great weather on our trips, fortunately missing the weather that plagued a lot of the West Coast. Personally, I didn't miss it, but that's a story for another place and time. For those of you who didn't go on one or more of the Club's trips this year, see the write-ups below by our Trips Committee Chair, Alan Teramura, and Alan is already working on putting together next year's Hawaii Ski Week to the winning destination, Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Also, I am sure that the Club will be returning to Japan in February of 2024 as we have for several seasons now. Mahalo, again, to Alan for coming through with great trips under difficult circumstances related, in large part, to the COVID pandemic. Since the last Newsletter in January, i.e. the beginning of the Newsletter's ski season "hiatus," we have picked up a number of new members, and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome John Cho, David and Jo-Ann Choy, Kathleen Anzai, Kenneth Kobahigawa, April Rogers, Elton Saito, Mary Pearson, Michael Buck, and Karen Nally. Hope I got everyone and hope to meet you on one of our trips, meetings, or activities. Although only next month's meeting at Mangiamo is scheduled above, we will be having General Membership Meetings almost every month, Pau Hanas, and other activities so stay tuned.
UPCOMING SKI CLUB ACTIVITIES:
MEETING/ANNUAL BOARD ELECTION
MANGIAMO BY 604
NAVY MARINE GOLF COURSE
943 VALKENBURGH ST.
April 6 (Thursday) 5 PM
We're back to Mangiamo for our April General Membership Meeting which also serves as our annual election for Board of Directors. Although the meeting/election won't begin until 5:30 PM, we'd like you to get there a bit earlier so you can get situated and order your food and drink. If you haven't yet been to Mangiamo, it is opposite the airport, off of Valkenburgh Street which runs between Nimitz Highway (under the viaduct) and Radford Drive. It is on the second floor of the golf course's club house. See you there.
2023 SKI TRIPS:
We had 47 HSC members on our January ski trip to Big Sky, Montana. Despite it being Martin Luther King week, we missed the huge crowds who apparently came out on Friday and Saturday before our arrival. The mountain already had a good snowpack, and we were fortunate enough to have cold but mostly sunny, bluebird days during our week of skiing with a few snowy days to provide fresh tracks for the powder hounds. The newly renovated Huntley Hotel was vastly improved since the last time the club stayed there, and some thought it even rivaled the much more expensive Summit Hotel. People raved about the breakfast buffet which included made to order omelets, smoked salmon and fresh fruits and pastries. Many people discovered that the Explorer Lift just a few steps outside the hotel provided easy access to the rest of the mountain via Ramcharger or Swift Current at the resort base. The Children Ski Area had a blue plastic covered magic carpet that we affectionately called the “blue tunnel” that took us high enough to ski back to the Explorer Lift and our hotel at the end of the day. Of course, besides the skiing, another highlight of our trip was the Farewell Dinner featuring New York Strip Steak and Planked Salmon as our main dishes. At this signature event, we recognized a number of our members for outstanding achievement such as Doty Mack for the Most Improved Skier Award and for outstanding service such as Geof Chu with the Ultimate Uber Driver Award for volunteering his time and SUV to shuttle HSC members to and from a snowmobile adventure in Yellowstone National Park. Before the evening was over, we all had a chance to vote for the top three nominations for our 2024 Ski Week: Revelstoke, British Columbia; Beaver Creek, Colorado; and Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
This was an epic and truly memorable year for skiing in Japan. We had 87 HSC members go to Japan this year, the largest number ever. We enjoyed fabulous skiing conditions during the entire time we were there, with fresh Hokkaido powder almost every day. The snow storms form over super cold Siberia and come across the Sea of Japan to fall in Hokkaido, averaging 15 meters annually. The water content of Hokkaido snow is only 5% making it too dry to make a snowball! This year it came almost non-stop for the first two months of the year. During our stop over in Sapporo, people explored the renown shopping and eating that the city had to offer. Several found the used kimono stall a short walk from our hotel and scored beautiful kimonos for only $8 each! Others spent their time going treasure hunting in the countless shops. Seven of us took a short taxi ride to Teine, the site of the downhill and bobsled races of the 1972 Winter Olympic Games, the first winter games ever held in Asia. We were rewarded with skiing powder all day long in a small but beautiful resort only 30 minutes outside of Sapporo. Half day lift tickets were only $30! The next four days we skied in Niseko, about a 2 hour drive from Sapporo. Niseko United consists of four ski resorts all using a common lift ticket: Grand Hirafu and nearby Hanazono are the most popular, along with Niseko Village and Annupurri. We stayed at the wonderful boutique hotel Chalet Ivy in Grand Hirafu, only a 5 minute walk to the lifts or a 2 minute hotel shuttle ride. Lots of small shops and restaurants in the village but relatively crowded and getting worse since Niseko was featured along with Rusutsu on the cover of Ski Magazine in 2019. Hanazono had just completed a $500 million expansion with a slopeside Grand Hyatt Hotel and a new gondola that many of us rode, providing access to nearly untouched powder. In Grand Hirafu, we enjoyed skiing alongside and in the trees and runs from the King Hooded Chair (known to us as the bubble chair) and Swinging Monkey Chair. Some us took a shuttle bus over to Niseko Village one day to ski the runs accessed from the gondola there. Of the 35 HSC members who went to Niseko, half stayed another week to join an additional 35 persons coming to Rusutsu (total of 52 HSC members in Rusutsu). While Niseko has more of an international clientele, Rusutsu is more Japanese in flavor and this may be the reason that 2/3 of the Rusutsu group had been to Rusutsu before. Instead of being in a ski village with lots of international visitors, Rusutsu is a huge Convention Center complex with shops, restaurants and hotel rooms all under one roof. They had completed a fabulous new onsen several years ago, only a 5 minute walk from our rooms, featuring several indoor pools at different temperatures including a cold plunge, and outdoor lay flat pools that lets snow fall on you as you soak in the hot mineral springs water. Our package included a daily breakfast buffet, where you could choose between delicious Japanese or Western style food for breakfast or you could eat Chinese or a set menu Japanese breakfast. Rusutsu consists of three mountains, West Mountain just outside the main complex, East Mountain accessed by a gondola from the main resort and Mt Isola, accessible by gondola and hooded chair lifts. East Vivaldi was our favorite run in the morning from the top of East Mt because it was a long run to the gondola at the bottom, always groomed and then covered with fresh powder that fell overnight. The further you go away from the hotel complex the fewer people you encounter, making it very easy to find fresh, untracked powder. From the top of Mt Isola you can see the Sea of Japan, Mt Yotei (also known as the Mt Fuji of Hokkaido) and the ski runs at Niseko. Our favorite run on Mt Isola was the furthest run from the resort complex, Heavenly View, from which you have panoramic views of all the snow capped peaks in the surrounding countryside. Rusutsu is famous for its long wide runs with easy access to its renowned tree skiing down into the valleys. There also was night skiing available if you didn't get enough powder during the day. For dinner you could choose from 7 restaurants featuring French, Chinese, Seafood, Japanese, pub and buffet style dinners, including all you can eat crab legs. One night we spent 3 hours at our buffet dinner table, mostly talking but some people ate the entire time! There was lots of bonding and camaraderie during both trips with some members volunteering their time providing personalized ski instruction and tips, free ski waxing and group tours for people who were new to Japan or who just wanted someone to ski with. When combined with plentiful daily doses of fresh Hokkaido powder, delicious Japanese meals and lots of fun skiing or boarding with new friends, this year's ski trips to Japan were an extraordinary experience that we'll be talking about for a long, long time!
HAWAII SKI CLUB IS ON FACEBOOK
Facebook is the best way to keep current on the Hawaii Ski Club. On your Facebook page on your computer, type "Hawaii Ski Club" into the search box on the top left. On your mobile device, tap the magnifying glass at the top to get the search box. Pictures from Ski Club activities and other items are posted as they are submitted. You can submit your own Ski Club pictures and other items you wish posted by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contributions from the membership to future newsletters are encouraged and will be greatly appreciated: Please e mail them to Toby (see Contacts) no later than 9 calendar days from the end of the month. Thanx much.
Updated club info available at http://www.hawaiisnowskiclub.com and on our Facebook page.