BOARD OF DIRECTORS
President – Toby Kravet –
(Click on Contacts for e mail addresses)
CALENDAR OF EVENTS:
No events scheduled due to COVID-19 related restrictions
From Alan's report on the Japan trips (see below), it looks like all of you who went had a great time and good snow: What more could you ask for? I had a good time during my usual 5-6 week February-March trip to Utah where I meet up with Mainland friends who go there for the winter, stay in the city, rent a car, and spend the majority of time at Alta, but this year, the snow had more water content than usual (climate change?) and avalanches closed the canyon for 2.5 days. I am fortunate to have gotten in 34 out of a possible 39 days in Utah and to have come home on March 11, just a few days before many, if not most, of the ski resorts in U.S.A. closed down due to the Covid-19 outbreak. As I noted in an earlier email, Alan and Karen (Teramura) , Bill and Anita (Hodges), Mitch (Iwanaga), and Mike (Tsutsui), Board members except for Karen, were not so lucky, having had their late season trips cut short.
As you can see below in ANNOUNCEMENTS, we don't yet know what will happen with our planned summer (their winter) ski trip to New Zealand. Although the Ski areas are optimistically planning to open, they usually open in June, only two months away, and the country is currently locked down, open only to returning citizens and permanent residents. The New Zealand company through which Schewe Travel booked our hotel has already laid off two of their three employees who concentrate on the ski tour business.
With regard to our usual activities throughout the year, they will depend, of course, on when the Covid-19 restrictions are lifted and guidelines for social distancing lessened. Also, when restaurants and facilities are given the "all clear signal" to re-open, we don't know how long it will take for them to actually "get up to speed." We don't know if we will have a May 7 General Membership Meeting, but "stay tuned" - - - and stay safe out there.
A hui hou kakou,
PAST SKI CLUB ACTIVITIES:
SKI TRIPS TO RUSUTSU AND
FEBRUARY 8 - 26
Over 70 Hawaii Ski Club members went on our ski trips to Japan this year. The first trip on February 8-16 went to Niseko and included many new members who had never skied Japan before. One of the highlights of the trip was an evening outing to the Sapporo Snow Festival. After skiing all day at one of the four ski areas of Niseko, there were a multitude of fabulous eating places ranging from inexpensive ramen shops to fine dining restaurants including the Kamimura, a Michelin Star establishment. The group stayed at the Chalet Ivy, a wonderful boutique hotel just a few minutes down the hill from the main ski lifts in Grand Hirafu. Guests not only enjoyed beautifully appointed rooms but many were amazed with the luxurious Japanese bidet toilet that automatically lifted the seat lid when you approached it! The hotel was conveniently located near a number of shops, equipment rental facilities, and restaurants, all within easy walking distance.
The second trip, February 15-23, was to Rusutsu Resort, an hour away from Niseko. It was snowing heavily as the group landed in Sapporo, and it snowed all night for a welcome 2-3 ft. of fresh new snow the next day. Unlike Niseko, which is a small town, Rusutsu Resort is a ski-in ski-out hotel and resort complex with 7 different restaurants, a number of stores and small shops on 3 levels, all under one roof. Rusutsu Resort is connected to the Westin Hotel by a tram which provides access to 2 additional restaurants. The group had meal vouchers for breakfast buffets and dinners for any of the restaurants as part of their package. Because of this convenience, it's no wonder that two thirds of the Rusutsu group were repeat customers.
The resort had just opened a brand new onsen this fall, including an outdoor soaking area with some massaging foot jets, a sauna, cold plunge, and a "cave" Onsen. A massage center was also part of the new facility. To our delight, this new Onsen was just down the hall from our rooms and admission was included in our package. Everyone had fun skiing the three mountains that make up Rusutsu Resort including the fabulous tree runs that Rusutsu is known for. From the top of Mount Isola, we could see Lake Toya and Uchiura Bay on a clear day. We could also see the ski runs at Niseko next to Mount Yotei, the Mount Fuji of Hokkaido.
After bidding aloha to the main Rusutsu group, 15 of us headed over to Niseko for a few extra days of skiing/snowboarding. As luck would have it, we experienced our second big snowstorm as we boarded the morning bus for the hour drive to the Welcome Center in Grand Hirafu, Niseko. It snowed all day and night dumping an additional 2 feet of snow by the next day. We skied the fresh snow in partial whiteout conditions for most of the next day. The sun finally came out on our final day in Niseko, making it a perfect day to be on the mountain. Our last group returned home from Japan on February 26, nearly a month ago. Everyone returned home safe and healthy with no injuries.
UPDATE ON THE AUGUST 1-10, 2020 SKI TRIP TO QUEENSTOWN, NEW ZEALAND
The owners of the two ski resorts just outside of Queenstown (Remarkables and Coronet Peak) have recently stated that they will be open for the upcoming ski season starting in June. However, Schewe Travel said that they still need to wait to hear back from the airline and hotel before we know if the Queenstown trip will be affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. More updates to come.
HAWAII SKI WEEK TO ASPEN-SNOWMASS, JANUARY 22 - 30, 2021
We are still in the process of obtaining bids and will update you when we have more information. For those of you who are considering purchasing an Ikon Pass to use at Aspen/Snowmass, please note that you will need to upgrade the $699 Base Pass by an additional $150 for a total of $849. This gives you 5 days of skiing. If you plan on a ski trip to another Ikon Pass Resort, this is an option to consider.
HAWAII SKI CLUB IS ON FACEBOOK
If you are on Facebook, add the HSC as a “friend.” You will be up-to-date with recent HSC activities that members upload. The HSC Facebook page has photos from members on ski trips and at Club activities. You can also include your personal photos and announcements relating to the club for all HSC members to view.
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/
January-March, 2020 Newsletter