October 22, 2014

Peter Grubb Hut at 75–enjoy the Sierra Club huts this winter

Inside the Peter Grubb Hut. Photo by Josh Miller, www.joshmillerphotography.com

Inside the Peter Grubb Hut. Photo by Josh Miller, www.joshmillerphotography.com

Iconic Peter Grubb Hut was closed in March while the Club assessed its condition and carried out repairs. The first phase of repairs is in progress and should be completed by the time you read this, ensuring that visitors can use the hut during this, its 76th winter season.

Peter Grubb is the northernmost of four huts owned and operated by the Sierra Club in the Lake Tahoe/Donner Summit area. Most are used as overnight destinations from nearby trailheads; distances range from 3 – 7 miles one-way. They were originally intended to be linked, providing shelter on long tours between Donner and Echo Summits—a trip that is attempted only rarely today.

The hut was built over two summers in 1938 – 39 as a memorial to Peter Grubb, an outstanding student at San Francisco’s Galileo High School, active in his local Scout troop, and a Sierra Club leader. He died under somewhat mysterious circumstances, while bicycling with a friend in Italy between his high school graduation and enrolling in university.

The hut’s east wing was reinforced with rafter plates nearly 25 years ago; the repairs now under way will add steel plates to the main building’s rafters and to the joists supporting the sleeping loft. During 2014 the mortar in the unreinforced masonry walls will be re-pointed, the roof rafters will be anchored to the walls, the second-floor diaphragm will be strengthened, and the roof itself will be replaced. For more details, follow the “click here” link at http://savepetergrubbhut.org.

Although weather can make any winter trip dangerous, Peter Grubb is considered to be the easiest of the four huts to reach; it has been a popular day trip from the Donner Summit Sno-Park for decades. During an average winter, it provides overnight shelter to 1,200 snowshoers and backcountry skiers, many of whom are spending a winter night in snowy wilderness for the first time.

Hut reservations are available at $20/person/night through the Club’s Clair Tappaan Lodge. For more information see www.sierraclub.org/outings/lodges/huts/.

The huts are maintained by work parties of volunteers during summer and fall months; the current repairs will involve several dozen people by the time they have been completed.

Dick Simpson, hut volunteer coordinator

Photo by Josh Miller, www.joshmillerphotography.com

 

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