November 25, 2014

New Ward Hut for backcountry skiers and snowshoers

Bradley Hut was one of several inspirations for the new hut. Photo by Dick Simpson.

Bradley Hut was one of several inspirations for the new hut. Photo by Dick Simpson.

The Sierra Club is beginning a design study for a new backcountry ski and snowshoe hut, to be built as a memorial to the late Paul Ward, whose family and friends are funding the project. This will be the fifth Sierra Club hut in the Donner Summit/Lake Tahoe area, the first new one since 1957.

Finding a suitable location will be an early goal. The study will also consider environmental issues, hut design and engineering, and cost. Timing of construction will depend on results of the study. People with suggestions for location or design should contact the Club’s hut volunteer coordinator, Dick Simpson, at hut.coord@yahoo.com.

Paul Ward grew up in San Francisco and Burlingame, settled in San Jose, and had a successful career in Silicon Valley technology, working for Eimac, Memorex, and Verbatim. He discovered skiing on his own; his parents did not ski. At age 17 he was at Squaw Valley, watching the

Paul Ward. Photo by Kerri Antes.

Paul Ward. Photo by Kerri Antes.

1960 Winter Olympics; a few years later he was working as a weekend ski patroller at Dodge Ridge. He was quick to put his own children on skis; daughter Kerri and son Bryan started when they were two. More recently he was taking his grandchildren to Peter Grubb and Bradley Huts, which inspired the memorial. He and his wife, Lynn, maintained a second home in the Tahoe Donner section of Truckee. He passed away in February 2013 after a short battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease). He is survived by his wife; his daughter Kerri Antes of San Jose; her husband Todd; their sons Drew, Will, and Bennett; his son Bryan; and sisters Laurie Krassilnikoff (San Mateo) and Diane Gartner (Pleasant Hill).

Dick Simpson

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