Friday, July 1, 2016

Peter Grubb Ski Hut

One of four unique, back-country huts operated by the Clair Tappan Lodge in the Lake Tahoe area, The Ski House of the Day, the Peter Grubb Ski Hut, "may be difficult to locate in heavy snow years:"

But an intrepid group of skilled back-country skiers found it, enjoyed it, and recently shared their experience with me!  (These photos were taken during a January 2016 visit).  The hut is located about 3 miles (hike or ski)  from Route 80.  The remote hut is maintained by volunteer groups organized by the Sierra Club (during the summer and fall)  who then get priority in the lottery to reserve the hut for winter stays.

In addition to the abundant snow, visitors are welcomed to the hut by the small signs posted on the front door...first a welcome sign:

...and then, particularly noteworthy, an earthquake warning sign:

The hut was built in 1938 in memory of avid skier and outdoorsman, Peter Grubb whose untimely death occurred at age 19 in Europe.  In a letter to his grandfather, shortly before his death, teenage Peter wrote:   

"I just got back from my second trip to Norden at the Sierra Club Ski Lodge. We had a grand time skiing. As you probably have heard from Mama, on the first day I broke my skis which I used over New Years, the ones which I made at school, luckily though they broke exactly in the center so I sawed them off to about 3 feet each and used those successfully the rest of the trip, the only disadvantage being that they sank further then ordinary skis in the soft powder snow.....I am including a diagram of the lodge which is just about completed. I do not know if you have heard yet about the group of small ski huts which they plan to start this year, thus making a John Muir trail of the winter...near Tahoe...."

Blanketed in that soft powder snow, this is one of those huts that Peter wrote about, and is named after that young skier.

The Peter Grubb Hut has a "back-door" off the upper level of the hut...offering accessibility when the front door becomes totally covered by snow.  A solar panel powers the lights.

There are two rooms inside the Peter Grubb Hut:  a main room which includes a cooking area (with counter space, cabinets, pots and pans, etc.) a wood-stove, a few picnic tables, benches...and happy campers:

Off to the side is a welcome sight...a small room full of dry wood...

 ...which comes in handy to build a beautiful, warm fire in the wood stove:

It's pretty cozy with logs for stools, and a clothesline for drying skins or other wet gear:

The ladder leads to the second room, an upstairs sleeping loft...

...basic and comfy for a few people...

...or warm and cozy for a lot of people...

Apres-ski in the Peter Grubb Ski Hut:

And how about this split-level out-house...the upper level will remain more accessible after the lower level door becomes obstructed with snow:

A nice collection of skis ready to go...

A captivating smile emerging from the hut through the snow-tunnel:

And they're off:

...for some spectacular skiing:

...until it's time to watch the sunset over the mountains...

 Special thanks to Tim and Teresa for sharing their experience at the Peter Grubb Hut!
Check out their other amazing ski adventures on the Mexican Blankett .

The Peter Grubb Hut may be "difficult to locate in heavy snow years" but that's exactly what makes it a back-country skiers dream house!