The Sierra Club has reopened the Peter Grubb Hut following the first round of a multiyear upgrade effort.
“The iconic building three miles north of I-80 at Donner Summit has been closed since mid-March, when concerns were raised about its structural integrity after having provided rustic shelter to backcountry skiers and snowshoers for 75 years,” according to a press release from the Sierra Club.
Work completed in November included adding 1/4-inch steel plates to floor joists and 3/16-inch plates to roof rafters to improve strength under heavy loads, according to the release. More than a ton of steel was hand-carried to the hut during the first weekend in November.
More than 50 volunteers participated in weekend work parties to install the plates and return the hut to a usable condition.
“The repair work was complicated by early snow, which delayed delivery of the steel from the San Francisco Bay Area before the first weekend and which closed the main access road through Castle Valley in late November,” according to the release. “Associated wind with the second storm toppled four trees across the 3-mile access route before the final work party.”
Repairs to the hut will continue in 2014 with an emphasis on seismic issues. New flooring for the loft and a new roof are also likely.
The Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation recently awarded a $5,000 matching grant as an incentive to find additional dollars to support the repairs. The Sierra Club Foundation has until November 2014 to find matching funds from individual donors.
Peter Grubb is one of four backcountry huts owned and operated by the Sierra Club under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service. Although Sierra Club members and work party volunteers receive priority in the initial allocation of winter reservations, the huts are available to the public. Reservations can be made by calling 800-867-6775. More information is available at www.sierraclub.org/outings/lodges/huts. Details about the Peter Grubb repair can be found at www.savepetergrubbhut.org.