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Lodges and Huts

Summary Proposal for Expansion of Peter Grubb Hut to Reallocate Existing Space and Provide New Features to Improve the Visitor Experience


Problems Addressed

  • In mid-winter there is only one entrance/exit -- through the 2nd floor sleeping area.
  • There is only a ladder between the 1st and 2nd floors.
  • Limited daylight reaches the interior when snow is deep.
  • A large fraction of the kitchen/dining area is occupied by firewood.
  • The "wood shed" on the north side of the hut needs serious repair.


Proposed Solution

  • An approximately 16-foot-square two-story addition replaces and redefines the wood shed on the north side.
  • This new self-supporting, but fully integrated, structure includes a new door to the outside at ground level, a new door upstairs for winter entry, and interior stairs, which will allow direct access to the dining area for day visitors.
  • There will be benches and a storage area for packs and clothing.
  • Windows and skylights will bring more light into the hut, relieving some of the closeness of the hut during midwinter when snow is deepest.
  • The current woodpile will be moved out of the dining area into the east wing, and the stove will be relocated to the center of the room.
  • The shake roof (already several layers thick) will be replaced by metal roofing, which will extend the full length of the hut, providing a uniform cover to both old and new sections.



Site Diagram

Ground Floor Plan. Replacement of the existing window in the wood storage room should be considered an option; however, having a door in that location will greatly facilitate loading the room with firewood during autumn work parties.

Second Floor Plan. Exterior stairway and plywood handrail may be replaced by something more conventional and robust. Small windows may be added next to the north door to increase light into the addition.

East Elevation

North Elevation



•  Proposal submitted to Forest Service (June 2006) for impact assessment and preliminary approval

•  Upon approval:

    • resolve open issues (see below)
    • a cost estimate will be made
    • fundraising will begin (Friends of Eric Dirksen have already contributed about $6,000; other individual contributions add an amount that's roughly equal)
    • County approval will be sought

•  Labor will be provided by volunteers with supervision by pro bono professionals

•  Green materials will be used where possible

•  Schedule:

    • Summer 1: Excavation and concrete work
    • Summer 2: Carpentry
    • Summer 3: Finishing touches


Open Issues

1. Confirm that structure meets wind and snow load requirements; obtain engineering certification.

2. Revisit new door for existing east wing. A half-height door (or window) on top of the wall may be sufficient if need is limited to emergency exit and passing firewood from outside to the wood storage area.

3. Revisit the exterior railing and stairway on the north side, which has shortened steps. Flip the stairway so that it faces west, toward the outhouse. Consider substituting a ramp to improve access for people with disabilities, but with the understanding that there will be stairs inside.

4. Review desirability of skylights. Is it possible to get models that can be buried by snow and walked on, and do not break when hit by a shovel? Or can protective cages be installed over less robust skylights?

5. Consider adding skylights (or equivalents) to the north end of the old building to mitigate loss of light because existing north-facing windows will be removed.

6. Confirm need for ground-level windows on east and west sides of new structure.

7. Consider adding (small) windows on one or both sides of the north door on the new structure to improve daytime interior lighting.

8. Revisit floor design. All existing huts are built on concrete slabs. A raised wooden floor increases potential for rodent problems, will need more maintenance, and increases fire risk.

9. Add a gable or snow splitter over the new east-facing ground level (summer) entrance to reduce hazard from sliding snow and ice, particularly during early winter. A gable could also improve interior natural lighting. Alternatively, extend the east roof and add a wall so that winter users could approach the door from the north end of the building (via the "tunnel").

10. Revisit siding. Cedar is attractive, but expensive. Rock, either as a wall or as exterior facing could match the existing hut. Pre-made concrete paneling on lower sections might resist weathering better than wood.

11. Investigate opportunities to include "green" materials and techniques.


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