Athletics, Fitness & Outdoor Programs

Division of Student Life

Ski Cabin History

Built in 1949, the cabin was managed initially by members of the Outing Club, who were responsible for generating revenue to help defray the cost of building the cabin. During this era students, faculty, and staff were considered cabin members and could obtain the necessary cabin key for free. A community member could bring one guest at a time for a whopping two-dollar fee, and alumni and family members could make special arrangements with the Outing Club Board to stay at the cabin for a dollar. You may remember that candy bars cost about five cents at the time . . .

The success and shape of the cabin waxed and waned depending upon how active the Outing Club members were, and whether someone was dedicated to maintaining the cabin. A senate ski cabin committee was formed in 1974 to make cabin management recommendations. One result was the hiring of a student manager. A decision was also made for the general care of the cabin to be shared by the student senate and campus facilities. One problem with this recommendation, however, was that the manager was a current student at Reed, and only the most dedicated could juggle schoolwork and managing a cabin 60 miles from campus.

In the early 1990s our nonresident management style was an open invitation to a new breed of squatter who did not have an investment in the care of the cabin. Skiers and snowboarders, friends of friends of friends, and anyone who heard about the cabin considered our unattended cabin to be a prime overnight location. The condition of the cabin went downhill quickly. After a little time and considerable abuse to the cabin, the doors were locked, pending a decision for securing the cabin.

Numerous changes in the cabin began in 1996: a parttime livein manager was hired, the upstairs was drywalled, a manager's room was built, and fireescape stairs were added so that the upstairs could be used for sleeping. Considerable volunteer effort and the dedication of managers made great strides in improving the cabin's hospitality. Alumni groups varnished the living room floor, shipped out the empty hardliquor trophy bottles that adorned the living room, and brainstormed ways to make the place warmer and more welcoming.

In 1999 the supervision of the cabin was transferred to the physical education department, in support of the growing interest in outdoor programming at the college. Dorm trips and small groups of students began to use the cabin regularly. This increase brought concerns of its own, including severe overcrowding during peak times, occasional conflicts between users, random lapses of intelligence, and sporadic but significant abuse of the facility. In June 2002 a committee comprised of students, alumni, faculty, and staff members was formed to study the current use and management of the ski cabin. The committee was charged with formulating recommendations about the management of the cabin that would support the educational mission of the college, examine risks, and bring the cabin into alignment with existing law and local code. During the ensuing year, students, staff, faculty, and alumni representatives met to generate recommendations.

A fire suppression system was installed in the cabin during the summer of 2003. In October of that year President Diver announced that Reed would begin following up on the committee's recommendations, including locking the cabin, adhering to the 15person occupancy limit, and exploring the viability of a proposed reservation system. In January 2005 a preliminary version of a webbased reservation system was activated to offer potential visitors an efficient way to secure space, and to track cabin use.

In May, 2010 the ski cabin was greenlighted for a major renovation. The current plan to renovate the ski cabin has resulted from a combination of a generous alumni gift and a longterm assessment of functionality. Among other notable considerations, the plumbing was in need of updating, the bathrooms were in structural disrepair, and significant longtime wiring problems with the sauna.

We believe these changes are help the longterm viability for the ski cabin and ultimately offer users a better experience when visiting the cabin and Mt. Hood.

Contact our Ski Cabin manager-Eric Kallio with your suggestions.

Thanks for helping to take care of our little mountain hideaway!