Historic Guye Cabin sustained a damaging blow. Doerte surveys the damage just after sunrise the day after the storm.


Washington Alpine Club Guye Cabin hit by 100 mph winds!

The Washington Alpine Club Web Site

December 15, 2006




With winds clocked at over 100 mph at the WAC weather station on Snoqualmie Pass, three trees blew over, causing a huge hole through the roof of the Cabin. It crashed into the roof of the new addition, breaking through and causing the sprinkler system to engage. Doerte received the first call on Friday morning and served as dispatch with the Snoqualmie Pass Fire Department, Fire One, and various cell phones, and then manned the phone banks to keep folks informed, while Dave Mitchell drove up to do an initial assessment of the damage.

There is serious damage to the structure, and also serious water damage. The wet mattresses, couches etc will have to be disposed of. While many parts Western Washington, including Bremerton, Seattle, and east all the way to Cle Elum were without power ( almost a million people!), the friends and family of the WAC found time to help with the cleanup with no notice.

We had a beautiful sunrise driving up I90, through the strangely dark and quite suburbs to the east. It was very cold, with 60 inches of snow on the ground and 8 inches of very nice light power. We were shocked at the damage we found on such a beautiful morning.

Our quick disaster response team was 20 strong. We organized into three groups to effectively handle the situation. Outside, Inside cleanup and Inside Repair. We were challenged by the wet conditions and lack of electricity. The team got the stoves going, the water on, and with a generator brought by Archie rigged emergency lighting in most rooms. Lunch was hot soup. The power was restored about 6 pm Saturday.


Dale Ott, Archie Brenden, Ed Kelting, Nic Pottier, Jason Peacock, John Sargent, Tim Sargent, Jeff Sargent, Karl Koemmpel, Mike Mahanay, Doerte Mahanay, Lee Parsons, Rachel Parsons, Dan Miller, Bill Lober, Eli Holmes, Karel Zikan, and Dave Mitchell.

Bill Hooper came by for an inspection, and Fred, Jonathan, and Eileen came by and hauled a load of non burnables to the dump. Sunday, Dave, Mike, John, Bert Bradley, Allison Longley, Chris Snow, Laurie Rich, and Jeff Wright did additional cleaning.

Thanks to everyone that saved the day, and provided support!!!

There will still be more work to do through the winter, spring, and summer.

The Cabin is certainly usable with the exception of the women's dorm and honeymoon suite. The work is not done yet, as we'll need to inspect some walls and ceiling, and repair the sprinkler. We are in contact with the insurance company.

The branches of the big tree knocked out the light and damaged this section of the upper entryway.



The big tree went across the stairs wiping out the rails. John, Bert, and Mike measured 30" diameter at the base.



 The damage in the ladies dorm.



In the honeymoon suite (above the ladies dorm). Notice the bend and broken steel fire sprinkler pipe. The sprinkler pipe did a good job of breaking the big trees fall.



More damage in the Honeymoon Suite.



Besides the damage to the structure we also had significant water damage. The tree broke the sprinkler pipe in two places which caused it to engage as designed. The insulation and ceiling tiles in the bathrooms were all soaked and on the floor.



John Sargent hauls the couches out. We put the ruined mattresses, couches, rugs, and carpet in two big piles in the yard. We covered them with tarps for the winter. next summer we'll dispose of the debris.



Rachel Parsons bags ruined stuff in the Fireplace Room. It was flooded, along with the ping pong room, bathrooms, and central hallway.



Our Outside crew was led by Dale Ott who took a day off of work. He brought an assortment of chainsaws and cut the tree into 18" rounds. The tree was 25" in diameter 30' from the base. There were 75 rings on the tree indicating it started it's life when Guye Cabin was build in 1932.



Dale Ott used a special long handled saw to trim the limbs from the tree. Due to it's precarious position on the stairs and roof, it was very unstable and dangerous.

Jason Peacock and Nic Pottier were also instrumental in the Outside work.



The impact on the sturdy Cabin caused the tree to break. It also broke over the top of the Cabin.

One rafter was shattered and will have to be replaced. Considering the size of the tree, and Cabin held it's own.



Nic Pottier attaching the static gold line to the top of the tree. Our plan was to pull the tree off of the roof.



Three guys couldn't pull the tree off, so we doubled the force. This is cream of the venerable WAC muscle!



Off it comes!



 Yee Ha!



 And down to the ground where it belongs!



With perfect timing Dave Mitchell brought the supplies, plywood, and two by sixes to shore up the roof. Bill Lober and Eli Holmes.



Ed Kelting and Archie Brendan removed the damaged joist, and reinforced the roof to prevent further damage. They wanted to be sure it holds the snow through the winter.



Archie clears the snow from the roof to get it ready for
the patch.



Ed Kelting, Mike Mahanay, and Dan Miller install the first of the 4 patches.

Bill Lober and Dan Miller prepared each patch by using three quarter inch exterior plywood and wrapping it with plastic sheets.



Mike Mahanay, nailing the last patch as the sun is setting. Karel and Mike witnessed an excellent sunset, and spectacular alpenglow from the roof. Bill Loper and Dan Miller did the rigging and belaying.




The finished patch. We hope this will hold until next May or June when we can make a permanent repair.



Washington Alpine Club
P.0. Box 352
Seattle, WA 98111

Guye Cabin was originally built in 1932 by a bunch of volunteers just like us. Several additions were built over the years. The work has always been done by volunteer work parties of Club members! We are working hard to make sure that maintenance and needed repairs are done to keep the Cabin in top condition. Our Cabin deserves our respect and care! Remember, 2007 is the 75th anniversary of Guye Cabin!

 Do you have any questions, comments, or corrections?

If so, drop me a  email at mikem@rem0vethisgrandcanyontreks.org
(just delete the "rem0vethis" from the email address)