The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp)

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Background

"George Rudolf's 'The Ski Hut' was probably the single strongest influence and source for modern, lightweight backpacking and climbing gear during the 1950s and 1960s for persons on the West Coast."

from Bruce Johnson's History of Gear.

“In the Bay Area the Ski Hut was the mother tree for a whole host of seedlings, such as Trailwise, Sierra Designs, North Face, Camp Five and Snowlion…” — Bruce Johnson, Oldgear

While the country was mired in the Great Depression, UC students and other Berkeley residents turned to the Sierra Mountains for recreation and escape. In 1935, sensing a commercial opportunity, George Rudolf, a school teacher, and his skiing partner and engineer Phillip Von Lublein invested $750 to open a shop on University Avenue specializing in imported European ski gear. Initially, the Ski Hut opened for limited hours since both men kept their day jobs. After Sugar Bowl, the Sierra’s first large ski resort opened in 1937, the Southern Pacific and Western Pacific Railroads began running special ski trains, with luggage compartments for equipment, from the Bay Area to Donner Summit. Rudolf and Von Lublein made an arrangement with the railroads that allowed them to supplement shop income by renting ski gear on board for $2.75 a day.

from Robert Kehlmann at Berkeley's e-PLAQUE site.

All Employees

Employee Tenure Position(s)
George Rudolf   Founder
Phillip Von Lublein   Founder
Alan Steck    
Phil Scott    
Frank Tehan    
Benson Lee    
Dan Grassetti    
Paul Stoermer 1956-1958  
Steven M. McCarthy   Trailwise Shipping Clerk

 

Comments Wrapper

All Stories

Story Organization
Susan Castner - First Days in the Outdoor Industry Granite Stairway Mountaineering, Sierra Designs, Snow Lion, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp)
Outdoor Company Catalogs - Table of Contents Great Pacific Iron Works, Moss Tent Works, Mountain Hardwear, Patagonia, Sierra Designs, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp)
A Review of Product Development for Sierra Designs Easton Aluminum, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), Sierra Designs, Snow Lion, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp)
Trailblazer: Guntram Jordan Class 5, Detours, Granite Stairway Mountaineering, Northern Lights, Sierra West, Snow Lion, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise, Vaude, Wilderness Experience
George Marks: First Days Sierra Designs, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp)
History of Gear - The Backpacking Revolution: Table of Contents Adventure 16, Alp Sport, Alpine Designs, C.C.Filson Co, Camp 7, Class 5, Downhome, Early Winters, Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS), Eddie Bauer, Frostline, Gerry, Holubar, JanSport, Kelty Pack, Moonstone, Moss Tent Works, Mountain Safety Research (MSR), Mountainsmith, Patagonia, Pendleton, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), Shelter Systems, Sierra Designs, Snow Lion, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise, Warmlite, Yak Works
Trailblazer: Peter Noone Boss Manufacturing, Copeland's, Donner Mountain Corp (DMC), Patagonia, Pivetta, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), Saska Sports, Sierra Designs, Sigg, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise
Neutral Ground, Exclusive Turf- Eating and Drinking in Berkeley in the Seventies Brennan's, Class 5, Sierra Designs, Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise
Trailblazer: Justus Bauschinger Class 5, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp)
Trailblazer: Hap Klopp Easton Aluminum, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), W.L.Gore and Associates, Yosemite Climbing School
Trailblazers: Allen Steck The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise
Trailblazers: Bob Swanson Big Agnes, Holubar, Kelty Pack, Shelter Systems, Sierra Designs, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Walrus Tents
Eating Your Boots: George Rudolf, DMC, and Pivetta Boots Donner Mountain Corp (DMC), The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise, U.S. Army: 10th Mountain Division
Bruce Johnson on George Rudolf Donner Mountain Corp (DMC), The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise
George Rudolf and Phil Scott Engage in a Covert Act of Kindness Donner Mountain Corp (DMC), The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise
George Rudolf: The Ski Hut, Trailwise, Donner Mountain Donner Mountain Corp (DMC), The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise
A Brief History of the Foundation of Sierra Designs Mountain Hardwear, Sierra Designs, The North Face, The Ski Hut - Berkeley, CA (dba Trailwise, Donner Mountain Corp), Trailwise