Winter Entrance, Timberline Lodge
Since the lodge is often buried in snow during the winter up to the 3rd floor level you can't just walk up to the front doors. To create a snow-free entrance the white arched structure you see in this photo is erected over the lower entrance to the lodge. The structure, known as the "snow-cave", creates a tunnel to the lower entrance under the snow. The arched, translucent white cave is designed to blend in with the snow while allowing light to penetrate. You may have noticed that there is almost no snow in this photo! This photo was taken on a later visit to the Timberline, on Oct 6, 2009, just a few days after the brand-new snow cave was erected for the first time.
I should point out that there are actually two main entrances to Timberline Lodge. The ground floor door (inside the snow cave) was intended to be the recreational user's entrance for skiers or hikers. A grand entrance on the next floor up was intended for the arriving guests of the Lodge. This separation was a fairly standard arrangement for the time, when people dressed up in their best clothes to travel. Two large sweeping outdoor stone staircases lead up to the grand front door of the lodge on the 1st Floor. One of those staircases is visible to the right of the snow cave in this photo. The grand front door entrance is just behind the flags, below the large picture window.
As things work out, people are essentially lazy. As you can see, you need to climb up a lot of stairs to get to the grand entrance of the Lodge. Given the choice between using the lower entrance and climbing a flight of stairs to reach the main front doors, most folks choose the lower entrance! So on this tour we'll enter the way most folks do, through the lower level recreational user entrance.
This photo was taken inside the new snow cave entrance in October of 2009. The open door at the top of the stairs is the lower, ground floor recreational user entrance.
See the Timberline Snow Entry architect's page for more photos and details about the new snow entrance.
This photo was taken on my first visit to Timberline. It shows the inside of the old Quonset Hut tunnel that was used as the winter entrance prior to winter 2009. Compare it to the photo of the new snow cave above.
Text, photos, and images by Jess Stryker, unless noted. Copyright © Jess Stryker, 2008. All rights reserved.