Harvard Mountaineering Club
The Harvard Mountaineering Club was founded in 1924 at Harvard University. The club has a long history of exploration and first ascents. HMC alumni include Henry Hall, Bradford Washburn, and David Roberts, among many others.
HMC members have been responsible for a number of major first ascents and climbing achievements, not just on Mt. Washington but around the world. Among the HMC's famous exploits are the first ascent of the Wickersham Wall on Denali and the first ascent of (and subsequent escape from) Mt. Lucania in the St. Elias range.
Harvard Mountaineering Club members were responsible for the construction of Harvard Cabin as well as its predecessor, the Spur Cabin. For more details on the club's history, see the Harvard Mountaineering Club website.
Harvard Cabin's predecessor, the Spur Cabin, also known as "Harvard Hut," was constructed in 1932 along the John Sherburne Ski Trail, below the base of Tuckerman Ravine and Boott Spur. Early Harvard Mountaineering Club member Brad Washburn was one of the driving forces behind this cabin, hauling supplies up the mountain with a Ford Model A he purchased with royalties from books he had written as a teenager about his climbing adventures in Switzerland and beyond.
The cabin became a base for ski races in the days before chairlifts as well as a training camp for Harvard Mountaineering Club members to prepare themselves for larger climbs elsewhere.
The Spur Cabin was removed in 1963 shortly after the current Harvard Cabin was constructed.
The current Harvard Cabin was built in 1962 to replace the old Spur Cabin. The location was chosen for its proximity to alpine ice climbing in Huntington Ravine.
The cabin was built entirely out of local materials. Logs were felled on the mountain and dragged to the cabin site by Harvard Mountaineering Club members.
The cabin has become a base for alpine ice climbers and other winter adventurers intent on climbing to the summit or just enjoying a day on the mountain, a key link in the avalanche safety program on Mount Washington,
Over the years the cabin has been outfitted with radios, LED lighting, and a solar power system to keep it all running.