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On the Road in a Tiny House

Pro skiers Molly Baker, Zack Giffin, Neil Provo and crew are storm chasing in a 112 square foot house.

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A winter of following storms cross-country is a dream for plenty of skier. This winter, Molly Baker, Zack Giffin, and Neil Provo are doing just that in a 112 square foot trailer-mounted house that Giffin built this fall. They’re traveling to wherever has snow, and along the way they’re making videos, “The Sidecountry Sessions,” about the people they meet and the places they ski. Baker let us in on life in the tiny house, where they’re headed, and what it’s like to be the only girl in the truck.

So where did the idea for the tiny house tour come from?
Last spring we were thinking about how to get Outdoor Research more visibility outside of the Northwest, and we also wanted to do a trip chasing snow. Zack had lived in his van for a season in the Mt. Baker parking lot, so we were thinking we’d just live in the van. When we were planning the trip, we met one of Zack’s parent’s friends who’s really into these Tumbleweed tiny houses. We really liked the idea, so Zack built the house based on them. There’s even a spiral staircase. 

What are you guys doing along the way?
We’re chasing snow and making webisodes. Every town we end up in we’re picking a grassroots ambassador, someone who really exemplify the ski bum lifestyle. We’ve been in Silverton for two weeks, because our truck broke down, and we found this guy, Steve Mead, on our first run. We were setting up some filming shots at Silverton Mountain and this tele skier comes blasting by us. The guide we were with said, “that’s the guy.” We talked with other people, and it was reinforced. He’s really talented, he’s been to every peak in the area, he’s a radio DJ, and he’s got this really cool family life.

We could spend the entire winter here, nominating everyone in town, but we’re heading north to meet up with the jet stream. 

What’s it like living in 112 square feet of space with four dudes?
It’s pretty funny, when we started traveling, we thought it would be Zack and me, then Neil Provo got added to the team, then Sam and his assistant for the webisodes, so there’s five of us living in the house. I seriously thought that one of us, or a couple of us, would have rented a hotel room by now, but we’re all sticking in the tiny house. If you have the wrong dynamics a project like this can go downhill but it hasn’t felt like a big deal at all.

Any roadblocks, literal or otherwise?
When we were driving down to Silverton from Salt Lake City we were having truck problems, Neil and Zack cut out a bungee cord from my gloves to hold together part of the truck, and we drove a long way on it. They were totally comfortable with it and I was not so comfortable. I think in some places we have a difference in tolerance.

There have also been weather and car problems. We got stuck in Silverton for two weeks.I thought we’d be in Tahoe by now, but they haven’t had snow. We also really wanted to go to Taos. Before our truck broke down they had a spot for us to park and everything, but that didn’t end up working out.

So what happens to the tiny house when this is over?
That’s the beauty of the tiny house, we can go anywhere with it. After this whole project we’re heading to Nelson, B.C., but we also have this other crazy idea we’ll put it on the ferry in Bellingham and go to Alaska.

Follow the travels of the tiny house here.