Last May, Zack Giffin and I started coming up with ideas for ways to travel the 2012 winter chasing snow around the country. Giffin, a seasoned ski bum veteran, suggested we do it in his van equipped with a wood stove and sleeping space. That idea got a major upgrade once we were introduced to the Tumbleweed Tiny House Company.
"It seemed like kind of a far-fetched option, but an obvious attention grabber and a classy way to conduct the tour that would appeal to outdoor enthusiasts," says Giffin, who works as a carpenter during the summer. "Plus, I really wanted to build one and be a part of the tiny house movement."
We suggested the idea to Outdoor Research, as a way of sharing their new sidecountry line and with the inspiration from Tumbleweed, the house turned from concept to a tangible project in the last week of October. Seven weeks later, we had a tiny, powder-hunting gypsy mobile.
Commencing the two-month winter expedition with Neil Provo, the newest member of the OR team, we hit Powder Magazine's 40th Anniversary Prom in Sun Valley, Idaho, followed by a lengthy drive to Silverton, Colo. With truck problems and enough mountain prospects to satiate the group, we stayed in the San Juan Range for two weeks. Then we fled north to the powder land of British Columbia, where we stayed for three weeks.
We left Rogers Pass, BC, for a week in Jackson Hole, Wyo., with the rest of the Outdoor Research crew. Sun glorified our second day in Jackson, which we spent on Teton Pass with photographer Mark Fisher, a guy who will easily out-hike any of his athletes. We spent a day skiing on safe zones on the pass and enjoyed full immersion in the cold, Wyoming snow. Topped off with a tiny tour of our 112-square foot space, we finished the day around a warm fire, while Fisher documented us living large in a tiny house.