Chasing Snow

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The Outdoor Research Tiny House Tour is on the road again. For the third consecutive winter Outdoor Research ambassadors Molly Baker, Zach Griffin, and Neil Provo are traveling around the Pacific Northwest reaching out to ski communities in a unique way.  Chasing snow, driving from one ski resort to the next with a Tiny House in tow, they spread the passion for skiing.

In Washington, due to the lack of ski lodge accommodations, it’s commonplace for people to park their RV in resort parking lots and camp out for a weekend of skiing.  Three years ago, Baker and Griffin had the idea to create a grassroots marketing campaign by digging into that culture. Traveling with 112 square foot tiny house, filming their adventures and hunkering down for days and weeks at a time to ski and get to know the locals is a perfect way to spend the winter.

“We make friends with people from all ages and backgrounds almost immediately when we arrive at the ski area,” says Baker. “It’s the most authentic kind of marketing you can do.  Our experiences reflect those of a large portion of skiers out there.  It’s about emotionally connecting with the adventure of living and traveling in a tiny house. People have a quest for adventure and see that message in the Tiny House Tour.”

The Tiny House Tour holds great appeal with people in the Pacific Northwest who relate to the concept on multiple levels.  “Everyone in Washington seems to understand the tiny house because it is largely a culture of cabins and tree houses,” says Baker. “The mystical forests give way to the perfect fairy tale landscapes ideal for a tiny house, tree house, or winter cabin. People here just appreciate well-crafted living, and tiny homes certainly fit into that category. “

The house screams quality over quantity.  Sustainable materials like bamboo floors, and solar lights, beautiful woodwork and a cozy wood-fired stove make the house more homey, warm and special than a traditional RV.

Patrick Orton Photography

Living in such tight quarters can make for amusing situations; life’s basic tasks are intensified within the small space.  “Waking up every morning and seeing five other people immediately, before you do anything like go to the bathroom, brush your teeth or drink a glass of water has led to many funny moments,” says Baker. “The house moves around a bit when you’re walking around in it, so when one person wakes up the entire house is awake. Essentially, we all had to be on the same schedule. You don’t do anything in the tiny house without it going noticed.”

By virtue of its portability and smallness, the Tiny House Tour also delivers opportunities that would never arise in another circumstance, like the time the group was snowed in at Mt. Baker just as the Mayan calendar was ending. “We were amidst a huge storm cycle. I think 10 feet in five days, and we woke-up the day the world was supposed to end to an empty parking lot at Mt. Baker,” said Baker.  “The tiny house was completely snowed-in and no one was around. We found out that over 100 trees had fallen over the Mt. Baker Highway and the Department of Transportation had closed the road for the next three days. We got to live in the parking lot, skiing the trees for three days without anyone else able to come up and enjoy the new snow. That was the best powder cycle of my life and it would have never happened like that without the tiny house.”

Tiny House at Winter O.R. Photo
Tiny House at Winter O.R. Photo Jake Wheeler

Timing is important in the Tiny House Tour.  “The major focus of the house is to be in the right place at the right time without having to commute back and for the between home and the mountain,” says Molly.  “Our commute with the house is just to ski up to the front porch.  The extra time allows us to do other things like read books and play music.”

You can follow Outdoor Research ambassadors and their five-part Tiny House Tour video series as the adventure unfolds on the [Outdoor Research Blog](www.outdoorresearch/blog).

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