Tiny Tuesday: Live to Ski x3

What would you do to enable a life in the mountains? The following skiers and snowboarders decided to adopt the tiny lifestyle. Here are three stories from Teton Gravity Research about people who self-built houses in remote locations, went mobile or off-grid, and reduced their cost of living to almost zero… all in the name of powder.


Mike Basich’s self-built chairlift.

Near Truckee, California, former pro snowboarder Mike Basich spent four years building his 300-square-foot dream home on a 40-acre property. Inaccessible by road, the off-grid stone house has many innovations of Basich’s design, including a solar/wind orientation for passive heating/cooling and a pipe-free hot tub filled by a running brook. Basich attracted attention last year when he upgraded his private rope tow on the property (because, you know, everybody has one of those) to a private chairlift. This story includes a video.

In northwest Montana, Mollie and Sean Busbee live in 420-square-foot house and a yurt, at the end of a steep dirt road. Mollie directs a nonprofit that promotes action sports for children with diabetes; Sean is a pro snowboarder who films around the world. The property is off-grid and built largely with salvaged materials; a vegetable garden and chicken coop help the couple to be largely self-sufficient. With few bills to pay, Sean, who has type 1 diabetes as well as the autoimmune disease lupus, can afford to take time for himself when needed.


The Busbees’ tiny house in Montana.

In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Dan and Brittany Gibeau built a 172-square-foot house on wheels to cope with the ski-town affordability crisis. (See this post for a similar story about Aspen, Colorado.) As Brittany writes in the article, “Stitching together a supportable existence while leaving time for adventure is every mountain dweller’s task.” Brittany walks through the challenges of building a house on wheels suitable for a cold climate, and making it legal. They used some nifty building materials like ReWall, a structural insulated panel made largely from recycled cardboard. After researching possibilities with the town, the couple parked their house for good in an RV campground.


The Gibeaus’ tiny house on wheels in Wyoming.


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