I first learned about Zach Giffin’s traveling tiny house in 2012 during a visit to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. After skiing at the resort, Zach Giffin and fellow pro skier Molly Baker showed me their tiny home, which is built on wheels and towed by a truck, explaining that they’d drive to any resort where the snow was falling. The money they saved on hotel rooms enabled them to spend the entire winter completely mobile and responsive to the slightest change in weather.
When I asked what inspired this decision, Giffin said he believed that our “attitude about ‛living the good life’ has shifted.” The idea of success is no longer about accumulation of material possessions, but rather a desire for experiences. Tiny homes are also a reaction to the increase in home prices around the country, which often prevents younger people from being able to afford a traditional mortgage. As Giffin put it, “Tiny houses are a pathway to live a financially liberated type of life.”
More than just a proponent for downsizing, Giffin has been a carpenter since high school, “Mostly to fund my addiction to skiing,” he says, and is using his experiences to support his passion for the winter season by hosting Outdoor Research’s Caravan for a Cause, which will profile tiny house dwellers at ski resorts and document their obsession with fresh snow.
Picking up on the importance of the movement, Aspen Skico also plans to build a tiny house community in nearby Basalt to give their employees an affordable living option while still fueling their passion for shredding. “As skiers, we’re very accustomed to waking up and skiing the deepest pow,” says Giffin. “While other skiers are sitting in traffic, we’re already taking the first turns in the new snowfall.”
Images by Michael Dyrland.
This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Eight.