Northstar couloir on Sultan Mountain- San Juan range CO.

Check out Episode 2- Sidecountry Sessions from Outdoor Research! The last 2 weeks in Silverton have been a great way to get the legs in shape. The San Juans are mighty big and steep. The resort has one lift, but it accesses so much terrain. The backcountry seems endless out here. Hiking in the high elevation really gets your blood pumping! Even though it hasn't snowed out here for since we got here, things have stayed fresh and there are still plenty of good turns to be had.

December 27th 2011 was a beautiful day to get into the alpine. Zack Giffin, Molly Baker and myself went for a classic tour above town with the help of local and good friend Matty G. Topping out at 13368 ft, it was my highest hike to date!

Making our way up the south face of Grand Turk Peak. So warm it felt like a spring day.

Looking over Molas pass

Ridge walking in the high country.

Zack making his last few steps up Sultan mountain.

It was cool to finally look down on the town from the peak i had been eyeing from from the window of the Tiny house!

Fresh snowdrifts on the summit, and a view down the Northstar couloir. Into the gut and it was 4000 ft. of fresh pow all the way back to town.

BIG thanks to Matty G, for our sickest day in Silverton!

Matty G, laying out some nice turns before the long ride down.

Thanks for the great times Silverton! Stoked to come back

Outdoor Research- Sidecountry Sessions Episode 1

Words from Teton Gravity Research - Link to VIDEO
No stranger to ski history, Sun Valley, Idaho is a living, breathing museum of the North American ski timeline, dating back to the 1930’s. On the other hand, it is an ageless place. While hosting the birthplace of some of skiing’s favorite young pros (such as Picabo Street, Lynsey Dyer and the Crist Brothers), this little Idaho hide-out still maintains the interest of mainstay figures like Warren Miller and Mike Hattrup and is the main office for companies like Smith Optics.

It all began in 1939, when the first chairlifts were installed at Bald Mountain in Sun Valley. The same year Ernest Hemingway finished “For Whom the Bell Tolls” while staying in suite 206 of the Sun Valley Lodge that fall. Lucille Ball, Clark Gable, Marilyn Monroe, and the Kennedy Family followed. Sun Valley was becoming a Hollywood haven. It wasn’t just for skiers.

Then in 1946 the most classic of all ski bums arrived.
Warren Miller made his movies from 1946 to 1949 living out of the River Run parking lot at the base of Bald Mountain.
First staging out of his car and eventually in an upgraded trailer, Miller made his mark on Sun Valley as a promised land for the occasional post World War II ski bum.

Naturally the 40th Anniversary Party for Powder Magazine took place in Sun Valley. And we wanted to be there in the Outdoor Research tiny house as a tribute to forty years of darn impressive magazine making and a passion about skiing we can only hope to convey with the Sidecountry Sessions tour. None of us had ever been to this iconic place. It was time to hit the ski history books.

We pulled into the River Run parking lot at 4 a.m. in the morning. Surely the Powder 40th Anniversary prom was over (although stories from others told us otherwise that morning at a relaxed 11:00 a.m. breakfast). The sun peaked into the tiny house around 7 a.m. An hour later, as skiers started to arrive, we looked out to see many curious faces peering in or at the tiny house. All ages and all types of boards were interested. The twenty-year-old snowboarder and his friends showed up right next to the seventy-year-old with groomer skis.

The group missed the Powder party and we never got to show Warren Miller the tiny house, but we were able to kick off the tour with many personalities, contributors, and fanatics of the ski community.

With the south faces nearly bare and an itch for powder turns, we left Sun Valley in search of the season’s storms.

Simple living in the OR tiny house!

Outdoor Research - Sidecountry Sessions trailer

Session: noun \sesh-uh’n\ Any period of time devoted to a specific activity, such as slaying pow

Words from Outdoor Research -Verticulture
“The opportunity to explore the accessible powder stashes with the most passionate locals is the mission. Getting it the best we can is our objective,” says Neil.

This winter, we’re subscribing to the gypsy life and taking off on a two-month tiny house road trip in celebration of a passion-driven, low impact, ski bum lifestyle. “We are refining the entire process of living as ski bums. It is really about figuring out what you do and don’t need. For me, I want to ski and there isn’t much else that I need,” says Zack. Over the next 6 weeks, OR ambassadors Molly Baker, Zack Giffin and Neil Provo, along with videographers Sam Giffin and Andy Walbon will be road tripping to North America’s most respected sidecountry areas in search of deep powder and influential snow loving locals.

Unlike any previous skiing road trip, the Sidecountry Sessions crew is on a mission to find the best snow and greatest communities in prominent powder territory while living out of a ski bum’s dream-home-on-wheels. Along the way, the team will be on the search for the most esteemed, enthusiastic and talented individuals to bring on as members of OR’s Grassroots Athlete Team. Could you or one of your friends be the next team member?

Based on recommendations of local skiers via Facebook (no, you can’t nominate yourself), Molly, Zack and Neil will ski, climb and adventure with chosen nominees in order to select the newest members of OR’s athlete team. “Being a part of Outdoor Research is really about being genuine with an honest devotion to a life in the mountains. It makes it really easy for the right people because they essentially continue doing whatever it is that they do and that embodies the mission of the company as a whole,” says Molly. To nominate someone you know? Post their photo to the Outdoor Research Facebook page. In the comments section, reference hash tag #SCSessions and include a brief description of why your person would be a great OR Athlete.
If we come to their hill, Molly, Zack and Neil want to get in touch with them for a session of slaying pow.

Find out what it’s like to spend the season searching for new ski talent while living in 112 square feet of unconventional living space.
Showcasing local talent, communities and mountains, watch video episodes of the Sidecountry Sessions releasing each week and find out what happens when these gypsy shredders occupy your parking lot.

The tiny house made its debut last weekend at Powder Magazine’s 40th Anniversary party in Sun Valley, Idaho.
Stay tuned to and Facebook for the next Sidecountry Sessions destination.

Watch the Trailer here!