Off The Grid Living: Mike Basich Cabin Update – Area 241 Gets a Chair Lift

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

Arial shot of Mike Basich’s solar cabin, you can see the pentgram shaped off grid cabin made out of local rocks and cement. Hot tub on the left. (earlier post on Mike’s wood fired hot tub) Lower storage area and 2 solar panels mounted on a pole so he can aim them towards the sun for maximum power output during the day.


I’ve been posting about Mike for a few years, he’s been one of my snowboarding heroes for 20 years, long before he built his solar cabin on Donner Pass. He calls his 40 acre property Area 241 which is also his outerwear brand (Area 421 Outerwear). Mike is 40ish years old now and is now sponsored by Flow Snowboards and GoPro cameras. He’s been a pioneer in remote photography since back in the day when he used motion sensors and film cameras to record himself snowboarding. Mike  has been pushing the limits of backcountry snowboarding long before the current craze of split boarding and earning your turns.

I could go on and on about Mike’s snowboarding career and his record breaking 100′ drop from a helicopter but this blog is about cabins and I know that’s what you want to hear about ;). Luckily Mike has one of the coolest cabins in the world. I emailed Lloyd Kahn to suggest it for his Tiny Houses Book a few years ago. Lloyd emailed back that his son, another avid snowboarder, had suggested it already and they had just shot the photos for the book!  Shhhhhhhh don’t tell, he said!

Mike’s been working HARD all last summer upgrading his homemade rope tow to a homemade chair lift. He hacked it together from old chair lift parts ski areas didn’t want, metal beams, blood, sweat and probably tears. He had to create a road on his very steep, rocky property to get the backhoe up the mountain, to dig footings for the chair lift. It took weeks to just get the back hoe to the top. You can see the photo driving up the mountain below.

See all Mike Basich related Posts…

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

 Off Grid Solar Cabin from side all lit up with 12 volt power.

Inside Mike Basich Cabin hot tub

Steel wood fired hot tub dug out in the winter. (similar to home made Snorkel  Hot tub)He has a small stream that flows next to it for cooling down your drinks in the summer! Watch Video about it

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

View out of huge windows. He custom made these steel frames so the windows can open and become doors. They face south to make this a passive solar cabin.

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

Solar cabin sleeping loft and Mike’s dog. Check out the detail on that door.

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

Small Cabin Wood stove with oven above, made from another wood stove. He’s got water heating copper coils on the stove to heat water for his off grid cabin without using propane.

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Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

You can see all the custom steel work he did to make these unique and huge doors! Those must be heavy!

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

 Mike’s friend in front of his remote off grid cabin, check out the toilet seat on skis…

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

 You looking at me?

Watch this video of Mike looking for his snowed in off grid cabin in the Winter. He’s standing on top of if looking for the door while it’s totally covered by snow.


Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

 Cabin getting dug out

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

Back hoe on the way to the top to dig footing for the chair lift towers. This is a serious project!

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

 One of Mike’s Chair Lift towers and amazing view on a bluebird day.

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

 I think this is the top of the chair lift. It’s hard to tell. It’s huge!

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

Huge rocks as cable tensioners. Mother nature’s weights…

Mike Basich Cabin - Area 241

Nice cabin shot in the summer, you can see it’s built on a huge solid rock.

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3 Responses

  1. Trä says:

    WOW! It’s magnificent. That cabin is awesome!!! Really, I love it, and it’s such a special place to go!

  2. Jason says:

    Beautiful cabin. I love the rock and wood together. I like the upstairs area and double stove, and how the stove is in the rock.

  3. stefan ganev says:

    hi there mate my name is Stefan I was looking up how to build a ski lift and came across your cabin I want to build a ski lift up a mountain here in new Zealand I would love to talk to u about your ski lift. my email is sssteelwork@xtra.co.nz hope to here from u cheers. your cabin looks awesome!!