One winter night, my Dad and I flew into Denver en route to a ski trip. Our connecting flight to Aspen was cancelled. It was dumping. I was too young to remember many of the details (about 10 years old) but Dad and I ended up in a van by ourselves, heading to Aspen through a snowstorm.
There was a VCR and a small screen in the van. Stacked on either side of the screen were Warren Miller films. For hours, all through the night, I sat and blew through those tapes, laughing, gasping and, most of all, yearning to go ski myself.
That was my introduction to Warren Miller films. Every year since, I’ve awaited the release of the new film. In succession, the films grew cooler, gnarlier and more jovial. This year was no different.
Last night, at age 93, Warren Miller died at his home on Orcas Island near Seattle reports the Seattle Times.
There is not much I can say here that hasn’t already been said. So many skiers from so many places were inspired by his films, but in a place like the Midwest, it seems more important.
Out west, skiers are getting into the alpine in the fall, looking for their first turns and tasting winter. Here, and at my childhood home in Illinois, I awaited the Warren Miller film, which was my official gateway into winter.
Today, as an adult, I still treat the release of Miller’s newest venture as my starting gate for a season on the slopes. Next year, without Miller, I will do the same.
Find his work
Tonight, I’m planning on popping in a Warren Miller film to celebrate his life. If you are hoping to do the same, here are some ways you can find his work.
First, you can read all about him and his life at his website Warrenmiller.org.
If you are looking to take a bigger bite of his life, I highly recommend his fairly recent (September, 2016) autobiography, which I read this past summer. It’s called Freedom Found. Get it from Amazon here.
If you are looking for a sampling of his films, you can find them on iTunes here, or in hard copy on DVD or VHS here.
However you celebrate Warren Miller tonight, be sure that you do. To close, I’ll share his most famous and arguably best quote. (For a list of some other gems, see this Unofficial Networks post.)
“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” – Warren Miller (1924-2018)
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