Let’s be honest—we’d all like to be Warren Miller.
His is the story of a ski bum gone right. Like many winter chasers, he’s paid his dues living in a trailer in a ski resort town and eating ketchup soup, but he’s managed to work his way to fame and fortune without having to resort to cubicle life. Along the way, he’s also produced some epic ski films—a few that probably got you hooked on skiing in a big way.
He’s Been Making Ski Films Since Before You Were Born
Warren Miller has been filming epic ski films since he acquired his first 8 mm video camera back in 1946, where he filmed his first shots in Alta and in Sun Valley, Idaho.
At first, he filmed himself and his fellow ski instructors to help them perfect their skiing techniques. He’d also film his buddies surfing during summers spent in his home state of California. Just a few years later in 1959, he founded Warren Miller Entertainment which has released one feature-length ski film every year since.
You’d Actually Want to Listen to His Stories
You might get a little antsy when your grandpa starts laying down his “back in the day” stories but Miller’s are actually awesome. He’s been heliskiing since 1969. He watched Howard Head invent aluminum skis. He remembers a time when ski groomers didn’t exist. You may even want to pick up one of his books.
He Can Overcome Drama
HE doesn’t actually own Warren Miller Entertainment anymore—his son bought the company and eventually sold it to Time Warner which, in turn, sold it to the Bonnier Group. A nasty 2009 lawsuit claimed that Miller didn’t actually own the rights to his own name, voice and likeness after he made an appearance in (gasp) another company’s ski films. The suit was settled and he’s basically no longer allowed to be involved in any other ski film. Ever.
Instead of being discouraged, he turned his attention to other projects—a book of ski photography, storytelling sessions, an autobiography, and his foundation.
He Wants to Help Make Your Dreams Come True
The Warren Miller Freedom Foundation, conceived by his wife, Laurie, is an organization that has helped more than 3,000 people get started as entrepreneurs and business owners. The Foundation offers lessons for both young students and adults, equipping them with the tools they need to set their own dreams in motion. It’s a perfect fit—after all, Warren is the ultimate entrepreneur.
He’s Still Living the Life
These days, you can find Miller tucked away in Washington State’s San Juan Islands—not too far from some choice ski hills. He spends part of the year on the slopes in Montana and a lot of time cruising on his 47-foot yacht. Yep, he’s doing alright.
He’s a Walking Quote Book
We’ll leave you with just a few classic Millerisms:
“Don’t take life seriously because you can’t come out alive.”
“The best place in the word to ski is where you’re skiing that day.”
“If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.”
“If I ask anybody who learned to ski after the age of five, they can remember their first day of skiing—what the weather was like, who they went with, what they had for lunch. I believe that’s because that first day on skis was the first day of total freedom in their life.”