The ski world lost a legend Wednesday night when pioneering director Warren Miller passed away in his home on Orcas Island in Washington at the age of 93.
Writer, producer and director of over 500 action-adventure films during his lifetime, Warren Miller was the voice of skiing for over six decades. The release of his first film Deep and Light in 1950 was the beginning of an annual rite of passage for skiers across the globe. His annual film releases continued well into the next millennium, entertaining millions of loyal ski enthusiasts along the way. Generations of skiers fell in love with the sport because of his artfully-crafted shots, unique humor and unbridled passion for the sport. In the early days of his movie premieres, Miller toured the country and would narrate his movies in person, making a personal connection to thousands of skiers across the country. Warren made it a point to shake hands and meet as many skiers as possible; a testament to his personality and commitment to the ski community.
Before the skiing renaissance, Warren Miller was the original ski bum. Driving a 1936 Buick, he towed a camper from ski area to ski area across the west, embodying the ski bum dream (decades before ski areas started frowning upon such things). To this day, legions of skiers across the country follow in his footsteps.
Miller may be best remembered for his commitment to living a life of pure freedom. A character unlike any other, his status as America’s ultimate ski bum has influenced a whole subculture of skiers that follow his path of autonomy, love and zeal for life. The Warren Miller name has become synonymous with living in the moment, something he inspired so many across the globe to do. As one of Miller’s most famous quotes goes, “If you don’t do it this year, you will be one year older when you do.”
Miller was the face and voice of skiing for generations. Nearly every skier out there is not only aware of his legacy, but has been personally impacted by his work. Warren Miller is survived by his wife Laurie, his three children Scott, Kurt and Chris and his stepson Colin. His legacy, however, will live on in the hearts of skiers forever.