As I read the news of Warren Miller passing recently, the temperature dropped 15 degrees in 5 minutes while I watched a beautiful wall of heavy snow barrel across the Gallatin Valley. It seemed perfectly fitting.
During the 2010 Winter Olympics, my good friend Will Littman called to ask if I could come up to Warren's YC home immediately to record a bunch of audio promos. I dropped everything, grabbed my equipment and hit the road. I could not believe I was actually in the directors seat telling him when to start..."action!" I could hardly breathe! Over the next couple hours I sat in awe as as I listened to the voice, that voice….the voice that I heard in my dreams as a child. I've been listening to all those raw recordings now for the last hour, and it brings joyous tears to my eyes.
Warren's films, his attitude, and zest for life influenced me more than he could ever know. As a kid, I slept with my ski boots next to the bed, hero posters adorned my ceiling and walls, and yes, I even skied with black gators over jeans. But I never thought I could actually live the dream…Over the years, I've tried my best to capture our little slice of skiing heaven here in Montana, and was honored when Warren graciously said he would write the foreword to my ski book that I had worked on for 8 long years. He laid it on thick, and I was very appreciative and very humbled.
But the thing is, I am not even in the top ten of best ski photographers in the area: Lonnie Ball, Ryan Turner, Travis Andersen, Bob Allen, Kene Sperry, Simon Peterson, Drew Pogge, Chris Kamman, Pat Clayton, Yogesh Simpson. All of you by far surpass any images I've managed to conjure up over the years, and seeing your work inspires me on a daily basis. I now watch now as a younger generation of super talented ski/mountaineering photographers and athletes: Max Lowe, Colton Stiffler, Ryan Day Thompson etc continue to set the bar higher and higher and am amazed.
I know we were all were influenced by Warren, and I'm sure he would proud. And if you are out there sitting on the fence trying to decide wether or not to follow your heart…“If you don’t do it this year, you’ll be one year older when you do.” WM