Re-Warren Miller

Have been waiting patiently for this – I working with the Warren Miller team when VHS Home Entertainment took them to a new level… after a few years in LA reaching for the stars, in 87′ I fell back on my degree and got involve in post production – first roll at this post house was to put together a 2000 machine VHS Duplication facility… then put in charge of filling those machines up! Having been mesmerized by Stacy Peralta magazines and films as a teenager in the mid-west, I picked up the phone and called the Peralta company to see if we could Duplicate their VHS – Stacy Peralta himself picked up the phone and we made a deal! Worked with them straight up to the whole “Gator” Rogowski debacle!! Stacey put me in touch with Herbie Fletcher of Astrodeck in San Clemente who had a line of surfing videos – Herbie connected me to Kurt Miller, Warrens son, who was running the biz in Redondo at the time… we made 100,000’s of Warren Miller VHS cassettes and they led the explosion into a power sports on home video…

Chip Viering



Great recommendation. I discovered skiing when I transferred to the University Of Colorado in Boulder and the same friends that had me learn by cutting to the backcountry and following them down some unmarked lines also introduced me to Warren Miller films. That voice is ingrained in me just like the impact that skiing had on me from day one. This inside-feeling look at the brightness and darkness of his life and career has moved me. Thanks again for the recommendation. 

Stephen Schloss


Thanks for sharing! I grew up in Milwaukee, WI and you knew ski season was close when Warren Miller would come to Shorewood High School to show his film.

As a kid, our parents took us to Sun Valley because my Dad wanted to ski where Warren was filming.

Then we started to hit Vail starting in 84. Probably because Warren turn us into it.

Never grow tired of watching the classic Warren Miller films.

Sure hope the ski areas survive.

Maybe someday we’ll bump into each other riding the gondola out of Lionshead.

George Briner


I’m a big skier. I relate to all these skiing missives you write about. 

I remember going to see a Warren Miller film in my elementary school auditorium!

Therefore I suggest you check out the film “Fire On the Mountain” that just came out. Although it’s not only about skiing (snowboarding and surfing get a little love) it captures some amazing skiing footage set to Grateful Dead music. 

It’s not really a Grateful Dead movie, it’s about the underlying creativity that is common to great athletes and musicians. Indeed the “making of” was on primetime on ESPN a few nights ago. Check it out you’ll love it, even if you’re not a Deadhead. 


David M. Ehrlich 


Every year, I would drag the kids to Symphony Space on the Upper West Side to see the latest Warren Miller Flick, and over time, the kids got as hooked as me. And for two east-coasters, my merry men know Little Cottonwood and the P-Dog pretty darn well – they’ve hiked/skied Baldy Chutes! Proof I’m a fun dad! Tom Shpetner 


Nice piece. My brother (who spends winters in Alta) gave me his book awhile back and I really enjoyed it. I’ll check out the film. But the Warren Miller franchise these days — the annual ski film —produces amped up schlock. Last one I went to several autumns ago i swore I’d never go back. Huge deviation from what Warren himself did. 

– Greg Dennis


Love it, can’t wait to check it out. Remember watching his flicks at the magic lantern in Sun Valley. We already busted out the XC skis a couple times on the golf course. It’ll be interesting to see what they do at Squalpine this year!! 

Joe Weinstein


You’re right. Watching the latest Warren Miller flick was a seasonal event, like attending those giant ski shows to get the jump on the latest equipment or a bargain on last year’s stuff.

And we would always bring along VHS copies of the older movies. A few times we were snowed in at Mammoth and that’s pretty much all we had to do while the lifts were shut down.

We discovered the movies were even more fun when we muted movie volume and played our own music. It was amazing how an album like Talking Heads “Remain In Light” or

Zep’s “Physical Graffiti” very nearly synced up to what was happening on screen.

Thanks for the memories.

Tom Cartwright


And Warren Miller! I too remember anxiously awaiting the annual showing of his latest film. Living in LA I was fortunate to be able to see him in person several times. He also frequently had a booth at the LA Ski Show where you could go right up and buy a tape from the man personally. Yes his jokes may have been corny but there was such an enthusiasm for just being in the mountains, forget all the stunts. Of course there was also the dirty pleasure of the falling off the chairlift segment. Still wonder if that was all staged.

By the way did you ever see Ski The Outer Limits? That was probably my favorite ski movie from the 60s. Still have my VHS copy. 

Rob Handler


Thank you.. I was a semi lifer in Vail for 7 years. Late 80’s early 90’s. Still get there annually. Friends who I met there then, most still turning them now!

Warren’s story so beautiful. I never realized the pain and challenges he had with his loss of his wife so early etc. Sad but her spirit certainly lived on through him… I hope we get to ski Vail this year. I am now 56 living in Minneapolis and our time that we both spent being ski bums always keeps us connected……God Bless…

Edward Charpentier


Warren has a great line about taking twenty years to become an overnight success.

It was VHS sales that made him some money.

Bill Carle


Funny, I didn’t like the film very much and thought they weren’t fair to Kurt and Peter. 

Jim Lewi


Met him in Maui. Good guy. We are supposed to open in Sun Valley Thanksgiving. Got dumped on yesterday. 11 inches or so.

John Hummer


It was a fall ritual.: going to annual Warren Miller film at the Santa Monica Civic.

Then, when the season opened in the local mountains, it was cut school and go skiing in the morning, and the beach in the afternoon.

It was The Life!

Kathy Freeman 

Uni, Class of Summer’62


The late fall viewing of the latest Warren Miller movie was a rite of passage to the upcoming ski season! Watching a Miller film with 2000 like minded ski fanatics always psyched me up! You had to read Powder Mag to find out where all the local powder stashes could be found. To this day even with injuries that no longer allow me to ski Corbet’s and other similar terrain, I still get up in the morning and the first thing I do is look at world wide snow reports. Finding out that 3 feet of pow fell at Alta still makes me happy! 

-Rob Teitel. Orchard Lake, MI


Rite of passage those Miller flicks were. 

Good memories with friends of just partying before the show(s), during, after but just getting amp’d for the season. 

Last one I remember was 93′ or 94′ in Portland at the Schnitzer (holds 5-6K)…Just about sold out but fans were PUMPED.

Living in central NY now is a far cry from skiing on Hood/Bachelor but nothing beats hitting the slopes, anticipation in the morning, and now my kids are into it (sort of), its really my only thing I look forward to here with our long ass winter…

Thanks buddy!

Steve Anderko

Syracuse NY


Thanks for your great post on Warren Miller. 

I got to be a rock star. But I would much rather have been Phil Mahre or Jean-Claude Killy. 

My dad was around for a lot of the early days, knew Warren when he was sleeping in his trailer in the SV parking lot (because my dad was also sleeping in a trailer in the parking lot). Like you, he almost made it to celluloid — was supposed to do a day of helicopter skiing with Warren near Alyeska Resort in AK in the late 60s or early 70s but the day was stormed out. 

Seeing his films every fall as a kid (and Dick Barrymore’s, too) at the Seattle Opera House was magic. We’d walk out of there jumping off ledges and curbs doing daffys and spread eagles and helicopters, so excited for the season to start.

It was just as exciting as seeing Elton at the Coliseum in 1975 or Wings at the Kingdome in 1976 or Bad Co. at the Coliseum a year later. It’s the same thing, the same vibe, the same passion and opportunity for expression. 


dave dederer


I’m writing to you from the F train, heading back from a friend’s place in forest hills. We are both well off enough, but not rich. She’s a surgeon, I was a lawyer at a big firm, and I’m now in medical school. It’s a long story, but I was dissatisfied and took a risk. But now I’m wondering why. I was inside and now I’m outside. 

I read your Warren Miller piece. I love his work, he gets me excited to ski. I’m not great, just ok. I have ten-year-old east coast skis. But stuff like Miller gets me excited for the seasons, it makes this whole thing keep turning. Turn the page and it’s winter, there’s Warren, there are some athletes doing amazing things. Maybe we can have some nice weekends on a mountain. Maybe a friend has a friend with a parent who has a house in deer valley. That’s a rare treat. 

I’m a good liberal but I’m single and in my 30s, so covid quarantine is wearing me down. But do you know what’s going to break me? When I see the elite skiing this winter when somehow I can’t—either because I’m not allowed or I can’t afford it. 

I’m smart and capable and committed to my community. But I’m scraping by. Keep writing, I hope you’re reaching the people who need to hear it. 

Hoping to see you on the mountain someday,

Tim Pistell


Ah man, thank you for writing about Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story.

[The last time I wrote you was in March in regards to COVID and the early shutting down of the ski season. Specifically with Park City when it was top 5 in country for most cases per capita.]

Going to Warren’s movies was like a right of passage to the ski season that lay ahead. Growing up in Park City and being in such close proximity to so many ski resorts meant that Warren would come and do his movies in person. Whether it was at the auditorium in Park City where I went to school or to an auditorium in Salt Lake where my dad would take us down to take in the latest one each year, it was always an event you didn’t want to miss.

I essentially stopped going and/or watching them when Warren was no longer the main voice of the movie. It felt like the soul had left. Watching that documentary brought that childhood value back to introducing this coming season. It’s going to be the strangest season yet – provided it doesn’t get shut down.

Vail and its Epic pass has sent out its mission for this season. The season is set to open in 5 days with a very different set of rules. The general gist is that it will be a reservation system with a limit to the number of skiers on the hill each day. Park City is supposedly going to be something like 3,000 skiers a day with a hope you can get a reservation to actually ski. You can only ride a chair with people you’re skiing with. If you’re a single skier, as I am 95% of the time, you will only be allowed to ride on opposite sides of a quad or 6 person chair with one other rider. I’m assuming any chair less than a quad means you’re riding solo.

Living next to a chair lift and being used to getting up and skiing on any given day is no longer gonna happen thanks to the reservation system. Which is antithetical to Warren’s motto about the freedom of skiing.

As a skier who never skis without a neck gator, I’m used to a “mask” type situation, which Vail is also requiring this year. But will it actually work for them from a financial situation? That’s where my curiosity lays. Will they be able to accommodate enough skiers for it to make financial sense for them to stay open? I hope so. Otherwise, I’m going to be doing a lot of hiking up behind my house this season to get that skiing fix. Especially since it’s snowed a few feet already. Jonesing hard for that feeling of feeling of “ALIVE!” while skiing right now. Will that escape work? We can only hope so.

Despite the early oncoming of snow the explosion of COVID cases in Utah, yet again, has people canceling their holiday reservations to come ski. The double edged sword is: it makes me happy, at the same time, I realize it’s how this town tends to survive.

Jody Whitesides


Here in Québec skiing is on. There will be no more than two people allowed in a gondola unless they have the same address. Chair lifts for four will allow two people. Masks at all times even on the trails. 

Chalets will be closed except for brief warm ups and bathroom access. No food service. 

Preference will go to seasons pass holders and tickets will have to be bought on line before arriving at the hill. 

Mont Saint Sauveur was open with one trail two weeks ago until a patch of warm weather ruined that. It was mostly for promotion but lots of folks turned up. Only seasons passes. 

One of the problems is that we use a colour code system here that doesn’t allow you to move between, say, a orange and red zone. Montreal is in the red and most of the ski areas are in the orange. 

Fingers crossed. 

Rob Braide

Stay Positive,Test Negative. 

Ski guy from Canada. 


Didn’t know you were a ski freak, man, very cool.

I grew up ski racing in New England, went to ski academies for high school (GMVS, CVA), knew Bode Miller and half the USST, etc. We would line up every time a new Warren Miller film came out. At least until Greg Stump’s films came along…

Mark Radcliffe


Some brilliant movies and a legend… but nothing ever came close to Greg Stumps Blizzard Of Aahhh’s. The all time greatest ski movie with probably the greatest soundtrack ever too.

Benjamin Evans


From: Gregory Stump

To: Bob Lefsetz

I liked your article. However, like all journalism it is incomplete and inaccurate.

I most certainly did not make ski porn.

I am in Ski Bum: The Warren Miller Story. I just watched it again the other day for the first time since the unveiling in Park City a few years ago. In my humble but qualified opinion, I find the film annoyingly maudlin and slow. The film dwells far too long on WM’s failures rather than his triumph’s. I am friends with the producers and directors and I have told them the same thing.

And Bob I reject that Barrymore “burnt out” or that Last of the Ski Bums was his crown jewel. Vagabond skiers was excellent and hi K2: The Performers changed the World.

Take a gander at my work and if you have thoughts I would be honored to entertain them.


Greg Stump


From: Bob Lefsetz

To: Gregory Stump

No, you did not make ski porn, no way.

It was when the internet hit and then cheap cameras that we hit the era of ski porn.


From: Gregory Stump

To: Bob Lefsetz

Thank you. I get cranky when people leave me out of their version of ski history.

I am in the U.S. Ski Hall of Fame after all. 

I like your writing except for that one.

Keep up the great work.


P.S. I suggest looking at: Siberia, Groove Requiem: In the Key of Ski, P-tex, Lies and Duct Tape and Fistful of Moguls. I look forward to your thoughts. 

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