The people who make the Warren Miller snow sports films like to say that it’s not winter until Warren Miller comes to town. Winter comes to Reno this weekend with one of the film tour’s biggest screenings Saturday at the Reno Events Center.
Fans call the Miller films snow porn with their ever-increasing amounts of deep powder, extreme heights and dangerous stunts captured all over the globe. This year’s film, “Children of Winter,” is the 59th in a series started by ski bum Warren Miller, now 84 years old and retired from filmmaking.
Kevin Quinn, a lifelong skier who lives in Squaw Valley and makes his eighth appearance in a Miller film this year, has unending gratitude for the life chasing snow has afforded him. He and his friends have the opening segment in “Children of Winter,” following Quinn’s Points North heli-ski operation to terrain in Alaska with Olympic gold medalist Seth Wescott. Quinn also will be emcee for the Reno screening.
Warren Miller cinematographers take cues from Quinn to keep things fresh year after year, and it was a cinematographer neighbor in Squaw Valley who gave Quinn his chance at a Miller film nine years ago.
“I’ve been extremely thankful to have some sort of say that we want to do this or that,” Quinn said. “Basically, they look to us for ideas. We’re lucky that we’re in such a hotbed (at Squaw Valley), because we’re friends with a lot of athletes.”
Count skiers Daron Rahlves, Shane McConkey, JT Holmes and Marco Sullivan among those world-class skiers who call Squaw Valley home.
“The local talent around here is unbelievable,” Quinn said. “There’s no place like it.”
While several Tahoe athletes get some screen time in “Children of Winter,” there’s no Tahoe footage this year. Quinn said the crew will be shooting some Tahoe footage for next year’s film, though.
Daron Rahlves, a Squaw Valley resident who retired from a major medal-collecting career in downhill racing, has an 8-minute segment in “Children of Winter.” The crew followed him back to places in Europe that made him a champion.
“Darren is like Joe Montana in Europe,” Quinn said of Rahlves’ star power overseas.
As for Quinn, he’s waiting for winter storms to come, having pulled his mountain bike back out this week in light of the balmy temperatures. Until February, he’ll spend his time on the mountain at Squaw with his wife Jessica Sobolowski-Quinn, and then take his crew and customers to Alaska for heli-skiing.
“We’re mountain people,” Quinn said. “I get in the concrete jungle and I start to itch.”
Warren Miller fans know what he means.