Temperatures were starting to drop and the leaves were changing. Winter was coming. Skiers were getting antsy in anticipation of the upcoming snowfall. It’s a timeless feeling that we’ve all felt. This time, however, it was late fall of 1947. Klaus Obermeyer and his friend Warren Miller were passionate skiers rubbing pennies together to make it all work. Before they were legends, they were friends—and skiers.
Straddling seasons between fall and winter, the two 20-ish year-old ski bums loaded up a rattling Ford Business Coup with gear and skis. They left Sun Valley, Idaho that autumn and drove south, sleeping in the trunk of the car and buying burgers for 25 cents along the way.
“Warren and I had a very small start,” says Klaus Obermeyer, now nearly 103 years old.
Along the way, the two friends stopped in Alta, Utah. Warren Miller stayed to pursue a gig as a ski instructor in the Little Cottonwood Canyon. Klaus kept heading east. He ended up in Aspen, urged by Austrian Friedl Pfeifer to check out the ski town popping up in the Elk Mountains.
The rest is history…
Miller was given an 8mm camera that season by a client in Alta. He started making movies. Obermeyer realized that his clients’ wool clothes weren’t right for skiing. He started designing skiwear.
A lot has transpired since that road trip 75 years ago. Warren Miller’s films have inspired generations of skiers, and Klaus Obermeyer’s innovations and designs have made skiing (and snowboarding) more fun and safer for three quarters of a century.
One thing that’s remained constant since Warren and Klaus loaded into the coupe: “I’m still having fun,” says Klaus.