There was a fine retirement party last night … with food and an open bar! (thank you Telluride Helitrax owner Todd Herrick) …
Three of the four Telluride Helitrax originals. Dave Bush, Speed Miller and Mike Friedman. (Mark Frankman MIA)
Speed (Brian) Miller recently retired from Helitrax after 36 years in the saddle. A long and storied career for a guy that came to Telluride in the mid 70’s to ski bum & survive. He along with Mike Friedman, Dave Bush and Mark Frankman became friends in the early years of a broken down mining community that was evolving into a ski resort and started Telluride Helitrax in 1983 against all odds, a dry continental snow climate and no money. What were they thinking? They sold the company in 1999 and Speed continued guiding another 20 years without an accident which is a real feat considering most snow-safety pros would probably bet against a heliski operation’s success in this historically unstable snowpack.
My cap (along with many others) is off to this guy that brought and developed a very unique set of skills that enabled him to successfully enjoy a long, safe and colorful career accented with style. He’s dodged the odds in spite of skiing 120 days a season. Clients and fellow guides I think would agree, Mr. Miller is like an old Buick Roadmaster, a classic, genuine original. Christ, the guy is a legend!
A Roadmaster in Havana
Speed celebrating with Lisa Issenberg
“There we were .. no shit!” Dave Bush and Speed share a glass and a lie.
Helitrax owner, Todd Herrick roasts Speed while reading from the original Helitrax Operations Manuel
photo credit: Mike Friedman
thirty six years
so many turns ~
now unchartered horizon
& some photo credit
A great line from the movie, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, “when the legend becomes fact, print the legend.”
It could have been a retirement watch that put Speed out to pasture, but Helitrax gave him custom made Wagner Skis. If you look closely at the top sheet of the Memorabilia Skis you see tall tales and stories from the Rolling Stones to Speed’s beginning and expiration dates. Very cool.
Jane Miller photo credit