Warren Miller Day and Adaptive Spirit Annual Event to overlap on Saturday, April 7 | VailDaily.com

Warren Miller Day and Adaptive Spirit Annual Event to overlap on Saturday, April 7

From left is Warren Miller with his family Dottie, Scoot, Chris and Kurt in Sun Valley, Idaho, in 1962. Kurt Miller is helping to plan Warren Miller Day in Vail and will be attending the festivities on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7, culminating with a legacy celebration at Mid-Vail, with live music and guest speakers from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Special to the Daily


​Win two tickets to the Warren Miller Day VIP reception at the Colorado Snowsports Museum by sending an email to jlaconte@vaildaily.com by 8 a.m. Friday morning detailing what Warren Miller meant to you. Winners will be notified by noon on Friday. The private event takes place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 6, at the Colorado Snowsports Museum.

Warren Miller Day

Saturday, April 7

3 p.m. — Commemorative ski down Vail Mountain from the top of Mountain Top Express (Chair No. 4) to Mid-Vail.

4 to 6 p.m. — Legacy Celebration at Sarge’s Mid-Vail, with live music and guest speakers and cash bar and appetizers for sale. All guests must download Gondola One to Vail Village at 6 p.m.

3 p.m. to close — Legacy After Party Celebrations at Bridge Street Bar, Pepi’s and Vendetta’s in Vail Village; Tavern on the Square and the Vail Chophouse in Lionshead Village; and Coyote Cafe in Beaver Creek.

Chris Waddell will be in Vail this weekend, but he might not be so easy to catch up with.

As Warren Miller Day collides with the biggest fundraiser of the year for skiers and snowboarders on the U.S. Paralympic Team, Waddell will be a busy man.

After breaking his back in a skiing accident in 1988, Waddell made a name for himself at the 1994 Paralympics when he won all four alpine events.

He was then featured in the Warren Miller film “Vertical Reality” later that year.

“He was always a big supporter of the adaptive team,” Waddell said of Miller. “For him, skiing was such a sense of freedom, when he saw other people who were gaining a sense of freedom from the sport, who you might not consider having that kind of freedom, that really embodied what the sport meant to him.”

Waddell said in his mind, Warren Miller and Vail will always be connected.

“I met him for the first time on the Ledges run, on a powder day,” Waddell said. “I heard him say something that was directly from one of his movies, and I almost fell over thinking, ‘That was Warren Miller.’”

Later, after getting to know Miller and working together on “Vertical Reality,” Waddell would join Miller and Vail local Sarah Will for a book signing at the top of China Bowl in Two Elk Restaurant.

Miller wanted all signings to be from himself, Will and Waddell.

“I think we felt like we were desecrating his book by signing it,” Waddell said with a laugh. “But he thought it was the coolest thing ever.”


The Paralympic Team fundraiser is known as the Adaptive Spirit Annual Event, a decades-old gathering which doubles as a telecom industry conference, attracting thousands.

Waddell calls it the life blood of the Paralympic Team.

“It’s the kind of support that gives us a sense of validation with the corporate world in particular,” Waddell said.

The conference has led to industry breakthroughs in telecom services available for disabled individuals in the United States, and it also raises about $1 million for the team every year.

“It’s a great interaction,” Waddell said.

That event will already be underway as Warren Miller Day attendees arrive for the Friday, April 6, Warren Miller Day kickoff event at the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. The Vail Daily will be giving away two tickets to the invite-only event at noon Friday; the party goes from 5:30 to 7 p.m. that evening.

A day later on Saturday, April 7, the Adaptive Spirit Annual Event culminates with a pro-am style ski race in Ski & Snowboard Club Vail’s race arena at Golden Peak starting at 10 a.m.

Warren Miller Day will begin at 3 p.m. on Saturday, about an hour after the racing concludes on Golden Peak. Warren Miller Day revelers are invited to start at the top of Mountain Top Express Chair 4 for a group ski down to Mid-Vail at 3:30 p.m.; the party will then continue on past the close of the mountain, and everyone will ride down Gondola One as things conclude around 6 p.m. Festivities will then spill over into Vail Village at Pepi’s, Vendetta’s and Bridge Street Bar, and Tavern on the Square and the Chophouse in Lionshead Village. In Beaver Creek, check out Warren Miller films and celebrate at the Coyote Cafe.

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