Known for his huge airs, progressive style, and genuine love for the mountains, professional snowboarder Chelone “Chilly” Miller continuously pushed the boundaries of snowboarding. Tragically, Chelone’s life story was unexpectedly concluded after passing away on April 7, 2013 from an epileptic seizure.
In a news release, the Sheriff’s Office confirmed that Miller “was found unresponsive in his van in the Mammoth Lakes area,” according to reports by the Mammoth Times.
In 2005, Chelone was in a serious dirt bike accident, leaving him in a coma for 11 days. Subsequently, he had experienced multiple seizures throughout his long recovery. Despite the tribulations of Chelone, he embraced life and continued to pursue his passion of sports, regardless of the risk.
The heartbreak was felt around the world today as the Miller family mourns the loss of a beloved son, brother and friend.
“He loved life so much; it made him easy to love and easy to be around,” Bode told The Ski Channel soon after the horrible news settled in. “I’m going to miss him a lot…”
With a natural knack for the snow, Chelone’s absolute athleticism was shared with older brother and Olympic gold medalist, Bode Miller. In an exclusive interview for The Story film, Chelone spoke of the special bond shared between him and his brother Bode:
“After my accident, we became a lot closer, because I think he realized he could lose his brother at any given point.”
Born and raised in a humble home in Easton, New Hampshire, Chelone was surrounded by snow with a loving family. Growing up on skis with his siblings, Chilly grew a deep respect for snow sports. Riding alongside his older brother Bode, Chelone dominated the slopes in backcountry, boardercross and slopestyle.
“I know my brother has a lot to offer in the way he thinks,” Bode said in The Story. ”I love being outside with him because he sees the beauty and the importance of experiencing the world the way it is.”
“All of us started on skis as soon as we could walk,” Chelone reminisced of his childhood and his newfound love. ”I started snowboarding when I was 9. I just immediately fell in love with it and was like, ‘ I’m gunna be a snowboarder!’ I just wanted to go bigger and bigger, and look for a bigger jump that I could hit. It feels like you’re flying for that much longer.”
Bode and Chelone starred in The Story, and shared their brotherly bond with the world. Photo: “The Story” film by The Ski Channel
Chelone’s absolute passion for the snow led him to Mammoth Lakes, California. After being noticed for his epic talent, Chelone became a Mammoth Mountain team member and was sponsored to freeride for Arbor Collective. Living a simple life in his van and with friends, Chelone did not require a luxurious lifestyle in order to experience real life through the love of snowboarding. His simplistic ways enabled him to freely ride at will, and enjoy the meaningful moments in the mountains.
Conquering massive jumps that might as well be mountains, Chelone constantly pushed his limits to boost a little higher every time. Recognized for his inspirational airs, Chelone was named Snowboard Magazine “SuperPark Standout” of 2009. His backcountry style was just as exemplary as his slopestyle as he was featured in Warren Miller film, Playground.
The Ski Channel was fortunate to work with Chelone and his brother Bode during the 2011 production for “ The Story.” A week’s worth of filming Chelone and Bode revealed a lifetime of true talent, passion and personality. Not only was Chilly a blast to hang out with, he was also humble and incredibly caring for every individual.
Chelone Miller shared the snow stoke with everyone he encountered and will forever be remembered for his one-of-a-kind character, and his everlasting love for the mountains.
Chelone Miller (brother of Bode Miller) died April 7, 2013. | Photo: “The Story” film by The Ski Channel
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Miller family and friends.