Jann Wenner At Full Speed

The Purveyor of Rock ’N’ Roll:
How Skiing Saved Jann Wenner, founder of Rolling Stone

It’s midwinter in Sun Valley, ID, 8:30 a.m., bluebird and cold. It snowed an inch or two last night. Snow squeaks underneath our boots as we walk to the lift, anticipation of those first turns quickening our stride. Our breaths puff crystalline clouds into the cold air. We drop our skis on the snow and step in. Thump. Thump. Click. Click. There’s no lift line. Hardly ever is. The smiling mustached liftie scans our passes. Beep. Beep. Recognition comes with a quick glance up. 

“Good morning, Jann!” It’s a familiar conversation. Not everyone in Sun Valley knows who Jann Wenner is, but a lot of them do. The place is full of baby boomers who grew up reading Wenner’s magazine, Rolling Stone, religiously, just like this happy liftie.

“Morning, Bob,” Jann replies and I can’t tell if he knows Bob the liftie personally or is just reading his nametag. “How many days is it today?”… 

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