Two siblings from Bowen Island moved to Rossland this fall to join the Red Mountain Racers and are having a great experience so far — they even had the chance to act as flag bearers at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Ladies Downhill opening ceremonies earlier this month.
Avery Jones, 12, and Holden Jones, 14, have both been skiing for 10 years and skied competitively on Bowen Island, but moved to Rossland to train with the Red Mountain Racers and “to have a year of outdoor adventure.”
The move has made a big difference for the Joneses, who used to take the ferry from Bowen Island to train at Cypress Mountain on the mainland four times a week.
“It’s a lot easier now,” says Holden.
Now the Joneses live on the mountain and can easily train and attended classes in Rossland.
Avery is attending Rossland Summit School and Holden is at the Seven Summits Centre for Learning, which allows him more time to train.
“It’s a bit different than the other school I was in, but it’s more independent,” says Holden.
The Joneses say they’re enjoying living in Rossland so far and have found everyone very welcoming.
They also have a familial connection to Rossland and Red Mountain — their grandfather, Dr. Robert Jones, was a Red Mountain ski patrol member from 1955 to 1958.
And joining the Red Mountain Racers has opened up more opportunities for both of the young skiers.
For Avery, training with the Red Mountain Racers has meant being on a smaller team.
“It’s a lot better because we had a huge team before and I get more time on the hill as well, which is good,” she says.
Whereas Holden didn’t have many skiers in his age category on Bowen Island.
“I didn’t really have much of a team before and that’s why we had to leave because there was nobody else that would be in my age group, so now there’s more U16s,” he says.
Skiing with more people his age will give Holden the opportunity to attend more events and make more friends.
Avery is hoping to qualify for the Whistler Cup this year. The international event takes place in April and Avery will find out whether or not she’s qualified sometime in the new year.
Her older brother has participated in the event the past two years.
This year Holden has moved up to U16 and his goal is just to go to as many races as possible.
He’s also preparing to participate in Super-G, or super giant slalom, for the first time.
It was also the head coach of the Red Mountain Racers, Phil Patterson, who gave the Joneses the opportunity to be flag bearers at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup Ladies Downhill opening ceremonies.
Both Avery and Holden enjoyed meeting talented racers at the event and Avery got her goggles signed by a lot of the athletes.