Calling all Red Mountain Racers Alumni

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
January 8th, 2009

While Rossland may be best known for the millions of dollars’ worth of gold that came out of Red Mountain last century, the Red Mountain Racers and a dedicated team of volunteers are working hard to showcase a whole different kind of gold that came not from beneath the surface but from the snowy slopes of Red Mountain.

Over three days in early February (the 6th, 7th and 8th), the Red Mountain Racers will be offering what promises to be a memorable weekend celebrating the long history of the most successful downhill ski club in North America. Acting as the first real organized reunion of former Red Mountain Racers, friends, and alumni, resident ski mom and volunteer Tauna Butler has been working hard with a team of volunteers to celebrate the long time ski racing tradition in Rossland.

From the original days of Olaus Jeldness, who won gold in the first ever Canadian national ski race, the well known exploits of now senator Nancy Greene, through the early 90’s Olympic Gold of Kerrin Lee-Gartner to today’s up and coming ski stars, as long as there has been snow-covered mountains and people to ski them, Rosslanders have been bombing down the slopes at breakneck speeds.

“I’ve been involved with the club for six or seven years now, and I just noticed that we’ve never really invited our alumni people back,” observed Butler. “We have such a legacy of skiers and we’ve never said, ‘Hey, we’d love to see you again. Please come back, please see who our new racers are, and try and connect the old with the new.’”

Connecting the old with the new is a major focus of the event along with celebrating our ski racing heritage that helped to not just raise our youth, but to raise national, world and Olympic champions rivalling the best in the world.

“The fact that some of the kids now don’t know who for instance Don Stevens was. He raced on the national team and so did his father and now his children are in the club, so we’ve got three generations of racers in some instances. I don’t know of that many clubs around that have that kind of legacy,” added Butler.

Along with the many former racers in town, the club has put the word out to its alumni and will draw back some of its big stars along with some of the older skiers from several generations back. The event dates themselves were set around the availability of Kerrin Lee-Gartner who will be in town for the event.

“Some very senior people who raced before Nancy Greene have confirmed that they are coming, the Al Fisher kind of age group. We’re working on Nancy Greene. Lindsay Roberts is coming back, and we have a lot of great ones in town as it is such as David Stevens and Brian Fry. We’ve got a plan to put boards up for each decade so people can put their name up under their decade to help them reconnect with the others in their era,” said Butler.

The three day event will kick off with an informal meet-and-greet at Rafters, a must for any ex-Rosslander returning home. Saturday will feature the “Old Gate Days” dual slalom and then Saturday night at RSS there will be a gala evening combining an auction, food, reminiscences, and guaranteed good times. Tickets for the event are available at Rossland Pro Hardware and the 300 available tickets are expected to sell out. Everyone is welcome to the event from volunteers to friends of the race club.

If you’ve got some old ski gear / racing memorabilia tucked away in your tickle trunk, organizers encourage you to dig out whatever era racing paraphernalia you may have to fully get into the spirit of the reunion.

“I’d like to encourage people if they have an old Red Mountain Racer jacket or hat if they could dig through their old ski box and wear any of their old memorabilia that would be so fantastic. People are already saying “Yeah I still have my toques that my mom knitted me.” Apparently in the old days at the club you got your jacket and then you got your knitting pattern and your parents had to knit you a red mountain racers hat.” Concluded Butler

For event information, go to:


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