Cultus Lake native Jesse Howden flies down the course in Kappl, Austria during the Freeride World Junior Championship.

Howdens home after busy ski season

Jesse and Reece were podium regulars in high-level regional, national and international events.

Skiing sensations Jesse and Reece Howden are back in the Fraser Valley after spending the last few months traveling the world.

Jesse’s journeys on the freeride circuit took him to Kappl, Austria in late March for the Freeride World Junior Championship. The 17 year old was fifth best in a field of 32, accumulating 74.3 points on a run down Quellspitze.

The course started at 2,736 metres above sea level and dropped 436 metres on the way to the finish.

Jesse was one of four Canadians in the mix. Fellow Canuck Ben Woodward finished second with 79.6 points. The winner, Dylan Lavenex from Switzerland, had 88.0 points.

Jesse had a very productive season on the Freeride World Tour, competing in regional events. He was fourth at Whistler in January, first at Big White (Kelowna) in February, fourth at Crystal Mountain (Washington State) and first at Mt. Baker (Washington State).

“Being at the world juniors in Austria was a great experience,” Jesse said. “It was my first time in Europe, and my first time competing in freeride at the world class level. I was super stoked with my result and overall it was a great experience.”

Jesse’s brother, Reece, turned in eye-popping results in ski-cross, winning gold in the Nor-Am Series to secure himself a spot on the 2018-19 World Cup circuit.

The 20 year old stood on the podium six times during the 2017-18 season. He won two season-opening races at the Kaniska Ski Resort in Banff, Alberta and rolled from there.

Reece took top spot at a race at the Sugarloaf Mountain Resort in Maine and captured gold at Nor-Am Nationals, which were held at the Red Mountain Resort in Rossland, B.C.

“I was super excited about being able to win both races at Nakiska and those wins were what really made me believe I could win the NorAm cup title,” Reece said. “After that I just kept skiing as fast as I could and had some great results. I was nervous heading into the NorAm Cup finals at Red Mountain but I really focused and I’m happy with how the season ended.”

Reece went overseas for two events, finishing second and fourth at two Europa Cup races in Mittenwald, Germany.

He was also on site for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, as a course runner.

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