BCA Pro Athlete Berkeley Patterson
BCA would like to congratulate three members of our athlete team: Trace Cooke, Berkeley Patterson, and Grifen Moller, on qualifying for the 2017-2018 Freeride World Tour. The opportunity to compete on the Tour is one of the most sought after prizes in big mountain skiing. Next year, these three riders will compete on some of the world’s most extreme faces among some of the biggest names in big mountain skiing. This interview with Berkeley Patterson is part 3 of a 3-part interview series with the three BCA athletes who have qualified for next year’s FWT.
- Name: Berkeley “Berserkeley” Patterson
- Age: 18
- Hometown: Seattle, Washington
- Home Mountain: Crystal Mountain, Washington
- Sponsors: Blizzard Skis, Tecnica Boots, Giro Snow, Intuition Liners and Backcountry Access
2016- 2017 Competition Highlights
- 1st in the Revelstoke Freeride World Qualifier 4*
- 2nd in the Taos Freeride World Qualifier 4*
- 4th in the Kicking Horse Freeride World Qualifier 4*
I grew up skiing at Crystal Mountain. Starting in the racing program, I made my transition to freeride in the 8th grade. Ski racing builds a lot of really solid fundamentals. It didn’t take long for me to get tired of the race program. It’s pretty hard to train gates all day when there is foot of new snow and all of your buddies are skiing pow. That’s basically where I found freeride. Since then, I’ve been competing in big mountain freeride competitions every season.
I feel really lucky to have grown up skiing at Crystal Mountain. Crystal has some pretty amazing terrain and a really low key vibe. Now that I’m not living in Seattle, going home to shred at Crystal is always a treat.
Last season, I moved out to California to join the freeride team with the Sugarbowl Academy. Up until last season, I was basically a weekend warrior. It was really great to be at the academy where I could get on snow whenever I wanted. The opportunity to ski everyday was what really allowed me to progress to the level of skiing that I am at today. Big shout out to everyone at Sugarbowl Academy. Great coaches, great environment. I can’t say enough good things about that program.
Berkeley Patterson going absolutely massive skiing off a rock on a backflip in Tahoe.
Right now, I am wrapping up my freshman year at Quest University in Squamish, B.C. As a school, Quest is pretty unique. Classes are all on a block plan, meaning that instead of taking 5 classes over a semester, you take one class for three and one-half weeks. One of the biggest reasons that I went to Quest was because I was accepted into the Quest LEAP program. The LEAP program, was designed to allow athletes to still pursue their sport while earning a degree. As a part of the LEAP program, in addition to a scholarship, I get early registration for classes and I can take months off of school when I need to compete. Thanks to the LEAP program, I am able to compete and get up to Whistler as much as I want.
Having the opportunity to ski at Whistler this year has been pretty unreal. Living in Squamish, I can be on the lift up at Whistler in under an hour. The terrain is absolutely incredible. You ride up the Peak Chair and every direction you look, there are these incredible lines. That said, it’s been pretty weird to transition from growing up at a more local ski area like Crystal to now skiing at a big corporate resort like Whistler. The corporate vibe of Whistler is not something that I am a huge fan of, but otherwise I’ve been really loving it.
After school ends, my plan is to try and find a job down at Mount Hood. That way, I can ski all summer, skate in the afternoons, and make some money before heading over to Europe for the tour. I really like to skateboard. In addition to the skiing at Timberline, the area around Mt. Hood has some really great skate parks. These days, I’m trying to get into the gym more. But for the past few years, skating has been my biggest form of offseason training for skiing. I’ve found that skating is really good for my balance, which helps a lot with my skiing.
Berkeley Patterson tosses a HUGE flatspin over the old Highway 40 road gap near Donner Pass, CA.
Thoughts on Competing:
I am really stoked on how my competition season ended up this year. Competing can be really hard. It can get really frustrating to have several competitions not go as planned. This year was my first really successful competition season. I started off the season with a win in Revelstoke and then had two more solid results with a 2nd at Taos and a 4th at Kicking Horse.
Next year, given the level of competition on the tour, I feel like I’ll have to really go all out to be competitive. A lot of athletes take a conservative approach to competing. But that has never been my style. There are so many big names on the tour… such a high level of competition, that I really cannot afford to be conservative. That said, the competition venues on the tour are not like anything that I’ve ever skied before.
The Bec De Rosses isn’t like anything that you can ski in North America. The level of exposure and steepness on the Bec is pretty hard to match. I’m definitely a little nervous, but more than anything, I’m excited.
Thanks for chatting with us Berkeley! We at BCA are extremely excited to see what you’ll do on the tour next year. Best of luck!
Follow Berkeley: Instagram: @berkeleypatterson
Interview and profile by Jack Beighle.