Author Archives: patliu

About patliu

Tristate U19 Head Race Coach

Tristate U19’s – A mixed ending to a great season

Hey U19’s!

It’s with mixed feelings that I write our season wrap up. On one hand, we had numerous racers qualify for U19 Eastern Finals @ Gore only to have the season abruptly end and the event cancelled suddenly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, we had great highlights as recently as our speed training on Upper & Lower Alley Cat & End of the Season Party. As we hunker down with closed schools, long lines/limited supplies at the grocery stores and the isolation “social distancing” creates, I’d like to highlight some of the great things that happened this past season with our amazing U19 Race Family.

U19 Eastern Finals @ Gore

Congratulations to the following on qualifying for U19 Eastern Finals this year! It was the result of all of your dedication and hard work this season!

Girls Emily Chudy, Clare Howard, Delphine Cohen, Winnie Mann, Frannie Mann, Ava Amuso & Chloe Gagnon (alt)

BoysDax Roy, Hayden Claussen, Ethan Leifer, Henry DiVecchio, & Oliver Thompson

Tristate End of the Year Party hosted by Colleen & John Manning

Big thanks to the Mannings for hosting the End of the Season Party, taking over the tradition from the Cashens, as Chris and his family deal with his torn ACL/lmeniscus. Thanks to Coach Troy, Coach Doug & Coach Mark for their input with the paper plate awards. If you weren’t able to come to the party just let me know and I’ll send you your paper plate award and Catamount Racing swag courtesy of the Parent Association. Thank you Winnie and Frannie for your awesome video! Perhaps you could upload it on Sprongo on our team page?

End of the Season Racer Evaluations

Your coaches have completed your evaluations for the 19-20 season. Please contact me through Remind to give me the email you would like to be shared the document otherwise it will be shared with your parents’ registered email. I’ve changed the format this year back to include coach feedback with an additional space to give your own. Your feedback will help to improve our training next season!

Congratulations on your hard work this season!

On behalf of all the U19 coaches, I’d like to extend a hearty congrats to everyone for their hard work this past season.  We’ve seen some great improvement in every racer on the team.  Some of you really worked on your “mental game”, while others were working on their carve on steeper terrain.  Some racers really improved your commitment of weight to the outside ski, while others worked on earlier pressure before the fall line and earlier release just after the fall line.  Some of you really improved your SL clearing technique while others really improved your pole plants which also helped your timing.  It was great to see is how motivated you all were and with such positive attitudes that you brought to the mountain every day of training.  It inspired us to work that much harder for you.

Thanks so much to Ski Patrol, Steve and the race crew for all of their help and organizing; bringing gates and B-netting up to the top of Upper & Lower Alley Cat and Race Slope as well as their help in setting up and breaking down fencing and courses. I know that we all appreciate how much the safety factor for all of our racers has improved this season.

Thanks so much to our volunteer photographer & videographer, Raphael Kummer-Landau. Not only did he video many of our practices to be posted on, but he set up an account on Smugmug (password: “catamount”) and uploaded close to 5,000 photos from the entire season. If you haven’t already, please consider contributing $10 or more for his work. Look for his account name: “@raphaelkl

Big thanks to Coach Colin & Coach Bruce for their leadership and “make things happen” attitude that’s enabled us to have a such a great season.

And finally a special thanks to the parents of our team.  You took care of registrations, drove to the mountain early in the morning and late at night, made sure that equipment was taken care of and ready for training and races, video’d our races, volunteered to set up and break down B-netting and courses (even in the rain!).  It is your support and help that makes our program possible!

Cheers to a great season and to the next! Take care of one another and be safe.

Coach Pat : )

U19+ Race Announcements: Bousquet 2/23 and Berkshire East 3/8

Hey all! This is from Mark Colman, our resident Tristate U19+ Chair:

To U19+ Athletes, Parents and Coaches:

A reminder that the final qualifying race of the season is this Sunday 2/23 at Bousquet, and this will be your last chance to improve your standings. The program is attached and on the Tri-State website. Please check that you’re registered before the late fee applies Thursday at noon.

As previously mentioned, due to the many race re-schedulings and some field size limits, qualification for the U19+ Eastern Finals at Gore (March 19-22) will now be based on the best 2 results, not 3. Preliminary rankings including the Blandford Parallel SL are attached and posted on the Tri-State website. While PSL is not scored for USSS points this season, we used it for internal ranking purposes since Gore plans to include a PSL event.

Tri-State has 42 guaranteed quota spots, which will be equally split by gender. We typically receive another dozen spots, so some alternates should be included. Final rankings will be posted early next week, with a confirmation requested by March 2. Team jackets (picture attached) will also be available for ordering. 

Looking ahead, Berkshire East will be hosting an open SL race on Sunday March 8. While this isn’t a qualifier for the post-season, it is scored and will be a great chance to stay in race mode over the next month.

Good luck and ski fast. 

Mark Colman

U19+ Competition Chair

Tristate U19’s Saturday SL Training, Sunday SL @ Ski Sundown

Saturday, February 8th – SL Training on Catamount

Please meet at the Quad @ 8:25am to warm up & stretch as a group. Take a warm up run towards Catamount and practice one ski skiing on the flat and Elephant Hops down the pitch with a pole plant. Cycle around until the course is ready to inspect. Any U19’s interested in helping Sonia, Charles, Doug and I set, please contact us through Remind and be ready for early load @ 8am.

Sunday, February 9th – SL Race @ Sundown

Just a reminder that registration ends at noon tomorrow!  Make sure to register at Here’s the info for the race!  Ski Sundown SL info.  Let’s meet up in the Great Room under the 2nd floor.

See you on the hill!

Coach Pat

“Ski Fast…Take Chances…”

Tristate U16/U19 Impromptu SL Practice Tomorrow and U19 Jiminy Peak Double Header!

Hey U19’s!

Coach Sonia, Coach Chris DiVecchio and Coach Mark will be at the mountain tomorrow afternoon around 4pm to set a practice SL course on Catamount. Please let Coach Sonia know via Remind if you plan on training tomorrow.

Also just a reminder the U19 Qualifier Double Header is this coming weekend at Jiminy Peak! Below is a link to the message we received from

Jiminy Peak Race Info

Also a reminder to have your edges sharpened and bases waxed, scraped and buffed!  Check out the hourly temperatures to give a general guide to the type of wax you should use. Foodie, Sylvie Cohen, has chosen Hotel on North in Pittsfield for dinner on Saturday night @ 6:45/7pm. Please contact her to let you know you are coming.  917-756-8255   297 NORTH STREET, PITTSFIELD, MASSACHUSETTS

Looking forward to seeing you all this weekend!  

Coach Pat  

“Ski fast…Take chances…”

U19 Parent Volunteers to B-net Lower Alley Cat @ 8:30am!

Hey Parents!

Can you please contact me ASAP that you are able to help set B-netting tomorrow on Lower Alley Cat so I can put you in teams with the Race Crew? Please board the Quad @ 8:30am and wait at the Pump House until a Race Crew member takes you on their B-net team. If you see any rolls of B-netting in the flat off Sidewinder, please bring it down to the start.

Thanks in advance for your amazing help!!!

Coach Pat

(914)882-1403 (c) or on Remind or

“Many Hands…Light Load”

Tristate U19 GS training Saturday; GS race @ Wachusett Mtn Sunday; Remaining U19’s SL training Sunday!

Hey Parents and Racers!

It’s been an incredibly busy few weeks for me personally and I have to apologize for my sparse posts. I just want all the parents and racers to know just how grateful I am of all of your hard work and willingness to pitch in whether its showing up on time, volunteering to video at races, breaking down and slipping courses and of course B-netting. The upside of getting all of the new fencing is that the safety factor for all of our children has gone way up. The downside of course is … well you know.

This Saturday the U19’s will be alone on Lower Alley Cat with only Colin, Bruce, Doug, Troy and the Race Crew to set the course and put up almost 30 panels of B-netting. We can really use everyone’s help in setting up the fencing. Can parents please help us with this huge task by boarding the Quad @ 8:30am, dragging rolls of B-netting to the start, and/or grabbing a drill from the pump house and in teams of 2 or 3 help with setting up B-netting? Colin & Bruce have gotten the ok to leave the fencing up overnight for the U12’s/14’s so that they can train on Lower Alley on Sunday. Your continued effort & support inspires me to work even harder for us.

GS training Saturday on Lower Alley Cat

Please bring your GS gear and meet at the Quad at 8:25am to warm up/stretch & take a warm up run!  Swing by the start to check with Doug, Troy, Colin & Bruce to inspect

GS race @ Wachusett Mtn Sunday

Check in begins at 7:30am.  Please click here for race day details

SL training Sunday on Catamount

Please bring your SL gear and meet at the Quad at 8:25am to warm/stretch & take a warm up run! Swing by the course to check with Pat, Doug, Troy & Mark to inspect.


Coach Pat

“Many Hands…Lighter Load”

Tristate U16 & U19 Berkshire East Schaefer Cup SL Qualifier tomorrow!

Hey Catamount racers!
Registration at the Beast starts at 7am on the 2nd floor of the main lodge. Course inspection begins around 8am and the race begins at the end of inspection around 9am. Make sure to get there early so your racer can get a proper inspection of the course. They are responsible for making their way to the start BEFORE their bib # is called. If a racer misses their start, they will automatically be placed at the end of the run. The order of this race is as follows:  Women first, then Men. Seeding will be based upon current USSA points by discipline. Random Seed Draw for the 15 athletes with the lowest points. 990s will be randomly seeded after racers with points. Second run start order will be flip 30 format based upon first run finish time. DSQ/DNF will be random draw after seeded racers.  At the end of the 1st run, the course is reset and then opened for inspection. The 2nd run usually begins about an hour after the last racer finishes from the 1st run.

Since B-Netting had to be taken down before the storm, it will have to set before the race begins. They are still hoping for a 9am start but be prepared if there’s a delay.

U19 Coach’s Pat, Troy, Doug and Mark and U16 Coach’s Sonia, Charles and Greg will be at the race! Please see your coaches for inspection instructions.

Good luck to everyone!

Coach Pat and Coach Sonia

Tristate U16 & U19 Holiday Race Camp wrap up

Hey all!

In spite of the weather and challenging snow conditions we had some excellent training this week! We saw great improvement with pole planting and timing, refamiliarizing ourselves with combinations and changing pitch and turn shape in SL on Thursday and Friday. We also saw big improvements in turn shape, early pressure and course tactics in GS on Saturday and Sunday.

Thanks so much to all of our racers and the Parent Ambassadors with their eagerness to learn, share, to help slip, roll B-netting, and break down courses. As a group we saw some real teamwork and cooperation at all levels.

Special thanks to our directors, Bruce Diamond, Colin Bargar, and Steve Adams, Guest Coach, John Borwick, from Berkshire School, Greg Meindl for traveling to World Cup Supply at 4am to transport new gates and B-netting, Michael Leifer for organizing the Parent Ambassadors and Raphael Kummer-Landau for his tireless work videoing and photographing the racers throughout the week.

Raphael is not being compensated by the mountain for his work. Please consider contributing $10/family (or more) for his time and effort. U16’s should see Coach Sonia and U19’s should see me ASAP!

Click here for Raphael’s Race Camp Pix on SmugMug (password: “catamount”)

Please see Coach Sonia and Coach Pat for access to video on

A reminder that we will conclude our week of training tomorrow with a Tuning Clinic/Pizza Party tomorrow at 12 noon in the Taconic Lodge. Please bring your tuning equipment/dropcloths, skis and knowledge to share. Bruce and Colin will also be there to provide video analysis of the week’s video footage (provided by “Coach” Raphael).

See you all tomorrow!

On behalf of U16 Coaches Charles & Greg, U19 Coaches Troy, Doug, Mark & Lars, thanks for a memorable week!

Coach Pat and Coach Sonia

Tristate U19 Update!

Hey U19 Parents and Racers!

Welcome to the 19-20 season! Your coaches are very excited to meet and work with you to improve your skills and get faster!  Your coaches this year are:  myself, Troy Amuso, Doug Mann, Mark Colman & Lars Andersson.

We’ve had some great work by all on Sunday, Dec 15 on fundamentals with the focus on balance & stance while getting our ski legs back; and this past weekend as we worked on an active inside ski and the role of a pole plant in SL stubbies and full gates.

Holiday Race Camp

Race camp this year begins on Thursday, December 26th and ends on Monday, December 30th.  Be prepared to ski SL on Thursday & Friday with pole guards, shin and chin guards.  Our first race will be GS on Monday, December 30,  and SL on Tuesday, December 31 @ Berkshire East (Beast).  So we will begin GS specific gate training for it Saturday and Sunday.  Training on Monday will TBA.  There will be no official training from December 31 – Jan 3.

Tuning & Equipment

Just a few notes for the start to the season.  First, make sure that your equipment is properly tuned and waxed.  SL skis should be tuned to a 0.5 (or 1) degree base bevel and 3 degree side bevel.  GS skis should be tuned to a 1 degree base bevel and 3 degree side bevel. This should first be done by a reputable ski shop.  In lower Westchester, I recommend Hickory & Tweed and Pedigree Ski shops (Pedigree has a new Wintersteiger machine!).  Up near the mountain we currently recommend Mike Steven’s Black Diamond Tuning Shop and are looking to others as well.  Boots should not only fit correctly but should have the appropriate flex.  Please ask your coaches if you have any questions regarding equipment.

Video and Still Photography

Special thanks to Raphael Kummer-Landau for volunteering to take video and stills of training at Catamount.  Stills will be available through the following link:  SmugMug link (password:  “catamount”).  I encourage your racer to purchase a training bib through Raphael Kummer-Landau and Ethan Leifer to more easily identify them during video sessions.

Video analysis will be conducted at the end of each training day in the Taconic Lodge at 2pm and available at by email invitation.  If you’re not a member yet, please contact me with your email address.

Finally we really need parent volunteers to take video during our races.  Not only is it great visual feedback for our racers afterward but also proof that our racers did not DSQ or DNF if a protest is needed.  Please let me know if you’re able to help out the team this season!

Looking forward to a great season with your continued support!

Coach Pat

“Ski fast…Take chances”

Tristate Racers – Last 4 races of the season @ Whiteface! And a summer training opportunity from John Borwick @ Berkshire School

Hey all!

  1.  Registration ends tomorrow on for the Alumni double header GS this Saturday and SL this Sunday @ Whiteface. Click Here.
  2. The following is an email to me from John Borwick, Head Alpine Coach @ Berkshire School:


I hope all is well and that you’re ramping into the Spring season.  Again, if you have any athletes, (and 2nd year U14’s wanting to get into a scored race) headed to Whiteface this weekend and need representation, let me know.  I’ve copied Mark Colman as well in this missive, since the Whiteface races might be a great opportunity to “score” that last …four races of the season!!!  The GS is scheduled for Saturday, first race kicks off at 9am, followed by the 2nd run….2nd GS race starts at 12:30pm.  Speed dating, but again a great opportunity to compete, and for the 2nd year U14’s…a chance to gain a point profile before they become 1st year U16’s, which means starting way, way up at their first race in 2019-2020 season in December.
Anyway and as discussed, I wanted to pitch you on the camp options for Catamount kids for the summer, and I guess Thanksgiving as well.
I’ve taken the liberty to attach the camp message I sent to my athletes and families earlier this winter (at the bottom).  I’ll send you a few additional emails sent to the athletes and parents as to the pre-camp, get-your-mind around type of training that helps prep the kids so they can immediately get the most out of the camps.
By and far, US Elite Camps are the best options I see for any athlete, and family.  I’d met Edry (Camp Director) when I’d been hired as a U16/14 coach at SMS, yet coming from Rocky/Central, I didn’t know him at all.  Through the years, and now that I’m at Berkshire School, Edry’s camps are by and far above “most” insofar as what the athletes’ receive, and the governance in the care, custody and control of someone else’ children.  Edry has developed a process which is akin to what we provided at the academy level insofar as a learning process, wrapped in a totally awesome summer camp feel.
Most camp coaches are static on the hill, usually hanging out atop or at the bottom with a “great job, do it again” profile, in which our coaches lap with their group/athletes at all times so there’s constant attention and focus as to the plan.  Most coaches also “coach” by only providing a reactive glimpse as to an athlete’s run and while we can react, there’s a planned progression.  Our coaches meet ahead of time to set up, and then daily and repeatedly remind the athletes throughout the training block to ensure that the athletes can make positive changes in their skiing.  As you know, it’s adherence to the process, that takes care of a better result, yet the process needs to have a defined progression of learning, rather than random pointers when the kid finishes a training run.
In addition, I’ve attached an evaluation used at summer camp for one of my athletes (thus I’m allowed to share it), but it’s representative of the depth and breadth that our camps use, in which to help create a cleaner and easier path towards an athlete’s potentials in this sport.
The last part about Edry’s coaches, this is what we do… I’d rather not compare coaches to other camps, yet Edry has put together a group of coaches who coach for a living.  Most of us, worked with Edry at a ski academy, thus the familiarity is one thing,… the direction on hill blows it out of the park!
For Summer, we’re headed to Hood and Saas Fee.  Hood we usually have Lanes 2 or 3 on Palmer, and one on Celeb.  They offer the longest, and most consistent fall-lane.  At Hood, kids can also test equipment, thus we as coaches can help with this process, and provide evaluations as to what we feel is the best option for their particular type of skiing, as to what to buy (size, radius, brand, etc).  If you look at the eval attachment, Charlotte was on a 145cm SL and a 152cm GS, which based upon my thoughts, her testing, and her confidence and power, we moved her to a 155cm slalom and a 176cm GS and kills both!  Parents thought I was nuts Pat to move her that much, and even went back to their coach from the previous year.  Point is, the camp takes the time to really evaluate the best equipment for each athlete.
Another thought, is the Copper Camp, which we do at Thanksgiving.  Similar to Hood, we’ve been going for so many years to Copper that Edry has the first request for lane space and times of training.  In fact, we know our lanes and time in October thus a 9am lane and a lane right after lunch, and for those who know Copper, Upper and Lower far left and Lower Middle for all of our GS training, and then a few lanes on the downhill for SL, skiers far right on Onno Bowl.  This offers us the best track, conditions, appropriate pitch to-age-class-specific-training, and the best light.  Insane when I watch other camps trying to navigate injected snow on the downhill, with U14’s, who are trying to survive, rather than learning anything.  Our lanes are appropriate for the age-class and level of skier, thus they learn!
The beauty of Copper, is that parents can attend, in which the family stays locally, thus the athlete meets their group at 7am for breakfast, video and then train all day before returning to their parents after the 2nd session on snow.  They can also join us for the post-training fun with indoor wallyball, snowsports or yoga.  For families who don’t travel with their children, we offer a full-boarding option and offer chaperoned flights (Boston, Hartford and NYC), then 24/7 supervision with condos and all meals.  We run a Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday evening, complete with an awards presentation.  The camp is sponsored by SYNC, Rossignol, Head, POC and others, thus really cool swag and stuff for all.
Anyway, doesn’t scratch the surface, but it would be great if you could promote the camp to your athletes and families.
Let me know if any questions and thank you for your support.
c: 608-234-8940

John Borwick
Head Alpine Coach – (NEPSAC / USSA / FIS)
245 North Undermountain Road, Sheffield, Ma 01257  
———- Forwarded message ———
From: John Borwick <>
Date: Thu, Feb 7, 2019 at 7:40 PM
Subject: BSST – USSA Summer Camp Options 2019
To: Berkshire Ski Team, SkiParents
To:  BSST USSA Athletes and Families 
Re: Summer Ski Camps
Hello all,
While seemingly a bit early, we wanted to update you all regarding the on-snow Summer camps, and the early bird discount opportunities! 
For the benefit of the BSST, we have two camp options for the Summer of 2019!   We recognize that your time over the summer quickly fills up with SAT tutors, lacrosse camp, trips with mom and dad, summer reading….thus our two camp options occur at different times in the summer, thus something may work for your schedule !
Like all things in life, the more anyone works on their craft, the greater chances they will find successes in that field.  The basis is that any additional time on snow, and in a fun and progressive teaching environment, is the cornerstone of forward development in this sport.
US Elite Camps – USA –
  • Location:  Mt Hood, Oregon
  • 2019 Dates  
  • June 25th through July 5th (8 days on snow)  
  • June 25th through July 10th  (12 days on snow).
  • All-inclusive – transportation from/to PDX Airport, Lodging, Food, Coaching, Training, Lift Tickets and a day of White Water Rafting.
US Elite Camps – Switzerland –
  • Location:  Saas Fee, Switzerland
  • 2019 Dates:
  • July 23rd through August 6th  (10 days on snow).
  • All-inclusive – transportation to Saas Fee, lodging, meals, tickets, off hill, Zermatt trip, coaching and skiing.
  • Travel from US to CH organized by US Elite.  
As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns in regards to these camps.  Ideally, it would be best to attend one of the summer options, and then ramp up for gate racing at the November Thanksgiving Camp.  The November project allows any athlete the ability to compete immediately following our exams, rather than trying to piece-meal training over the December break.  The reality on the latter, is that most often, your son or daughter will not get the amount of training gate time in which compete by the end of December.
Coach Borwick
c: 608-234-8940