HENNIKER, New Hampshire — Henniker native Kristen Ulmer, now a long time Utah resident, still calls Henniker and Pats Peak home. Her face has graced numerous magazine covers, her feats have been recorded for the big screen and she is known worldwide as one of the Best Extreme/Freeskier ever. For 12 years Kristen was named the best female big mountain skier in the world and is now considered by Outside Magazine the “Ski Guru.” But today her passion is her unique “Ski to Live” program.
Pats Peak’s WOW, Women’s Only Wednesday, program featured a morning session with Kristen Ulmer. On Wednesday, January 14th, Kristen Ulmer came back to Pats Peak for the second year in a row to give a taste of her “Ski to Live” Program. She presented to the women of the program a morning discussion based around her groundbreaking 4-day clinic, which combines wisdom found in 2600 years of Zen, with skiing or snowboarding. Her program has been hosted for the last six years at Snowbird, Alta, Deer Valley and Park City resorts, and has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Forbes and Outside Magazine.
Kristen learned to ski at Pats Peak while growing up in Henniker. Her father was a professor at New England College, where skiing at Pats Peak was part of the deal. After high school, Kristen went west to the University of Utah. Amazingly, in just three years she became a member of the US Moguls team and then the most famous women extreme skier. Then she decided to stop it all and founded “Ski to Live”.
During her morning discussion with the WOW women, Ulmer gave a brief introduction into aspects of the self, of which there are 10,000 (suggesting the aspects are infinite-or as many as can be thought up). This discussion focused on the protector, controller and fear.
Ulmer went out skiing with the WOW groups to help them embrace fear. Before each run, Ulmer talked about “being fear” through various techniques of her Zen program.
“I learned that nothing would be exciting without fear. Fear is necessary for excitement in life, said Kristin Gadbois of Bow, a participant in the WOW Program.
Jessica Pollack of Concord said about the session, “As a beginner skier, I felt that her talk about being fear and accepting fear made me feel lighter while I was skiing my last run.”
For more information about Kristen Ulmer’s “Ski to Live” clinics visit www.kristenulmer.com.
The WOW Program still has six weeks left and the Pats Peak Ski/Snowboard Instructors hope to make it as every bit as exciting and rewarding as previous gatherings. Typically, WOW starts off at 9am with a continental breakfast and an exciting morning discussion-designed specifically for women. Discussion topics include: skiing/snowboarding fears and risk factors, yoga, skiing/riding exercises, nutrition, strength & power, stance and balance, physical and psychological gender differences, confidence building, equipment and boot fitting, and video analysis to enhance basic skills and improve personal skiing/snowboarding. Program rental equipment options are available. Children whose parents are participating in the Adult Clinic can join the Cub’s Club Child Care at Pats Peak. After morning discussions, participants head out onto the slopes for on-hill clinics taught by women only. The morning ends with a delicious lunch with instructors, allowing students and instructors to discuss their morning on the slopes.
Women skiers and snowboarders are welcome to come and discover more about the program. They just need to sign up at the Pats Peak Ski School Desk to “Try the Program” for a daily fee of $60 per day. After the one-day trial they may consider participating in the entire program next year. For more information on this program, call the Pats Peak Ski School at 1-888-PATS-PEAK (728-7732).