Kristen Ulmer, Off Season

By Wendy Clinch •  Updated: 05/27/09 •  3 min read

Ever wonder how a genuine Ski Diva keeps in shape during the off season?

We did, too, so we asked one:

Kristen Ulmer.

A pioneer of the extreme sports movement, Kristen was a mogul specialist for the US Ski Team in the ’90’s and appeared in a number of ski movies, jumping off cliffs and making heart-thumping, jaw-dropping, knee-knocking descents on some of the world’s gnarliest terrain. She’s been named by both the media and her peers as the world’s best big mountain (extreme) skier and overall woman skier, beating out Olympic Gold medalists. And in a cover feature about her life, Powder Magazine called her “the biggest icon the ski industry never expected” and the “protoplasmic mass of the ski industry.” During ski season, she heads the Ski To Live clinic, which combines ski coaching with a western form of Zen teaching called Big Mind.

SD: What athletic activities do you participate in during the off season? Why did you choose these and what is it that you like about them?
KU: I ride my road bike a lot — a Cannondale Synapse 3 which I just bought and fell immediately in love with. I ride it super slow for transportation, usually listening to my ipod, and consider it meditation. Even chubby girls wearing flip flops and riding Huffy’s pass me by. It’s definitely not a “sport” for me; it’s more of a slow down in life, then I just ride far enough it’s a workout too.

I also love kiteboarding and take at least 3-4 trips per summer to go kiting. Been doing this for 8 years now which is a long time in such a new sport. Love it because it’s adrenaline based and learning new tricks can be super challenging. It’s also cool just to know how to do it.

SD: Is there any particular activity you do that keeps you in shape for skiing? How? How often do you do it and what does it involve?
KU: Biking for sure. I probably ride 25 miles 3 times a week. When the ski season is coming back ’round I start riding up the Canyons in Utah — Little Cottonwood and Big Cottonwood, maybe 2 times a week. Other than that a little bit of weight lifting and I’m good to go. I don’t ski hard anymore and have a pretty efficient technique so I don’t really need to get in shape for ski season anymore. I coach Zen while skiing now, and I don’t ski with pros often.

SD: Do you ski during the summer months, say in South America or some other location? Is this for fun or for training purposes? Can you tell me about it?
KU: I don’t ski in the summer unless someone hires me to ski with them and facilitate a wisdom experience alongside the sport. I’ll always love skiing — kind of like I’ll always love my ex-boyfriends — but it’s no longer my passion. My work with Big Mind and Consciousness through the sport of skiing is my current passion.

You can find out more about Kristen Ulmer’s Ski To Live clinics at her website,