Go Hard or Go Home: Lorraine Huber

The Austrian freeskier’s motto? “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone...”
Lorraine Huber stands on the mountain in full gear.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone... © Alex Kaiser
By Jojo Cook

Go Hard or Go Home looks at the girls pushing the levels in snowboard and freeski. This time we take a closer look at last year's overall winner of the Freeride World Qualifying series, Lorraine Huber.

Lorraine Huber had the kind of childhood that must of us would dream of. Growing up in Lech am Arlberg in Austria, the family house was just 100 metres from the slopes and her dad, a ski instructor, chose to send her to ski school rather than nursery. Aged eight, her parents moved to one of the world’s best surf beaches in Australia, returning to Lech for six weeks every year to ski.

But it’s not just luck and cool parents that got her to where she is today. Currently holding second place on the Freeride World Tour, Lorraine has a long history of podium places, films and awards under her studded belt.

Lorraine Huber freeskiing steep spines.
Winner of the Freeride World Qualifying Series © Sepp Mallaun

Growing up her ski training focused on the traditional, alpine style. But as soon as she discovered freeridng with its speed, straight lines and airs, she was hooked. Entering the Red Bull Snowthrill in Slovenia in 2004 gave her a taste of competitive freeriding and she’s posted strong results in competitions ever since.

Lorraine has competed on the FWT since 2009 but was forced to pull out after a bad season in 2011/12. She went back onto the Freeride World Qualifying Series last year and fought hard to finish as overall winner which saw her back on the FWT this year.

So far, she has placed third in the first two stops – Chamonix and Fierberbrunn. “It’s such a fantastic start to the season! I felt very comfortable competing and enjoyed it a lot, not being as nervous as I have in the past.”

Lorraine Huber freeskiing in Alaska while shooting Shades of Winter.
‘Best Freeride Female’ Award for Shades of Winter © Patrick Orton

But to get to the top spot, she knows she needs to up her game: “So far I have chosen lines I knew I could ski really well and I made sure I skied them fast because that's really key for the judges - they like to see powerful, fast skiing. But I know I have to risk a bit more and build a bigger feature into my next line.”

Winning ‘Best Freeride Female’ Award at the International Freeski Film Festival last year for her Alaska section in the all-girl freeski film Shades of Winter was a highlight in her career. Given it was her first trip to AK, she was understandably stoked with the accolade: “I was a first-timer there, and we were filming big mountain lines from the top of the peak where you have a lot of exposure beneath you and you have to manage your sluff. There are crevasses and sections where you’re simply not allowed to fall… it was a very humbling, sometimes scary, experience.”

Lorraine Huber freeskiing in the backcountry.
Alpine ski training shows in her clean technique © Alex Kaiser

With two films in the pipeline this winter, Lorraine is juggling filming with training and ski guiding. She also organizes an all-girl freeride training camp called the Women's Progression Days in Arlberg. With a masters degree in business, plus passions for rock climbing and surfing she definitely finds plenty of opportunity to live up to her motto!

Just recently, we received a beautiful, calm, meditative video edit of Lorraine's skiing, and you can also watch her compete at the next Freeride World Tour event in Snowbird, USA on www.redbull.com/snow.

If you liked this article, there are more in our Go Hard or Go Home series about other top ski girls, such as Matilda Rapaport and Nadine Wallner.

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