Women’s Progression Days 2015

Es ist immer ein Highlight meiner Saison, die Women’s Progression Days – das Freeride und Yoga Camp in Lech am Arlberg für ambitionierte Geländefahrerinnen – zu leiten. Auf Grund einer Knöchelverletzung, die eine Auszeit auf Krücken von insgesamt vier Wochen mit sich zieht, konnte ich schweres Herzens leider nicht selber mit den 27 motivierten Teilnehmerinnen aus Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz Ski fahren. Zum Glück hatte ich ein Guides-Team von am Arlberg lebenden Skiführern, bestehend aus Angelika Kaufmann, Geli Häusl, Liz Kristoferitsch und Paul Pöcher, auf welche ich mich 100% verlassen konnte.

Trotz schwierigen Wetter- sowie Schneebedingungen kamen die Teilnehmerinnen am Nachmittag mit strahlenden Gesichtern jeden Tag retour. Die Highlights vom Camp waren für viele das intensive Üben an der persönlichen Fahrtechnik sowie an der Linienfindung im freien Gelände, das halbtägige Safety-Workshop inklusive Üben mit der Notfall-Ausrüstung, die Möglichkeit täglich einen anderen Kästle Freerideski zu testen, vom Profi-Fotografen Alex Kaiser fotografiert zu werden sowie natürlich viele neue Freundschaften mit anderen, skibegeisterten Frauen zu schließen.

Bedanken möchte ich mich auch bei meinen Camp-Partner Kästle, Blue Tomato, Lech Zürs Tourismus sowie Bergans of Norway für die tolle Unterstützung.

Die Women’s Progression Days 2015 sind das siebte Freeride Camp für Frauen welches ich leite, und die Resonanz ist groß. Die Women’s Progression Days 2016 finden voraussichtlich wieder im Jänner statt, es empfiehlt sich jedenfalls, sich möglichst bald nach Freischalten der Anmeldungen zu buchen. Ich wünsche euch jedenfalls alle eine hervorragende und erlebnisreiche Wintersaison!

 

Women of Freeride Movie Night

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Skiers and snowboarders around Verbier, listen up!

The ‘Gâra abada movie nights’ are putting on a WOMEN OF FREERIDE film night this Saturday, 17 January, at 8:30pm in the Cinéma de Verbier. A special film night dedicated to female ski and snowboard athletes, celebrating authentic grace, real beauty, genuine comradeship and a shared love for skiing and snowboarding. The feature film of the evening embodies this perfectly: Unicorn Picnic’s ‘Pretty Faces’ by Lynsey Dyer, an all female ski film nominated for film of the year by Powder Magazine.

The WOMEN OF FREERIDE film program was put together by Lorraine Huber, professional freerider and runner-up Freeride World Tour champion. “This film night provides a cross section not only of the high level of female freeriding today, but also features films with a unique approach to filmmaking: films that highlight feminine strengths instead of trying to simply emulate male ski and snowboard movies”.

Special guests include Geraldine Fastnacht and Estelle Balet, who will be on stage to talk the the audience personally. Natalie Segal, a competitive freeride skier based in Verbier, will be moderating the evening instead of Lorraine Huber, who unfortunately can’t be present due to injury.

kOnneX: the ski film

The time has come! Our new experimental ski film kOnneX by filmmaker extraordinaire Hanno Mackowitz with original ?sound design by Marcus Loeber is now online, free of charge! Take five minutes ?timeout and immerse yourself in powder snow. 

Ski films present perfect sequences, everything looks so easy and elegant; the line, the conditions and the skier’s skills, everything is in perfect harmony. That’s why it is easy to forget how large and difficult a task it is to make all the elements come together perfectly.

The real attraction to the sport comes from the relationship between the rider, his or her skills, and the environment, which when combined, make for exceptional experiences in often cold and hostile surroundings. kOnneX is the continuation of last winter’s experimental film Lorraine. The Movie. Unlike other ski films, this film’s focus is on the perfect interaction between the individual elements of snow, ski and skier, and the resulting fluidity when these elements are connected. The film doesn’t require dialogue; the long-lasting impression is forged in the sound effects and music, which have been composed specifically for this film.

Make sure you plug in some good quality speakers or earphones to get the full experience. 

 

Runner-up Freeride World Tour Champion 2014

Two days have passed since I competed in my most important event of the season last Saturday, the Verbier Xtreme, the finals of the Freeride World Tour. For the first time since I started competing on the FWT in 2010, I was skiing for the overall FWT Championship title after a very consistent season of three back-to-back podiums. Mentally I was feeling strong and ready to give it my all, deciding against skiing a safety line. I knew I had to place at least 2nd in order to improve my overall ranking made up of a 1st and two 3rd places.

The "Mini Bec", the Verbier Xtreme women's venue

The “Little Bec”, the Verbier Xtreme women’s venue

Unfortunately, I fell ill with acute bronchitis right before Verbier, forcing me to stay off skis for the entire week leading up to the big day, but by Saturday I felt strong enough to compete. A final inspection on Friday showed the Little Bec much changed since the snowfall and I decided my line was good to go.

To our dismay, the mountain guides had dug a snow pit right in the landing of the top standard air the women like to take on the looker’s right side of the face. We were assured that the hole would be filled up however and wouldn’t pose a problem for the competitors.

I took the hike of 60 minutes nice and easy, arriving at the start in time to take a look at the top of my line. I really didn’t like the look of the landing of my first air, the dug snow pit had created a large flat, compressed area of snow. I decided I needed to jump over it, but not too far either in order to still reach my second feature I had planned.

Then I was ready to start, and I was pumped to ski my line. Finally, after all the waiting, it was time! I line up my first air, but too slowly, landing right in the middle of the snow pit. Immediately after landing I get a huge compression, back slap and spin out of control. Three seconds into my line at the most important event of the season and I loose everything! Immediately I knew the chance at the overall title was lost, from one second to the next. It was such a crushing feeling to have such a stupid crash only three seconds into my run.

Then I decided I may as well continue skiing my line, it’s not every day you get to ski the Bec. That was hard to do since I was disheartened and a bit disoriented, but I did enjoy some good turns on the way down to my last exit drop. Here I made the second mistake of the day, not lining up the direction of my take-off correctly, landing across the fall line, which proved fatal in the punchy and wind-affected snow in the landing. I crashed badly and narrowly missed some rocks lower down in the landing.

Taking my last exit air on the Mini Bec

Taking my last exit air on the Little Bec, Photo: FWT Verbier Xtreme 2014, D. Carlier

Here’s the video of my run:


FWT14 – Run of Bib #2 Lorraine Huber AUT… von FreerideWorldTourTV

Congratulations to the Arlberg’s Nadine Wallner, who, amazingly, won her second FWT championship title in a row, and to Norway’s Pia Nic Gundersen, who executed a beautiful and enormous air with total confidence and style, winning the Verbier Xtreme 2014.

Freeride World Tour 2014 Overall Ski Women's Podium

Freeride World Tour 2014 Overall Ski Women’s Podium

Despite the disappointment of not being able to ski my line on the Bec as I had planned, I am very happy with my skiing this past season. I feel like I’ve made huge progress this year both technically and mentally, managing my first win on the FWT in Snowbird. Despite the challenging conditions, I was also able to thoroughly enjoy the competitions this year and had some great days skiing with fellow competitors.

I want to thank my family, my friends, my sponsors Lech Zürs, Kästle Skis, Bergans of Norway, Scott Sports, Snowlife Gloves, Pieps and Sportservice Vorarlberg, and all the people supporting me online who I don’t even know personally. You created an amazing pillar of energy for me which already made me feel like a world champion. I would have loved to win the title just for you guys who all believed in me.

I’m proud of the runner-up Freeride World Tour title, but it has left me hungry for more and I’m already looking forward to charging hard on the tour next year. I’ll be back!

Victory at Freeride World Tour Snowbird!

Finally! My first victory at a Freeride World Tour event! And “Finally!” is what so many people said to me after my win, people who have known me, skied with me and seen me compete over the past years. People who knew I had it in me to win, but I just never seemed to be able to deliver under the pressure of a competition situation.

Maybe the long run up made my victory in Snowbird, Utah/USA all the sweeter, where I skied a fast and smart line with a big obligatory air in the middle.

FWT14 Snowbird | Photographer: David Carlier

FWT14 Snowbird Women’s Ski Podium | Photographer: David Carlier

Here is the video of my run:


FWT14 – Lorraine Huber – Snowbird, UT par FreerideWorldTourTV

And the video of my GoPro footage (I almost prefer this footage):


FWT14 – SNOWBIRD GOPRO RUN LORRAINE HUBER par FreerideWorldTourTV

Good Start to the Freeride World Tour 2014

Stop 1 and 2 of the Swatch Freeride World Tour by The North Face 2014 are done and dusted! The first stop in Revelstoke had to be postponed to March 2014, making Chamonix the first FWT stop for the women on 25th January. I was more than ready to compete by this stage, really hungry to finally get the competitive season started. At inspection I could see that there was a metre less snow in the competition venue compared to last year, making the airs significantly bigger. Additionally, you could see that the snow was very wind affected. That’s competition for you! We often have to deal with challenging snow conditions, quite different to filming. I opted for an easy line and aimed to ski it was fast as possible. I also noticed that the judges were rewarding powerful skiing at the men’s stop in Courmayeur. With a fairly simple line skied well, I came third in a stacked field of ripping female skiers. Here’s my run:


FWT14 – Run of Lorraine Huber – Chamonix Mont… von FreerideWorldTourTV

I was happy with my run run, which was fluid, and for reaching the podium with my first contest of the season. One good result in the bag – nothing better than to take pressure off!

Pic: Freeride World Tour 2014 Chamonix, by D. Daher

Pic: Freeride World Tour 2014 Chamonix, by D. Daher

Pic: Freeride World Tour 2014 Chamonix, by J. Bernard

Pic: Freeride World Tour 2014 Chamonix, by J. Bernard

Soon after, after a detour to Münich for a presentation of our film ‘Lorraine. The Movie’ at ISPO, we arrived in Fieberbrunn for the next FWT stop. Snow conditions were very thin, but the venue was deemed doable. That was before two days of Föhn set it: warm wind from the south of up to 100 km/hr, cleaning out the Wildseeloder face entirely and creating a lot of wind slabs just waiting to be set off by a skier. The organisers has to cancel Fieberbrunn, painful as it was. Within a few hours, it had been decided to relocate the entire tour and production team to Kappl, Tirol, only an hour away from home. The snow here was good enough for us to compete on, and Kappl offered us riders a great venue starting on the ‘Quellspitze‘ at 2700m.

fwt14_thaller-3950_hdtv_720FWT14_Kappl_StephaneDelecluse

In Kappl we couldn’t inspect before the competition day due to bad weather preventing us from seeing the face. The women were first up to start so we were up on top of the mountain by 7.15am to pick our lines. Again I opted to ski something simple I knew I would be able to find without having to slow down. I skied fast and came in third, again! 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. I have two weeks at home now to recharge the batteries and get some serious ski mileage in before heading on 25th February to California, USA, for the next FWT stop. Keep you posted!

Pic: FWT2014 in Kappl, by T. Haller

Pic: FWT2014 in Kappl, by T. Haller

Women’s Progression Days 2014

28 women attended the Women’s Progression Days by Lorraine Huber in Lech am Arlberg from 10.-12.01.2014. As I was introducing the guide team in the Ambrosius Stüble on Thursday night before the first day of skiing, I felt so proud to have attracted such a large and good group of skiers to my annual women’s program this year. It is what I had envisaged from the start, but it took a number of years and some real determination to get there.

Women's Progression Days by Lorraine Huber, Pic: Lisa Fail

Women’s Progression Days by Lorraine Huber, Pic: Lisa Fail

Luckily for us, it snowed Thursday and Friday night and the WPD guides Geli Häusl, Angelika Kaufmann, Liz Kristoferitsch and I found many untracked and challenging runs for the participants. The first day was our safety day, involving brushing up on the essential avalanche rescue skills such as beacon search, using the probe, the right shovel technique as well as a simulated group rescue situation. Participants also received ski technique training during day one with plenty of input to work on for the following two days. Ski technique, choosing lines and skiing variable terrain and snow conditions were the focus for day two and three.

Participants were photographed by Lisa Fail and filmed by cinematographer Balint Hambalko who made a fantastic edit of the WPD 2014 right here:

I’m still buzzing from all the positive feedback and general fun and laughter the women had together at the Women’s Progression Days. Besides the great skiing, the best thing was the many new friendships formed with like-minded women who also love to ski. See you at the Women’s Progression Days 2015!

 

 

berg&abenteuer filmfestival graz

Our film “Lorraine” was presented in full HD at the berg&abenteuer filmfestival graz last week. I’ve derived so much joy out of this film. Hanno Mackowitz (idea, camera and editing), Marcus Loeber (music) and I joined together to each bring what we do best and love most into this unique project, a real team effort.

Screengrab from the film "Lorraine", by Hanno Mackowitz

Screengrab from the film “Lorraine”, by Hanno Mackowitz

 

Screengrab from the film "Lorraine", by Hanno Mackowitz

Screengrab from the film “Lorraine”, by Hanno Mackowitz

“Lorraine” is a ski film shot with a RED camera in Zürs and Stuben am Arlberg. The super-slow-motion images, accompanied by minimalistic classical music, induce a process of deceleration in the viewer. The viewer has time to take in the mysterious winter landscapes and the dynamic movements of a skier in powder snow. The music was composed especially to these images, with the goal of bringing the viewer into a state of flow.

What do you think about the idea of making this kind of movie? Please feel free to use the comments section below! Stay tuned for further screenings at a cinema near you!

Women’s Progression Days 2014 by Lorraine Huber

Since 2008 I have been guiding and coaching women to help develop their skills and confidence in freeride skiing. For 2014, the program will be bigger and better than ever. I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be working together with Arlberg’s best and most experienced female guides to enlarge next year’s program to a total of 4 groups, including, for the first time, one snowboard group. The guides are Angelika Häusl, Angelika Kaufmann, Liz Kristoferitsch, and myself.

The program is geared towards good to excellent off-piste skiers and snowboarders wanting to bring their riding to the next level. Join us and experience some of the best runs the Arlberg has to offer and yes: experience the “female stoke phenomenon” as I like to call it and be amazed. We’re going to rock the Arlberg!

Please put the following date in your calendars: 9 to 12 January 2014. Arrival day is the 9th January and we’ll be skiing/riding together a full 3 days. I’ll be offering an all-inclusive package as well as packages without accom/lift tickets. The program is packed with extras such as an instructor-led Yoga session, test gear, film night, and more.

Registration and bookings will be open at the end of next week on www.lorrainehuber.com, so check back here soon!