Winter sports/06/01/2023

Between soaring and crashing

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Between soaring and crashing - Nadine Wallner has experienced it all. In 2013, at 23, she became the youngest freeride world champion ever, and the following year she managed to defend her title. Then the exceptional athlete had a bad accident - and managed to return to the style of a true champion. The Austrian is a Red Bull athlete and counts Audi, Mammut and Leki among her sponsors.

Nadine Wallner auf Skiern im Tiefschnee.
Freeride-Weltmeisterin Nadine Wallner in ihrem Element.

Already on four-thousand-meter peaks at 13

The fact that Nadine Wallner became interested in mountain sports so early on is thanks to her father - an experienced ski touring and mountain guide.

At the age of three, little Nadine stood on skis for the first time. At six, she is already skiing down Valluga, a 2809-meter mountain in the western Lechtal Alps. Since that day, it has been clear to her that the mountains are her world. At the age of 13, she conquers her first four-thousand-meter peak in the Western Alps.

Initially, Nadine Wallner aspires to a career as an alpine ski racer. After several injuries, however, she has to bury this dream early on. Instead, she begins training as a state ski instructor and ski guide. Afterwards, a friend advises her to turn her freeride hobby into a profession and to participate in professional contests.

World champion in her rookie year

Before she can join the world elite, however, Wallner first has to prove herself at the Freeride World Qualifiers in the 2011/2012 season. She succeeds impressively with victories on the Kitzsteinhorn (X-Over-Ride) and in Nendaz. She finishes the season in third place overall on the Qualifier Tour, earning her a starting spot on the 2012/2013 World Tour.

In her first professional year, she immediately becomes world champion as a "rookie". She improves from race to race: From fifth place in Kirkwood, to third place in Verbier and two second places in Chamonix and Revelstoke. With the triumph at her home race in Fieberbrunn, she finally crowned herself champion. And that was no coincidence: in the 2013/2014 season Nadine Wallner is able to repeat her previous year's success.

250-meter crash in Alaska

She does not succeed in defending her title again due to a serious injury. The accident happens when she is on the road in Alaska with a camera team and the two former world champions Aline Bock and Mitch Tölderer.

While shooting a ski film, Nadine Wallner falls 250 meters and suffers an open tibia and fibula fracture. "I think all of Alaska heard me scream," she says of the accident. Later, when Wallner is fit again, the filming is finished and the film is shown as part of the Freeride Film Festival Tour.

Profile of Nadine Wallner:

  • Born on May 15, 1989 in Bludenz in Vorarlberg (Austria)
  • Height: 1,63 m

Victories and awards:


  • Ascent "Principle Hope" as 2nd woman (climbing project)


  • Release Movie "Now or Never"


  • 3rd place Swatch FWT Mountain/Freeride
  • 2nd place Swatch FWT Big Mountain/Freeride


  • Freeride World Tour Champion
  • Vorarlberg sportsman of the year


  • Freeride World Tour Champion
  • 1st place: Freeride World Tour Fieberbrunn, Austria
  • 2nd place: Freeride World Tour Chamonix, France
  • 2nd place: Freeride World Tour Revelstoke, Canada


  • 2nd place: Freeride Festival Montafon by Eric Themel Montafon, Austria


  • 1st place: Freeride Festival Montafon by Eric Themel Montafon, Austria

Author: Martina Wengenmeir