We began our first day at the ski shop, where I wanted to get my beloved skis serviced. The gasps of horror at their age and condition prompted the brothers Lohmann, who own the shop, to insist I use their latest models. We were then dispatched to the care of our ski instructor and guide, Alfred, a true Tirolean Obergurgler born and bred in the valley, with a deep tan and a laid-back attitude. Within minutes our technique had been deconstructed and we were retaught how to carve turns the authoritative, stylish Austrian way. Alfred was determined to stamp LEFT: with its uncrowded pistes, stunning scenery, chocolate-box architecture and relaxed pace of life, Obergurgl is reminiscent of the Alps 20 years ago. out the southem-Alpine tendency to hurtle down the slopes. DESIGN DINING TABLE DESIGNS After a series of crippling exercises, it was deemed that we had earned lunch, so we skied to the charming Tonis Almhutte. Although it adjoins the main terrace of the high-altitude Olymp Sporthotel, it still has the rustic feel of an Alpine chalet. The food was traditional and delicious: crispy roast duck, red cabbage and rosti perfect for hungry skiers.