National Geographic : 1985 Apr
"Absolute beginners, they were," says Sepp Margreiterof the still verticalstudents to whom he demonstrates the basic maneuverfor stopping (bottom). His own careeras a competitiondownhill racerended when he broke a leg as a teenager. He now teaches mainly advanced skiers duringthe winter at the ski school in his village of Alpbach, where 70 to 80 instructorstrainthousands eachyear. Doingdouble duty, Margreiteralso plays baritonehorn (below, at left) in the village band. He studied music with an expertfor a year, but as in skiing, "Justto learn to play is not too difficult, but to get advanced-that'sdifficult." The bandplaysfor localfunctions, churchprocessions,and visiting statesmen who come to the villagefor conferences. While allAustria provides neutralground on which officials may meet, Alpbach offers an Alpine setting that adds pleasureto the duty of internationalpolitics.