Speeding down the Austrian alps under the tutelage of a racing coach fluent in some off-piste Irish phrases leaves Gavin Daly tired, sore — and euphoric
Our ski instructor, it seems safe to say, has met the Irish before. “Jesus, Mary and Joseph,” he says, as he greets our little group in Austrian-accented English. Then, with excellent comedic timing: “And all de udder goys.”
The holy trio become our constant companions on the slopes of the Gastein valley, just over an hour from Salzburg. Instructor Christian Zehentner invokes them when we ski badly (often), when he spots an attractive member of the opposite sex (less often) and when we ski well (not often at all).
Zehentner is the real deal, a powder-skiing champion and racing coach whose father went to Sun Valley, in Idaho, to ski as a young man, then opened the first ski school in the town of Bad…