Centrefold: Suits on the piste: Mountain lust aroused in the city

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Indy Lifestyle Online
As summer tans fade, thoughts turn to restoring a ruddy-cheeked glow by whizzing down distant slopes on skis. City workers may not be able to feel that invigorating Alpine air within the Square Mile, but for the next two days they can experience the buzz of skiing down a 3m-high mountain . . . in pinstripes.

Active lunch hours can be spent on the 12m-long artificial ski slope at Broadgate's Exchange Square, in the last of this year's summer events. And those not worn out can move on to an epic langlauf cross-country trail . . . winding across a site smaller than a tennis court.

A computer-simulated snowboard gives the less energetic a chance to get an adrenalin rush from careering downwards at high speed, without tensing a single thigh muscle. Transfixed by the tree-lined computer screen you can weave your way through ski-pant-clad throngs faster than Franz Klammer without even laddering a stocking.

Or it may be the cinnamon-scented fumes of gluhwein, a premature reminder of Christmas, which tempt the more sedentary City types in to soak up the atmosphere of the Austrian Tirol in the heart of London.

No yodelling across the City's open spaces is planned, but there'll be opportunities to drown end-of-summer blues in warming schnapps, jagertee and Austrian wine. And if your mountain lust is really aroused, the organisers are running a competition to win a holiday for two in St Anton, 'the home of Alpine skiing'.

The Austrian Tirol Ski Fest is at Exchange Square, Broadgate, nr Liverpool Street Station, EC2, 12-3pm to Fri 23 Sept, also 5-7pm today only

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