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Tyrol, Austria
March 22, 2007

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A colleague just back from a ski vacation in Austria warned me that there was little snow on the ground. We were skiing on dirt and grass he told me a few days before I set out for a meeting in Kitzbuehel. So I flew over with my hopes in check, my expectations managed.

But as Lufthansa flew me over the Atlantic, snow fell hard on the Tyrolian Alps. Best snowfall of the year yesterday, my driver told me as we pulled away from Munich Flughavn.

On the way up the mountain, he told me about a guy from Dubai he had driven up the same road a few months earlier. It had been night, and the passenger lit up when he saw the moonlight sparkling off the white outside. "Is that snow?" he asked. The driver told him it was. The passenger asked the driver to pull over when he could, and when the car stopped, the man in his early 40s stepped out, cupped snow, and brought it to his face. "It is the first time I've seen real snow."

As last year, I was able to squeeze in a terrific and memorable afternoon on the powdery slopes of Kitzbuehel's Hahnenkamm between arriving and 7pm welcome cocktails.