ISCHGL/GALTÜR, AUSTRIA - Pretty, wild party town with snow sure slopes.

Ischgl is changing fast. It is a strange mixture of pretty, traditional Tyrolean village, pricey, up market hotels and drunken, bawdy après-ski, dominated by German and Scandinavian males. On our last visit there were dancing girls, scantily clad in national costume, cavorting on the bar of a plush 4-star hotel at the foot of the slopes from 4 pm to 6.30, and drunks weaving their way through the treacherous streets all evening. But the resort remains quite trendy and attracts top-draw entertainers for open-air concerts - Elton John, Diana Ross, Madonna, Bon Jovi, Tina Turner, Bob Dylan and Rod Stewart to name a few.

The slopes are extensive, high, snowsure and ideal for intermediate cruising - some of the best intermediate terrain in Austria. And the efficient lift system now boasts eight high-speed chair-lifts (including six-seaters) and three gondolas - with more to come (including an eight-seater) for next season.

What's Great
What's Not-So-Great

+ Charming old Tyrolean village, expanded in sympathetic fashion

+ High slopes with reliable snow

+ Lots of good intermediate runs, extending over the Swiss border to duty-free Samnaun

+ Impressive lift system

+ Very lively après-ski

? Not ideal for beginners, for various reasons

? Few tough runs for experts

? A few T-bars still to be eradicated

? Few British tour operators go there

? Wild après-ski may not be to everyone's taste