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Suffering from tuberculosis, she had been prescribed a high-altitude cure.It was the mountain air, Conan Doyle maintained, that kept his wife alive until 1906 — long after doctors had predicted she would survive.

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Still, it was only in the 20th century that the popular idea of the skiing holiday in designated Alpine resorts really took off.His only answer was to hurl himself down the mountain to retrieve them, a human toboggan rolling over and over again.Conan Doyle later recalled: ‘My tailor tells me that Harris tweed cannot wear out.When Conan Doyle first took to his skis, the sport was almost unheard of in Britain.In 1894, he wrote an article in the Strand Magazine — where his Sherlock Holmes stories appeared — laughing off the dangers of skiing, and explaining the basics to a British audience.Even today, few locals are happy to follow in Conan Doyle’s footsteps, so great is the risk of avalanche.

That evening, Tobias Brangger signed Conan Doyle into their Arosa hotel.

He wrote: ‘You have to shuffle along the level, to zigzag, or move crab fashion, up the hills, to slide down without losing your balance, and above all to turn with facility.’Although Conan Doyle played down his athletic abilities in the article, he was, in fact, quite the sportsman.

He played cricket for the MCC and was a goalkeeper for Portsmouth Association Football Club. One year, while in Davos, he even laid out a golf course, made a little trickier ‘by the curious trick the cows had of chewing up the red flags’.

After a month of falling down the slopes, the technique clicked.

Conan Doyle then tramped to the top of a 7,700ft mountain called the Jacobshorn, two miles south-west of Davos, carrying his skis on his back — there were no lifts then.

To begin with, Conan Doyle was flummoxed by the great long elm planks strapped to his feet.