Rory Byrne on Empty Nesters

Rory Byrne on Empty Nesters

It is great having the chance to get a weekend skiing with old friends and that's what we do each year, now that my wife and I are definitely "empty nesters" - time to enjoy!

So for the past few years we disappear to the mountains with an old school friend of mine and his long-suffering wife.  Well perhaps mine too!  This year it was Pontrasina in the magnificent 5 star Hotel Kronenhof, situated within the most stunning views over the Engadine valley with its frozen lakes below. It's amazing when you meet up with old friends, whom you haven't seen since last year, how you just carry on where you left off a year earlier. The banter and jokes as well as the champagne start flowing immediately. The hotel kindly gave us the presidential suite for the four days, a grand and large set of rooms which one seems to be able to fill quickly, and when packing to leave, makes it an impossible task to find your charger.

Anyway, this year our stay overlapped with the Engadine Marathon, a stunning 42km race across the frozen lakes with over 12,000 participants and the record time of under 1 hour 20 minutes. The advantage of this was not only the fun of being in the race environment but also the fact that the pistes are a lot clearer over this weekend.

So to the skiing - our little group of four naturally fall into line, with me at the front showing the way, John close on my heels and the rear guard comprising of our wives not far behind. Focus is not on technique but more when, where and how. When are we eating, where is the restaurant and how do we get there!  As always, we do deviate towards any opportunity to get into the powder (one advantage of starting and running a company called Powder Byrne is the fact that I get to ski powder on a regular basis).   And as always, not to be outdone,  I am followed into the deep stuff by my old school friend.  With the same regularity,  not long after I hear the cry "John's Down!"!

But the great thing to keep in mind - there is always next year!

RORY BYRNE

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