MONT BLANC CIRCUIT
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Dad and I had a great time. Dad has never completed a physical challenge as daunting as this trip and he did not think he could make it almost until the very end when he made it to the top of Col de Voza on Day 12. His smile that day was definitely an inspirational moment for me. The group became really close and supportive of each other during the trip and certainly helped my Dad achieve his aim, with people from all walks of life with ages ranging from their twenties to their seventies lending a hand... Encouragement from the group definitely helped pull him and up and down some pretty steep terrain. Seeing Dad overcome his fears and doubts was really something quite awesome.
What did you think of your group leader?
Graham was superb. I believe that his greatest skill is closely observing people in the first couple of days, figuring out how to motivate each individual and working with each person to help them achieve what they are trying to get out of the trip. For example, after 5 days my 67 year old dad (who accompanied me on the trip) was struggling with the descents (of which there are many). Graham took Dad under his wing and worked with him, focusing on improving his descending technique using walking poles for several hours. Dad responded to Graham's patient instruction, learned a new skill and increased his confidence. This not only reduced his discomfort but also meant he could complete the trip with a smile on his face. Without Graham's assistance I am not sure he could have made it.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
Two pieces of advice: 1. Do the camping trip. There is nothing like 2 weeks under canvas to get to know a diverse bunch of people and really experience the great outdoors. 2. Some training makes a huge difference to your enjoyment of the trip. If you come from London like me, make the effort to do dome big descents and ascents (like in Scotland) before you go. If you can't organise that, then an hour on the stepping machine at the gym really helps.