What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

One really cool moment for me was getting to walk around a Roman cryptoporticus in Aosta, Italy during one of the rest days. This was my first trip to Europe, so it was my first exposure to Roman ruins. I nerded out a bit.

What did you think of your group leader?

Simon was our guide and leader, and Ben was our logistics coordinator and cook. They were both solid guys who did their jobs well. Simply put, if you're going for a guided walk in the mountains, these are the kind of people you want to go with you. Our group had a relatively broad distribution of preferred walking speeds, and Simon dealt with it perfectly using a combination of patience and flexibility, taking care of the people toiling away in back and letting the people in front go at their own pace without getting too far afield. There was also a diverse and fairly restrictive assortment of special dietary needs that Ben was constantly scrambling to address. As far as I’m concerned, they both deserve medals for putting up with us.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Mountain trails involve elevation gain and loss, so it should almost go without saying that time you invest beforehand in physical conditioning will make you a happier camper on the trail. You do not need to be an iron man by any means, but physical distress can detract from enjoyment if it is experienced over the timescale of a couple weeks.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Do you like frequent hot chocolate, coffee, or tea stops while you're hiking? If so, this is your kind of trip. Many of the refuges also serve delicious cake and pie. If you want to gain weight while walking 100 miles, you can make that happen.