MONT BLANC ASCENT

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Standing on the summit of Gran Paradiso looking at the view of the Alps and amazed at how far down it was!

What did you think of your group leader?

Our Group Leader was an experienced climber hired onto the trip. Although he was competent and safe, I was not sure that he really wanted us to reach Mont Blanc summit. The poor weather midweek meant we never found out for sure.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Be prepared to do Gran Paradiso instead!  Don't go fully expecting to do Mont Blanc - but the brochure makes this clear anyway.  Also, you must be extermely fit and used to walking for several hours on the go. I trained for ages to do this holiday by doing long distances and plenty of hills in the Lake District. Whilst I made it up and down Gran Paradiso OK, Mont Blanc would have been tougher. As the brochure says 'arrive fit'. If in doubt, do a different holiday. Also, you must must must have a good head for heights - the 150m descent down the cliff ladders onto the glacier on one of the training days was not for the feint hearted! However, it was also totally memorable and an amazing thing to do. It was a lot hotter than I thought, even above the snow line we didn't need to wear too many layers and it was only the final hour to the summit of Gran Paradiso that it got really cold. A sun hat, sun creme and good sunglasses were essential!

Is there anything else you would like to add?

It was a good holiday and I will be back to do Mont Blanc another time!