Exhilarating

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Climbing over boulders to eat lunch beside a fast-moving, glacial stream; foraging for wild raspberries for dessert; friendly encounters with Italian sheep and having the privilege of petting an inquisitive lamb; a butterfly resting on my shoulder for an interminable amount of time; sitting in 'grasshopper meadows' and hearing the incessant chattering from the hillsides.

What did you think of your group leader?

Rupert was an outstanding leader. He had great knowledge of the area and put each walk into context in relation to where we had walked previously or to our accommodation. He was attuned to the needs of individuals in the group, giving waypoints to stop at to those who wanted to move ahead faster and supporting those who moved at a slower pace. He shared his botanical knowledge with us, offering alpine leaves for us to sample, collecting herbs with which to make a 'tisane', or pointing out dangerous plants used as early anaesthetics.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

The paths are a mixture of paved ski-tracks, woodland trails and rocky paths with short sections of cables, chains and vertical ladders. The ascents are steady and sustained from the word go, steep at times, with few level sections until you have gained height. With this in mind, I would suggest you get some regular hill-walking in before you travel to better prepare yourself. If you plan to wash a few items of laundry, pack a washing line and pegs and, if you are lucky enough to get a room with a balcony, you can hang it outside.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I would suggest that due to the sustained ascents, rocky edges and long descents which involved focussed concentration, this walk should be graded higher than 3.