Mont Blanc Circuit - Quick and Light(ish)

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

Just being in the surroundings makes you want to get out and walk. There was never any reservation on waking each morning. Anticipating what was to come and looking forward to each day meant I couldn’t wait to get started each day!

What did you think of your group leader?

Graham led us with humour, panache and a very finely judged approach. It’s easy when leading in potentially hazardous environments to set rules in stone and forget that the group is composed of adults, not children requiring herding for a to b. Graham was able to move the group at a pace that kept most people happy most of the time, provide plenty of stops for information, breath catching, photos and snacks. If you find yourself being guided by Graham, consider yourself lucky – he’s as good as I’ve come across in my adventures.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Travel light. No, lighter than that. A bit lighter still... Save that half used toothpaste tube and use it on this trip. Take a smaller bit of soap, not a massive new showergel bottle. There’s no getting away from it. You walk up hills a lot on this trip. The lighter the bag, the easier it is. You come down them too. Your knees will thank you for leaving the hardback bestseller back in Chamonix. For example, two tee-shirts (one day, one night) will see you through the week easily. If you must, you could even wash the daytime tee and dry it overnight. If you're wondering why I say all this, what with three litres of water, lunch, an SLR and a bit too much in the way of clothing, my bag was 17kg, joint heaviest on our trip. I figured I could cut four kg out easily and will do next time! Earplugs are a must for a good night’s sleep in the dorms. Someone will snore. Someone will get up for a wee. If you’re used to dorm living, this will be normal to you. If you’ve never stayed in dorms before, fear not – these were some of the nicest I’ve experienced, with comfy beds, nice and warm. They may feel cosy, with fellow travellers in close proximity, but embrace it and enjoy it! Watch the guide. If they put a jacket on, it’s probably going to get wet. If they’re in a tee-shirt, it’s looking good. Get some training done. Each day contained a significant climb and descent. Our group was described as averagely fit and we spent between six and eight hours walking each day. The fitter you are, the more time you can spend looking at the magnificent views, instead of staring down at your feet on a never ending trudge. I absolutely promise the views are worth the extra effort. If you get a nosebleed and use a tampon to staunch the bloodflow, be prepared for your fellow walkers to point, laugh and take photos. Thank you Richard for this most memorable of moments.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you love walking and want to cover some ground in a week, take in some world-class views and blow away any lingering cobwebs that have accumulated since your last holiday, this is a great trip. If told I was leaving on Saturday to repeat it, I would be on that plane with no hesitation.