Most Inspirational Moment
The most inspirational moment and quite frankly the most surprising was a birthday cake our chef had baked for a member of our team, at 4,600metres! Also a very big shout out to our wonderful team leader, JT - every single day he would pick up rubbish my fellow walkers had carelessly thrown away on the trek, its selfless acts like that that inspire you to do your best and not to let anyone down.
Thoughts on Group Leader
JT has a permanent smile on his face. His knowledge and understanding of the mountain is second to none and is an inspirational character. JT, David and Hanse (assistant guides) all became our hero's and we all had a lot of fun during the trip, in particular after we had all scaled the Barranco Wall, what a fabulous afternoon! Its no wonder JT won the Exodus guide of the year in 2016, I have no doubt he will be up in the running for guide of the year again, he absolutely deserves every accolade he gets. I also have to give a special shout-out to our 2 other assistant guides; Hanse and David. Both of whom I have to say were incredible on summit night for so many reasons, and again so incredibly professional, funny - we all felt very safe.
Advice for Potential Travellers
Yes, get the miles in! Trust me, you don't have to be a marathon runner or a triathlete etc, in order to take part in this epic adventure. If you are sensible and start to add in extra park run's or spin classes every week plus wracking up the walking miles every weekend, you shouldn't have any problems.
I would also strongly suggest you read up on all the points of view in regards to taking the anti-altitude tablet, diamox. I took it and it worked, but please note it doesn't work for everyone, so listen to all the advice given, listen to your GP and make an educated decision. Finally......take a hot water bottle, trust me, you'll really appreciate it on the very cold nights.
All I would say is do your research, and DO NOT be afraid to step away from the norm. I've never done anything like this before, if you think you can't do it, believe me you absolutely can. I've had the most inspirational time of my life, your confidence rockets and you end up with friends for life and an experience you'll never, ever forget. Our small team of 5 walkers were assisted by JT, David, Hanse and a crew of 27, all of whom we can't thank enough for their sheer hard work, good humour and the constant smiling!