Exodus Expert in the Spotlight
We’re putting an Exodus Expert in the Spotlight to give you the inside scoop on what makes our adventurers tick. Stepping up this month is Product Manager Chloé Knott enthusing about the Alps and sharing her top tips for trekking first-timers.
Where was your last trekking holiday?
I was lucky enough to join the Tour du Mont Blanc trip last summer. A trek through three different countries (France, Italy and Switzerland) eating delicious cakes and cheeses en route and all the while surrounded by inspiring views of the mighty Mont Blanc – my idea of a perfect walking holiday! As the highest mountain in western Europe, it was amazing to see Mont Blanc from all angles - a truly spectacular backdrop for the photos.
Tell us about your most memorable trekking experience or location.
The climb to Lac Blanc, a sparkling azure-coloured lake high above the Chamonix Valley. The weather was pleasantly warm and sunny throughout, but due to a late spring snowfall, we found ourselves trekking across snowfields at 2,000 metres in shorts! A unique experience.
What are your Top Tips for trekking holiday first-timers?
- Invest in quality walking boots and socks – although the initial outlay may seem expensive, it is well worth it. A decent pair of well-fitting boots will save you from the trek destroying agony of blisters. Make sure you wear the boots in well before the trip and you will be set for miles of comfortable walking.
- Pick a destination with inspirational views – that way the scenery will distract you from thinking about the energy you are burning!
- Always take your waterproofs – weather in the mountains can change quickly and dramatically. From personal experience, carrying your waterproofs usually prevents it from raining!
- Lighten the load – obviously, certain items are essential daypack residents; water bottle, sun cream, blister plasters and camera; but try not to over-pack. The lighter your bag the easier you will find the trekking.
Exodus offers plenty of summertime walking holidays perfect for both first-timers and experienced trekkers alike. I love to visit Europe in the summer and my suggestions for a late summer escape are:
Sierra de las Mamblas (TSR) is a great trip for first timers, offering gentle walks along a historic pilgrimage route, with dramatic gorges and pretty villages dotted along the way – it is an ideal introduction to walking holidays.
Corsican Villages and Mountains (TEB) offers a superb mix of delicious food, deep rock pools for swimming and impressive mountain views. With moderately paced walks each day, it is the perfect way to enjoy some late summer sun.
What would you say are the benefits of going on a group trekking holiday?
I believe time out walking - away from the modern distractions of computers, phones and TVs - encourages you to talk more and really get to know your walking companions. A group holiday is an ideal way to make new friends. It’s great to have people there to encourage you on the tougher parts of the trek and with different characters in the group, there is always plenty of fun and interesting conversation to be had!
If time and money were no object, what would be the trekking holiday of your dreams?
I would love to challenge myself to trek to Everest Base Camp (TNT) one day. Looking at the stunning pictures and listening to the lucky ones in the office telling of their Himalaya experiences really makes me want to embark on this once in a lifetime trip.