This story begins over two years ago, on July 22, 2017. On that day, I was hiking the PCT and began hiking with this hiker Crash. We hiked for a few days together and stayed in touch after. When he approached me last year about doing this crazy "Haute Randonnée Pyrénéenne" thing, I said "yes" of course.
So that brings us to today: my alarm woke me up at 3:30am, I grabbed my backpack containing the gear I had been carefully curating over the past month, and got on a train for the airport.