We had spectacular weather for this trip. It was beyond beautiful. The logistics for this trip, however, are affected by the typical weather in the Rockies which includes the chance for thunderstorms. For this reason, our trips started earlier and ended earlier than other RS hiking trips I've been on--no exceptions. We had to be ready at vans for drive to breakfast at 6am and then proceed at 7 am to the park to get to trailheads at 8 am and back to van by 3pm (peak storm time.) For this reason, leisurely returns on trail could not be an option. We had times by which we needed to turn around in order to get down the mountain on time. And, as a result the fast hikers ended up having more time to enjoy to lunch destination location and the slower hikers had less. This is a challenging-level hike, I am typically a middle of the pack hiker, and this hike was hard (I knew it would be), particularly on the some sections that were steep climbs with few switchbacks at elevations above 9,000 ft. In these areas, I could not generate more speed and could only hike at my slowest pace which was frustrating. I even went up to Estes Park a few days ahead to acclimate, but it didn't help as much as I had hoped. I still had a wonderful time and finished feeling accomplished each day. Make sure you're fit enough for this hike and understand that there is not a lot of stopping on the way up the trail...it is the most challenging level RS offers.