On our trip in 2012 we went to “Wild Great Wall, the most authentic sections of the GW which haven’t been rebuilt for tourism.” There had been some work on this section, but the steps were uneven, some very tall (I’m 5’1”), so you might want to check the section you will be visiting. Some members of our group only went a short distance up the wall path and returned to our bus (it was chilly and windy), so that is an option for you. We visited China in the Spring, there were crowds everywhere. A lot of jostling, but generally everyone was very pleasant. Our tour leader carried a pole with a silk fish and when we got lost in a crowd, we looked for the fish. usually in the croweded areas there will be a local tour guide with our tour leader and they both had fantastic eyesight and memories for what their group members looked like and could cull us out of a crowd.