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A pilgrim has died on the Camino near Roncesvalles - March 2013

CJ Williams

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Via Turonense (1995)
Camino Francés (1996; 1999; 2001; 2005; 2008; 2011)
Camino Aragonés (2000)
I don't have all the details yet, but I've just been informed that the body of a Canadian pilgrim was recovered this morning around 11.45 a.m. by the Mountain Rescue Unit of the Guardia Civil and SOS Navarra near Roncesvalles. It seems that he had been missing for several days. He appears to have fallen off a cliff in a rugged area of the Camino, near Mt. Ortzanzurieta (1.567 metros). This means he was trying to cross via the Route Napoleon.

The body was spotted by someone else walking in the area who alerted emergency services. The Guardia Civil says that the victim was 43 years old, and of Brazilian origin, though he had Canadian nationality. His initials were G.C.J. apparently. They haven't given his name yet as they are still trying to contact his family.

He appears to have died several days ago, but was only discovered this morning. His backpack, walking staff and all his belongings were found with him.

I'm going to make a few calls and will post more information as it becomes available.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of Christ, rest in peace. In company with Christ, who died and now lives, may he rejoice in Your kingdom, where all our tears are wiped away. Amen.
 
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Has a write up about this sad story.

A pilgrim Brazilian resident in Canada , with the initials GCJ, died after walking to Roncesvalles , in the Ozanzurieta , as reported by the Guardia Civil and the Government of Navarra sources. The pilgrim, 43, who was recovered by the Intervention and Rescue Group Mountain (Greim) Civil Guard, had been dead for several days, according to sources of the Meritorious.
SOS Navarra has received notice at 10.56 hours. At 1105 hours SOS Navarra has called the Civil Guard for help to rescue. Finally, when the body was reached the mountain place at 11.45 the death was confirmed. La Judicial Police is responsible for investigating the case.
 
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Devastating news for the Pilgrims' community. So incredibly sad.

This is a true reminder that while there is so much discussions about what to pack and albergue etiquette there should be more discussions on winter walking safety, if anything to bring awareness.

It seems the deceased went off a cliff a few kms from Roncesvalles, may have been unconscious and sucumb to the weather possibly? The area however, is a bit off the main trail..... :?:

TRAVEL IN GROUPS SEEMS SO CRITICAL DURING THE WINTER MONTHS.
 
Very sad. Did he step through deep snow, not realizing there was a sharp drop-off ahead? Was he caught in a small avalanche? Or was he hypothermic and no longer aware of what he was doing?

I respectfully disagree about the comment regarding groups, though. I've seen smart people switch into follow-the-leader mode and push forward into bad conditions when they would have turned back had they been on their own. Sometimes one of the people in the group has a bit too much ego or summit-fever and leads everyone else into peril. So sometimes there is safety in numbers and sometimes it is best to be on your own (if you know what you are doing). In this fellow's case, a group might have been helpful or it might not have been (everyone might have gone over the cliff).

Regardless, this is a sad tragedy and I hope his family finds peace as soon as they are able.
 
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A few years ago a Korean peregrina walked across a field of snow that wasn't a field but a snow filled valley with a hard crust on top. She fell through and was only found a few weeks later in the thaw.

We encountered the same scenario in the Alps at the end of June, when walking the Via Francigena. It is quite scary to see a small glacier across your path with water running underneath but no way of knowing how solid the ice is!
 

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TrishAlexSage said:
Very sad. Did he step through deep snow, not realizing there was a sharp drop-off ahead? Was he caught in a small avalanche? Or was he hypothermic and no longer aware of what he was doing?

We're still waiting for more information. I doubt it was a small avalanche. I haven't been up there in the past couple of months (i.e., taking my own advice! I've learned a lot about hiking, mountains and safety in the past 15 years, but I am by no means an expert mountaineer nor excessively confident in my own abilities), but if the body was spotted by another hiker then it likely wasn't. No indication of the body being partially buried or anything like that as yet.

My personal suspicion, while we wait for more news, is that the weather probably turned bad and he became disoriented, possibly due to hypothermia. If this is the case, then as you explained in another post about the effects of hypothermia, he could just have wandered off in the wrong direction and gone over an embankment.
 
My thoughts and prayers are with the loss of our fellow pilgrim and also with his family.
May God love and protect him.

Navarricano, can I thank you for your choice of words at the loss of our brother pilgrim. I thought that were wonderful and with your permission I would like to take a copy.

Keep safe out there and may your God protect you.
 
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chas999 said:
My thoughts and prayers are with the loss of our fellow pilgrim and also with his family.
May God love and protect him.

Navarricano, can I thank you for your choice of words at the loss of our brother pilgrim. I thought that were wonderful and with your permission I would like to take a copy.

Keep safe out there and may your God protect you.

Hi Chas,

Thanks very much for your kind words. I presume you mean the prayer for the deceased I included in the original post? Of course you can! It's not original by any means; it's actually a composite of two tradtional prayers that are customarily prayed for the deceased in the Catholic Faith, so it's "public property" anyway! :)

God bless!
 
Yes, God bless him. Just to reassure future pilgrims there aren't many places where this kind of thing would happen unless in very difficult weather. You'd probably just end up in a bush looking silly if you tripped/slipped/wandered off the trail etc, but it would be difficult to do serious damage to yourself. I've never walked the Napoleon route but it's obviously something to take seriously at this time of year. Buen Camino!
 
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David said:
How sad - let us hope that he fell out of his body and into the arms of angels .

That is such a beautiful sentiment. Thank you.

This sad incident should be a wake up call for everyone. Especially those who might be full of bravado in difficult conditions.

I'm not saying that happened in this case though. May he rest in peace, knowing he died doing what he wanted to do. His Way.
 
Especially those who might be full of bravado in difficult conditions.
In some ways the Camino has become a competition. Who can do it fastest. Who walks the longest days. Who rides it on a unicycle or goes barefoot. Who is familiar with winter or mountains, and can go anywhere anytime regardless of age, companions, or weather. It creates a dangerous situation for those who can get caught up, consciously or unconsciously, in the competition. I have thought all winter about the ten Koreans who took great risks in crossing the Pyrenees against all advice. I suspect they were driven by a culture that they feared would cause them to lose face if they made a safe decision. The advocates of slow and easy, smelling the flowers as you go, are giving sage and safe advice. The skydivers among us will ignore it, of course, as is their right! All of us who have promoted competition, declared that the Camino is easy for them or their children, or urged others to press their limits have a bit of culpability when someone's judgement has been negatively affected. Goading others, even subtly, is a disservice, I think. One of the essential messages I have taken from Jesus is that it is better to cooperate than compete. You never find the win-win through competition in game theory; you only find the winner. What a terrible outcome for the family of the Canadian pilgrim. It breaks my heart.
 
Hi Falcon. As you know there's a difference between goading people and encouraging them. I'm sure if I'd ever seen someone goading someone into doing something really unwise I would have said something, but can't remember doing so in thousands of posts. I do remember encouraging people if they really want to do something unusual but reasonably sensible.

Unicycles, barefoot walking etc are rare and have never been relevant on any of my Caminos.

Buen Camino!
 
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falcon269 said:
What a terrible outcome for the family of the Canadian pilgrim. It breaks my heart.
Ditto.
 
falcon269 said:
In some ways the Camino has become a competition. Who can do it fastest. Who walks the longest days.
i have yet to do my first Camino, but one of the big lessons I hope to learn on my journey is to let go of ego. It seems to me that some people approach the camino as if it's an athletic event, like a marathon, and they forget that it's a pilgrimage. It's a sacred journey. And being a pilgrim means embracing humility.

I cannot put into words the sadness I feel for the Canadian's family and friends - it is truly tragic.
 
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I am so sorry to hear of this sad accident...my thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.
The feeling of being invincible when it comes to Mother Nature has been the down fall of many people through out time.
Take heed my Camino friends from people who know what they are talking about with their years of experience and knowledge of that area.... it could save your life.
Better to be safe then sorry and that goes without saying for any place in this lovely world of ours.
 
I pray that you will have the blessing of being consoled and sure about your own death.

May you know in your soul that there is no need to be afraid.

When your time comes, may you be given every blessing and shelter that you need.

May there be a beautiful welcome for you in the home that you are going to.

You are not going somewhere strange.

You are going back to the home that you never left.

May you have a wonderful urgency to live your life to the full.

May you live compassionately and creatively and transfigure everything that is negative within you and about you.

When you come to die may it be after a long life.

May you be peaceful and happy and in the presence of those who really care for you.

May your going be sheltered and your welcome assured.

May your soul smile in the embrace of your anam cara (soul friend).
 
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May he rest in peace. I'm sure many pilgrims will carry him in their hearts all the way to Santiago de Compostela - I will.
Brendan
 
What a beautiful prayer.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, by the mercy of Christ, rest in peace. In company with Christ, who died and now lives, may he rejoice in Your kingdom, where all our tears are wiped away. Amen. [/quote]

May God comfort his family and friends, bring them peace in thier time of grief. And may God protect and guide all the pilgrims today and everyday.
 
falcon269 said:
Especially those who might be full of bravado in difficult conditions.
In some ways the Camino has become a competition. Who can do it fastest. Who walks the longest days. Who rides it on a unicycle or goes barefoot. Who is familiar with winter or mountains, and can go anywhere anytime regardless of age, companions, or weather. It creates a dangerous situation for those who can get caught up, consciously or unconsciously, in the competition. I have thought all winter about the ten Koreans who took great risks in crossing the Pyrenees against all advice. I suspect they were driven by a culture that they feared would cause them to lose face if they made a safe decision. The advocates of slow and easy, smelling the flowers as you go, are giving sage and safe advice. The skydivers among us will ignore it, of course, as is their right! All of us who have promoted competition, declared that the Camino is easy for them or their children, or urged others to press their limits have a bit of culpability when someone's judgement has been negatively affected. Goading others, even subtly, is a disservice, I think. One of the essential messages I have taken from Jesus is that it is better to cooperate than compete. You never find the win-win through competition in game theory; you only find the winner. What a terrible outcome for the family of the Canadian pilgrim. It breaks my heart.

+1
 
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falcon269 said:
In some ways the Camino has become a competition. Who can do it fastest. Who walks the longest days. Who rides it on a unicycle or goes barefoot. Who is familiar with winter or mountains, and can go anywhere anytime regardless of age, companions, or weather.

I can't remember meeting anyone on the Camino who struck me as being out there for the competition of it, but even if that were true, competitions aren't inherently dangerous. Everyone competes against others--in love, in work or in life. Even a pleasant game of checkers can be intensely competitive. =)

Undoubtedly, mistakes were probably made that resulted in this tragedy. I'm not going to hazard a guess to what they were--there are a lot of mistakes a person could choose from--but I would prefer to keep interesting characters on the trail that might ride unicycles or walk barefoot. Neither, of which, I suspect were factors in this pilgrim's death. (I'm all for unicycles and barefooted walking, but I kind of doubt anyone would try them over the Pyrenees during the winter.)

I didn't meet any unicyclists, but I did meet a barefooted pilgrim. He seemed to do it for the joy of walking barefoot, and it's an idea I've considered trying at some point. It's outside my comfort zone, but life can be pretty dull if one is never willing to go outside of their comfort zone. Most of us would never walk the Camino if we weren't willing to go outside of our comfort zone.

I have no interest in being the fastest or walking the longest days, but neither do I hold any ill-well against those who do. It's okay to challenge oneself--just do it safely and don't overextend yourself.

So God bless the fastest walkers, the unicyclists, the barefooted, and anyone who wants to push a Celtic harp in a stroller along the trail. The world is a better place because of them. =)

Rest in peace, G.C.J., and condolences to all.

-- Ryan
 
Hello Navarricano,

Thank you for giving me an update on the origin of the prayer for the deceased.

As a lapsed Catholic, I should have known.

Many thanks once again. Keep safe everyone
 
Life and Death on the Camino, its the nature of "The Way". For each of us when we begin our Camino we know not how the journey will unfold. Despite our planning and preparation , despite our beliefs and opinions, despite how we think the Camino should be, we surely know deep in our hearts that in the final analysis "The Camino" will have its own plan for each and everyone of us.
This is the nature of "The Way" , a journey like no other.
Peace and Blessings upon the soul of our fellow Pilgrim. His Journey will continue..Buen Camino :arrow:
 
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Two friends of mine traveled to Biarritz on 16th March. They had intended going the route Napoleon.
Because I am a regular on this forum I knew the weather was bad and told them so. At first they said they were used to walking in snow so would be Ok . But I know there is no comparison between the snow in Ireland and what has been on the Pyrenees so I pleaded with them to go on to the forum, which they did and made the decision to get a bus straight from the airport to Pamplona . They are still walking bur concerned about family here at home snowed in without electricity!!!

Thank God for this forum and the advice it gives to so many pilgrims. Thank you Ivor and every one of you who contribute such good advice.

"Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dilis." May his sweet soul be at God's right hand
 
So sad - a lesson for all of us - expect the unexpected - the camino is a journey to the heart of God -made with our feet - praying for this pilgrim and the family left behind - RIP
 
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While we look upon this sad and tragic event as reminder to all of us, that our phyiscal life and journey here in this world, is just a fleeting moment in the cosmos of time, the memory of this special individual will live on, for eternity, in the minds and hearts of those friends and family that cared and loved him.

Buen Camino
 
absolutely agree :|

This is 500 years old, as it is from Thomas a Kempis - but is still as true today

"Ah, foolish man, why do you plan to live long when you are not sure of living even a day? How many have been deceived and suddenly snatched away! How often have you heard of persons being killed by drownings, by fatal falls from high places, of persons dying at meals, at play, in fires, by the sword, in pestilence, or at the hands of robbers! Death is the end of everyone and the life of man quickly passes away like a shadow.

Who will remember you when you are dead? Who will pray for you? Do now, beloved, what you can, because you do not know when you will die, nor what your fate will be after death. Gather for yourself the riches of immortality while you have time. Think of nothing but your salvation. Care only for the things of God. Make friends for yourself now by honouring the saints of God, by imitating their actions, so that when you depart this life they may receive you into everlasting dwellings.

Keep yourself as a stranger here on earth, a pilgrim whom its affairs do not concern at all. Keep your heart free and raise it up to your God, for you have not here a lasting home."
 
What terrible news. Louise and I have changed our planned route and will take the low road and allow an extra day. We are so grateful for this forum and the wonderful advice offered by those who have walked before us.
 
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Re: A pilgrim has died on the Camino near Roncesvallesq

Hi everyone
I heard of this sad news yesterday in Rocensvalle after my 10 year old daughter and my 50 year old self had just taken 7 hrs to climb the 'easy route' via Valcarlos.
I was told - in no uncertain terms - by locals and the pilgrims office, "no Napoleons, stay on the road from Valcarlos."
So I stayed on the roadwhich is an extra 6km just when you really don't want to do even one more k. People were challenging. Even older groups could be sucked into it. If I hadn't had my daugter's safety as my priorit I could have got sucked into it too.
But ALL THE DANGER ASIDE, ThiS is not a simple trek and its not for everyone for a million reasons, least of them being guts and glory. I can honestly say I was concerned about what manner of madness I had signed my daughter up for when the snow threatened, the cold was growing, the hours were passing far too quickly and the summit just kept moving further away. Apart from signing up in St Jean and meeting a couple of new friends in Valcarlos, no one would have known we were missing for a long enough time for disaster to have occurred (as it has before and recently).
Nothing can take away our satisfaction from having made it (and we're still here heading west), but a walk in the park It is not, even pacing yourself is still a drain physically and walking downhill is often harder than up!
My solice is in God, who lit the fire initially, but I would think twice about recommending it and downplaying any difficulties to anyone. Particularly on this forum where many get there information from.
 
Please pilgrims, do slow Camino. Talk to the locals, sit and look at the view, think about those whose footsteps you follow. Take time to reflect, visit, and rest.
Took me a while to learn this, be smarter than I was. (am)
 
More details have come in about the pilgrim who died between St. Jean Pied-de-Port and Roncesvalles. Below is my quick translation of the article which appeared in the Saturday edition of the Diario de Navarra:

A Brazilian pilgrim was found dead in a small gorge near Mt. Ortzanzurieta (Roncesvalles). The body was discovered by the forest ranger responsible for the area. The place in which the body of the pilgrim was found indicates that he had lost his way, and that he had suffered a fall. His backpack was found some 70 meters above the spot where his body lay.

He was apparently travelling alone, and until Friday noone sounded the alarm that he was missing. For this reason, despite the fact that all of his personal identity papers were found in his backpack, an autopsy is required to confirm that the information contained in the documents correspond to those of the body that was recovered. Until the autopsy is complete, the deceased appears to be G.C.J., a resident in Canada. The location of the body suggests that the pilgrim died several days ago and the body only discovered once the snow had begun to melt.

The ranger had gone to inspect the area following the thaw. The body was discovered a little before 11.00 a.m. He alerted SOS Navarra, who in turn alerted the Burguete fire department, a medical team, the Guardia Civil and a helicopter rescue squad.

Three firefighters set out from Burguete. A fourth firefighter set out from Valcarlos, where he was serving as a replacment during the winter. The former left their vehicle parked at the albergue in Roncesvalles, from where the path that leads to the gorge starts. From there they had to continue on foot. Equipped with skis and snowshoes to walk on the snow, they also carried with them the equipment normally required to respond to these types of emergencies: a stretcher, a backpack with a first-aid kit, and another with clothing.

Following the ranger's indications, the firefighers began their trek. The going was initially over flat terrain, but soon became an uphill climb. Access to the area where the body lay was complicated due not only to the snow, but also because as they drew nearer to the gorge, the path was slicked with deep mud and wet leaves that made their path even more slippery. The helicopter crew followed their progress from the air as they made their ascent.

Following an hours' trek, the firefighters reached the forest ranger and the body of the pilgrim, resting face down in the gorge. At this point the Guardia Civil verified the pilgrim's death and ordered the corpse be removed from the area. The body was carried to an area where it could be tied to the stretcher and lifted to the helicopter, which transported it to the Navarran Institute of Forensic Medicine.

The Guardia Civil is in charge of the proceedings. Following the autopsy and the confirmation of the victim's identity, the Canadian consulate will be contacted in order to initiate the victim's repatriation to Canada.


It is clear from the small map that appeared in the article showing where the body was discovered that the pilgrim, upon reaching the Lepoeder hill, became disoriented. Everything was covered in snow, he could not follow the markings easily, and he headed off in the wrong direction as a result, ending up on a very dangerous cliff, where he slipped and fell into the gorge.

Damn it. This really upsets me. Please pray for his soul, and for his family. And please, please, please, if you are setting out from St. Jean Pied-de-Port in the next few weeks, pay attention to the weather and follow the advice of the hospitaleros and staff in St. Jean Pied-de-Port. Don't risk your lives, or risk putting your families and friends through this anguish. Please.
 
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Thanks Navarricano. We appreciate the information.

God rest his soul.
 
How very sad. I feel for his loved ones. I really do.

Just as much, how grateful I am to see such kindness here. Your compassion is sincere and admirable.

May you all be blessed in each of your steps no matter your path.

Buen Camino peregino.
 
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Navarricano - From what I am reading he was within sight of Roncesvalles (assuming clear weather).

I can't help but think there would be advantage in having a computerized list of names of those leaving SJPdP and available at Roncesvalles for checking off as people come off the hill. Perhaps an adapted forum like this ...

Perhaps it would work on a strictly voluntary basis and to be used only in marginal conditions as I can't see it working when there are thousands passing through.
 
Navarricano, good report and post.

Yes, tragic, and very similar to The Way and how Tom's son died. In St. Jean it can be a beautiful day - but that path goes over a real mountain and even on a 'good' day the weather can change in minutes.
He was so close to safety, so close. After all that trekking through deep snow he would have been so tired, perhaps already hypothermic, and his mind would probably not have been clear, the poor man.

The markers on the pass are not tall and disappear easily in snow. I went over in March and there was a lot of snow up there - snowed heavily at one point - and there were two places I can remember where the markers were buried for long stretches. A couple came up behind me and we jointly worked out which way to go. Had I been alone I would have not gone ahead as I couldn't be certain I was still on the Camino - being three we gave each other support, but it was dangerous up there ..

Something that could help significantly is long-pole markers that wouldn't disappear in deep snow and perhaps a few emergency shelters. With so many pilgrims on the Camino it would be simple to raise more than enough money to have these safety measures put in place - who wouldn't drop a Euro into such a collection tin? Such a mission could raise a hundred thousand Euros within one year ... such a project could be named after those who have lost their lives up there ....

... don't know what others think, nor how one could go forward on such a project - the pilgrim welcome centre in St Jean?
 
Hard to hear as I sit here in Sydney,where there is a big, almost Easter moon in a clear sky . It is a humid and warm night. I leave for the Camino Frances in four weeks, this news is so sad and so sobering. I'll keep the unknown peregrino in my prayers, his family also and pray for all of them as I too cross the Pyrnnees in April. Route Napoleon? Only if it is safe. I have gone that way before and beautiful it is too. But not worth so high a price. Rest in Peace unknown man.
 
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I find myself praying all day for this pilgrim, who has completed his pilgrims here on earth .I keep thinking of his family and friends and praying for them too. wondering if they have yet been informed of his death or are they wondering why they have not heard from him

On this thread there is such an outpouring of compassion and care that it seems that doing the Camino bonds us all together like a family. There is a sense that we are all children of the same heavenly father.

I find myself thinking of all who might be thinking of travelling these days and asking God to take care of them and praying they will make good decisions.
 
Thanks for your update Navarricano, your report is the only information I've heard about the accident. It's a reminder and warning to people planning to walk the Camino about the potential dangers of this amazing journey.

It's such sad news and so heart breaking for the family and friends of the man.
I hope the thoughts and prayers of the Camino "community" provide them some comfort.

Rest in peace pilgrim.
 
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In St. Jean it can be a beautiful day - but that path goes over a real mountain and even on a 'good' day the weather can change in minutes.

Would like to re-iterate this for emphasis, as it happened to me. I left St. Jean at 10 AM and by 1 PM it had started raining very hard and fog had rolled in. By this point, for those who've walked Napoleon recently, I was at the point where all the poles are with the emergency number inscribed upon them. I stopped at the little shack beyond that (a bit past where you enter Spain, IIRC) for about 30 minutes and left again when the rain slacked off. About 20 minutes later the rain picked up again (fog was always present) and it started lightening as well. Pretty jarring stuff.

All in all it took me 10 hours to get from St. Jean to Roncesvalles in that weather. And it wasn't forecasted either.
 
May the good Lord bless his soul and comfort his family in their hour of sorrow. May he find peace and happiness forever. Eternal rest, grant unto him, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. Amen!

Buen Camino,
Manny D
 
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MCVet said:
Would like to re-iterate this for emphasis, asit happened to me.
WOW! quite an experience; what time of the year did you go?

It really brings attention to the fact that this is not a "walk in the park" When I got my Pilgrim credential stamped at the Office of the Pilgrim in SJPDP one of the volunteers told me that every year there are fatalities on that region, be a pilgrim or just hikers. He stressed he fact that the weather can change and to try to stay within sight of the trail and others. I remember going into the emergency shack built and counting my blessings that I had made it that day without having to use it.
 
Solas Geal na BhFlaithis ar a h-anam.

May the joful light of Heaven shine upon his soul. I will certainly remember him and his family in June.
 
WOW! quite an experience; what time of the year did you go?

Ha, I feel I tell this story in every thread lol.

I started July 11th. It was still rather cold at that altitude. The hike up warms you up, so I was in a short sleeved shirt and shorts. I had a long sleeved shirt (a hoodie) but my poncho was short sleeved and the sleeves would just get soaked and then wick temperature out through that, as well as have constant damp against my skin.

I was pretty cold by the time I reached the Navarra stone, or at least my extremities were. I still had a very warm core so I wasn't especially concerned, and didn't think it was paradoxical hypothermia, but I did change into long pants (jeans) and put on as many layers of clothing as I could while in the middle of the trail under some trees (was still raining) and that helped a bit. The head was dry but the feet were not, so I was losing warmth that way as well. Calling anyone wasn't an option as my phone doesn't work in Europe, and I wasn't walking with anyone. I did eventually come upon two people who were slowly descending into Roncesvalles (we all were, it was very muddy and very slick) through that wooded portion but that's pretty much the only people I saw during the whole ordeal.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
MCVet said:
I started July 11th. It was still rather cold at that altitude. The hike up warms you up, so I was in a short sleeved shirt and shorts. I had a long sleeved shirt (a hoodie) but my poncho was short sleeved and the sleeves would just get soaked and then wick temperature out through that, as well as have constant damp against my skin.

I was pretty cold by the time I reached the Navarra stone, or at least my extremities were. I still had a very warm core so I wasn't especially concerned, and didn't think it was paradoxical hypothermia, but I did change into long pants (jeans) and put on as many layers of clothing as I could while in the middle of the trail under some trees (was still raining) and that helped a bit. The head was dry but the feet were not, so I was losing warmth that way as well.

Thanks for sharing your story, McVet. I'd like to use it to make an important point for those might not know the following -

When it comes to hiking, "cotton kills." Meaning, leave all your cotton and denim clothing at home and pack only wicking base layers (wool or synthetic clothing), polyester or synthetic fleece, and a waterproof/wind proof layer.

Cotton traps moisture (rain, snow sweat, etc) and keeps it close to your skin, cooling your core. Wicking base layers wicks all moisture away from your skin and dries quickly.

Yesterday the girls and I walked over the Montes de Orca. It rained all day and the temps were quite chilly. In my opinion, that situation is far more dangerous than snow because hypothermia can easily happen to the unprepared and novice hiker..the new-to-hiking person might think that since it's not snow, they don't need to worry about keeping all that warm.

We wore only our base layers (Alex wanted short sleeves) and rain coats and we were just fine. Our base layer pants constantly wicked the rain and our sweat away from our legs (we have waterproof pants but we were warm from hiking fast so we choose not to use them). Had we been in cotton, we would have suffered badly - all that water would have soaked our pants, our sweat would have stayed in our shirts and chilled us, etc.

Having the right clothing can make all the difference in the world in terms of comfort and safety.
 
Having the right clothing can make all the difference in the world in terms of comfort and safety.
And making the right choice to stay put can also make all the difference in the world. An adrenaline rush or proving one's toughness is a poor excuse for risking your life, or the lives of your loved one.
 
Indeed rain can be more dangerous than snow. I echo the advice to avoid cotton. Wear layers of Smartwool or synthetics that can be removed as needed to regulate your core temperature and reduce sweating. Hypothermia can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40 degrees).

I took the following from the CDC (Center of Disease Control) and you can read the entire article here. http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/wint ... hermia.asp

"When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
Victims of hypothermia are often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.; and (4) people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.
Recognizing Hypothermia
Warnings signs of hypothermia:
Adults:
shivering, exhaustion
confusion, fumbling hands
memory loss, slurred speech
drowsiness"

Susan "backpack45" Alcorn
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
falcon269 said:
Having the right clothing can make all the difference in the world in terms of comfort and safety.
And making the right choice to stay put can also make all the difference in the world. An adrenaline rush or proving one's toughness is a poor excuse for risking your life, or the lives of your loved one.

Agreed, though I personally don't know many hikers who are hiking for an adrenaline rush or to prove their toughness. They, like my daughters and I, hike mountains in all temps because they/we enjoy nature in all Her glory and wildness. That being said, one needs to be ego-less and without summit fever. Real hikers know when to turn back and when to bail on Plan A (or, "stay put" as you word it).
The right decision for going onward or turning back, however, is dependent on many factors - not just the weather, but the experience of the hiker, the gear he or she is carrying, the type of clothing he/she is using, their knowledge of the terrain, the conditions of the trail, whether or not there is any above-treeline travel, etc. What will be the right decision for one person may not be the right decision for another.

Clearly, avoiding the Napoleon route a couple of weeks ago was the only wise choice for the informed hiker - UNLESS the hiker lived in that region, already knew the mountain well, had a great map and compass, was an experienced winter mountain hiker, and had all his/her winter gear with him/her...and I doubt any of the pilgrims over the past month fit all that criteria. We certainly didn't, hence our road-walk to Valcarlos (which we enjoyed).
 
backpack45 said:
Indeed rain can be more dangerous than snow. I echo the advice to avoid cotton. Wear layers of Smartwool or synthetics that can be removed as needed to regulate your core temperature and reduce sweating. Hypothermia can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40 degrees).

backpack45, great post. Hypothermia is more of a danger in cool rain, in my opinion, than it is in snow, because people don't realize the danger and they might allow themselves to become drenched in the rain while wearing jeans and sweatshirts, etc. Add a stiff wind to that equation and dehydration from too much wine the night before, and you've got a recipe for potential disaster.
 
chas999 said:
My thoughts and prayers are with the loss of our fellow pilgrim and also with his family.
Yes, mine as well.
So very sad to read the report.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Transport luggage-passengers.
From airports to SJPP
Luggage from SJPP to Roncevalles
Let us be careful not to terrify those who will be starting their first Camino :|

Yes, if one takes the Napoleon pass in winter in snow this is a ridiculously dangerous thing to do. Winter is staying late this year so it has been a dangerous place to go - people can die, and sadly, they do.

In the last few years just two pilgrims have died up there. One, and Englishman, from a heart attack - and he took that heart problem with him, unknowingly, and the other, the latest, the poor Canadian man who went up there in heavy snow and paid the price.

But the pass at other times is fine, wonderful, exhilarating - the worst that usually happens is that you can get very wet.
So let there be balance - check the weather reports. Snow? don't go. Storms? Don't go. All other times, take care, go early, pace yourself - enjoy!

Buen Camino :wink:
 
So let there be balance - check the weather reports. Snow? don't go. Storms? Don't go. All other times, take care, go early, pace yourself - enjoy!

Oh yes, for sure. I was just caught in a freak storm and miserable, but the whole time I was thinking that it must be absolutely gorgeous when it's good weather (especially, as I imagine it, the sunlight filtering through the canopy of leaves as you descend into Roncesvalles), because up to that point, coming up from SJPP, it was some wonderful views, so I at least enjoyed half the day lol. I'll be doing Napoleon again if I ever get the chance for another Camino, because I want to see it when it's nice out.
 
These are great posts on hypothermia and clothing, safety etc and should be carried on in a new thread. We seem to have moved away from the OP which was about the sad death of this pilgrim and our prayers and thoughts for him and his family.
I also agree with David that we should be careful and not scare off would be pilgrims from the Napoleon or indeed the Camino.
 
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A decision does not have to be Steve-Irwin-stupid to be a bad decision, but consenting adults can make any decision they want. A single bad decision is rarely fatal. It is the second bad circumstance that gets you. The classic example in aviation is leaving with a bad generator on one engine. Naturally, the engine that fails in flight is the one with the good generator. Now you have only the battery to get you out of the night, the clouds, the single-engine instrument approach, and the ice. I have two friends whose partial remains are still on the mountains of Santa Barbara from that. On the Camino you leave on the road in marginal weather for whatever the motivation. The conditions change, and there is freezing rain. The truck with bad brakes comes careening around the corner and the high visibility vest is useless. The only bad decision was being there. Everything else is just bad luck. The thing about bad luck, is that its absence can make you feel like a genius. The Koreans who just dodged the grim reaper probably thought they were up to the challenge. It is one of the coldest, most mountainous countries in the world, making New Hampshire look like Florida (but windier). They were just a whiteout away from returning home in a box, but probably think "I handled that well." One can never prevail over such hubris because it comes from the gut, not the head.
 
I don't think so Falc - humans always risk assess before doing something - no one walks across a busy street without checking the traffic first or goes swimming in deep water when the flags are up saying it is dangerous ... many more examples - sure, when unexpected disaster strikes then we survive or die, seemingly at a whim ... but with such things as walking over a mountain covered in snow? We risk assess first. If people say it is dangerous we don't go, or shouldn't go, don't you think?
 
A different view.

The person was a Canadian. Not some one living in the tropics . He likely had a fairly good sense of the dangers that come with snow and cold. He still got in trouble. The fact some one that deals with snow and fairly cold temps every single winter day for months got into trouble should make us all leave the ego at home.

Now you could argue this got him into trouble. Thinking he could handle the snow. Fair enough. The fact he seems to have been alone worries me enough.
 
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Too true. The saddest part of this for me is that he was alone, the poor man. His poor family - I grieve too :|
 
From "On Death" by Kahli Gibran

http://www.katsandogz.com/ondeath.html
Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance

Ya, I pondered him being a Canadian too Nicoz and knowing cold and it's consequences if over exposed , but then thought , well , experienced Mtn Climbers die frequently on Everest knowing fair well what they are walking into so possibly he understood cold and hypothermia but he might not have fully understood his personal limitations and took the risk.

I don't have access at the moment but there is a video on the forum by a gent from Korea ( 20 something) that didn't heed the warnings from the Pilgrim office about staying off the Napoleon and decided to head over the Mtn at 2 pm! He had a massive hard time winding up spending t he night behind a rock in cold rain and wind . He seemed intelligent ... go figure.

Good friend of mine died couple years ago in the ocean doing what everyone told him NOT to do .what's all that about? . I heard of an epitaph on a gravestone the goes" Finally, I'm in a Hole I didn't dig for myself" ... Some serious truth to that , But , believe me I am so so sad for this guys family .
 
Studying the small map published in the local Diario de Navarra newspaper that showed where the body was found, I suspect what happened was something like this: the pilgrim (I wish I didn't have to keep referring to him so impersonally, but I haven't yet seen that they have released his name in the press), upon reaching the Coll de Lepoeder, could not see the signs marking the path the Camino follows because of the snow, but likely did see the the monastery and surrounding buildings in the valley below him. It looks like what may have happened is that he decided to walk directly toward Roncesvalles in a straight line through the snow, and in doing so, did not realize he was walking over the ridge above the gorge into which he fell. The accumulation of snow would likely have prevented him realizing he was on a ridge and how steep the drop was.

Again, this is only speculation on my part based on the map, and I may be wrong. In the end, this kind of speculation only matters if it helps to remind inexperienced hikers that the perception of distances, orientation and dangers in the mountains are often distorted by weather conditions, exhaustion, hypothermia (or heat stroke in summer) and lack of experience. Everyone needs to be aware of this and we all need to be brutally honest with ourselves vis-a-vis our own limitations and lack of experience.

God bless, buen Camino and Happy Easter everyone.
 
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Navarricano, they have released his name.

Here:

http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/mundo/20 ... r-ele.html

I was reading another article a few days ago, which I can't find right now. I had to translate it in google from Portuguese. Don't know if I got it right, but it seems like he had lost someone in his family last year, and wanted to walk to Santiago to be alone with his thoughts. It doesn't seem like he was an adventurer. He was just a pilgrim, like most of us.

My condolences to the family.
 
Susannafromsweden said:
Navarricano, they have released his name.

Here:

http://ultimosegundo.ig.com.br/mundo/20 ... r-ele.html

Thank you for this, Susanna. I'm happy that I can now remember Gilbert by name in my prayers.

Almighty Eternal God, in your infinite goodness, receive the soul of Gilbert Janeri. Cleanse him whom you have called from this world of all his faults, release him from his sins and receive him into the realm of Light and Peace, together with your saints. Comfort his family in their sorrow. Bring the light of Christ's resurrection to their hearts in this time of pain, and grant them faith in the sure hope of your mercy and goodness. Amen.
 
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Nobody will ever know the answer to that question.

I have posted the story on my blog for those folks who are not on this forum.
Thanks so much for the new information.
 
Speedy journey along the Campus Stellae, to your own place in the stars, Gilbert Janeri. Keep a watchful eye on the pilgrims walking the Camino.
 
Gilbert Janeri - he looks like he was a nice man - he leaves a son.
 

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David said:
Gilbert Janeri - he looks like he was a nice man - he leaves a son.

I read that four (4) members of Mr. Janeri's family have already traveled to Spain and have decided to walk the Camino on his honor. Much like in the movie "The Way", which Mr. Janeri found very inspiring, they have decided that the body be cremated and his ashes to be spread at the Cruz de Fierro and along the Camino de Santiago.

I am going back to the Camino in May and his memory will come along.

May God bless his soul with eternal rest.
 
Hi folks,
I looked at the link to the story of the death of this pilgrim put up by susanafromsweden. Unfortunately it was not in english, would someone kindly google translate the entire page and post it?
 
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TRANSLATION BY GOOGLE :

Family of slain Brazilian complete the Camino de Santiago route for him
According sister of Gilbert Janeri, Brazilian body will be cremated in Spain and his ashes will be thrown into the Iron Cross, the Camino de Santiago
Bruna Carvalho | 25/03/2013 15:24:39 - Updated at 25/03/2013 16:36:39

The family of the Brazilian found dead on Saturday morning (23) in Spain, one of the trails near the Camino de Santiago, decided to go to the country to complete the course is not completed by Gilbert Janeri, 43 years. According Janeri Sonia Toledo, sister of Gilbert's body will be cremated Brazil on March 30 and she, her husband, daughter and son in law depart by car to perform the way for him.

Photo: Personal Archive
Gilbert Janeri% 2C picture taken shortly before his departure to make the road to Santiago de Compostela

Read also: Brazilian dies on the Camino de Santiago
Sonia said it was a wish of his brother that if he could not survive the journey, that his body be cremated and his ashes thrown into the Iron Cross. "We decided to make the journey by car and getting the stamps go as we pass through the villages to do his will," he said. During the Camino de Santiago, tourists can catch "sellos", marking the completion of sections of the route.
The Brazilian executive was found dead on Saturday morning by police forest of Navarra, in Spain, one of the trails near the Camino de Santiago. According to the family, he was 700 meters away from the route. "We do not know if the snow hid the plates with arrows. Sure he was lost."
The last contact with the family of Gilbert was done by e-mail on March 6 in the city of Saint Jean Pied de Port, France. He had written that he was not sure if he would take the path through the Pyrenees or some other. It was snowing and there were very few pilgrims on the trail.
"He talked us not to worry, they'd send news, but he was going to stay with it himself," said his sister. "We spent a week without news, waiting, and nothing. We send e-mail, and he did not answer. But we thought we were alone, that soon would receive news. A lot of people are shocked."
The family believes that Gilbert died on the 7th track in the Pyrenees, since her body was found five hours walk from the starting point. The Consulate of Brazil in Barcelona told the relatives that the executive may have died of a heart attack, but there is no confirmation of expertise.
Sonia believes this was the cause of the death of his brother since their father also died of a heart attack at age 46. According to the sister, Gilbert was a smoker and, despite having been prepared to walk the walk path, the first section has climbs and snow may have made the trek more difficult.
The sister suggested that Gilbert felt that would not come back alive, and a weekend before they travel, together attended the film The Way, in which the main character travels to France to recover the body of his son, killed in the path Camino de Santiago.
Gilbert worked at a Canadian logistics company in Brazil and came to live in Canada, where he obtained citizenship of the country. He leaves a son.
With information from The Associated Press
 
Thank you, Susanna, for the updates about Gilbert. I have continued to pray for him.

I am cross-posting the following information on several threads that I have been involved in over the past month or so, because it is important. We had another near miss with a pilgrim yesterday!

There has been another rescue in the Pyrenees. Thanks be to God, this woman survived her experience. This article appeared in this morning's print edition of the Diario de Navarra newspaper. The translation and emphases are mine:

Firefighters from Burguete rescued another pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago yesterday. (4 April). The pilgrim was a middle-aged American (U.S.) woman who had turned her ankle. It took firefighters two hours to tranport the woman three kilometers along paths completely covered in snow. The woman and her son were walking the Camino, following the Route Napoleon over the mountain from St. Jean Pied-de-Port to Roncesvalles; the Route Napoleon is snowed under at present.

Along the way, she sprained her ankle, and when she reached the shelter at Izandorre, radioed SOS Navarra for help. SOS Navarra, in turn, alerted the fire department in Burguete. This occurred at 4.30 in the afternoon. The firefighters reached the woman's location in 30 minutes, but transporting her to the paved highway, where they had left their vehicle, was quite a bit more complicated: by stretcher and at times walking with the support of the firefighters, it took the group two hours to cover the three kilometers distance.

The Route Napoleon is still covered in snow. It is still too risky to go that way. Yes, she twisted her ankle. Yes, some can justify this as an accident that could happen to anyone, even in summer too, etc. But folks, please... her rescue was complicated by the snow. Thank God she was able to get to the shelter, and thank God they got her off the mountain. but the weather here in Navarra has been cold and nasty for the past two days. More like January than April, and more snow is predicted for this weekend. Go the Valcarlos route, wear reflective vests and stay on the pavement.
 
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I had a very nice message on my blog from a friend of the Brazilian man who died on the Camino:

Annie, thoughtful account, thank you. I worked with Gilbert in Brazil and in Canada, and will miss him. As we say/learn in the Camino "leave behind what no longer serves you in this life"... in Gilbert's case, I like to think he was ready for his next journey and no longer needed his body in this life. May we remember him for living and dying doing what he loved, and may his family accept this sunset as a sunrise somewhere else. Peace.
 
Navarricano said:
But folks, please... her rescue was complicated by the snow.

I find that strangely offensive. So let me understand this correctly--you believe that no one should ever go out into the snow?

You know what else can complicate a rescue? Hurting yourself when you're in the Pyrenees without snow. There might be cliffs that need navigating, the visibility might be bad, and rescuers might take a wrong turn on their way out of town.

Every rescue is unique and can have complications. But that's hardly a reason not to go on the road less traveled and get off the beaten path. It's unfortunate when injuries do happen, but locking yourself into a room for the rest of your life in an attempt to make sure your rescue is easy isn't much of a life either. Oh, wait, firefighters have DIED trying to rescue people from their own homes. How utterly selfish of them, getting trapped in their very own homes.

I plan to snowshoe around Crater Lake later this month. I'll take every precaution to do so safely, and while there's always a chance I could get caught up in an avalanche or break a leg or something, but telling me I shouldn't even go--or waiting until the summer--kind of defeats the purpose. To get out and LIVE. To see Crater Lake covered in snow without the hoards of tourists in their fleet of shiny cars.

Just because you don't feel comfortable trekking through the snow is no reason to show contempt for those that do. Maybe it's not suitable for you, and that's alright. But it's not fair to judge others who have a different level of experience or capabilities by comparing it to your own. There are people who walk the Pyrenees in the summer who have no business doing something so strenuous, and there are people in the winter who know exactly what they're doing.

So in my opinion--assuming that the woman is qualified and has experience traveling through the snow--good for her. Accidents happen, and she had the skills and knowledge to extract herself from a potentially dangerous situation. That's exactly how we want things to work!

-- Ryan
 
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It's unfortunate when injuries do happen, but locking yourself into a room for the rest of your life in an attempt to make sure your rescue is easy isn't much of a life either.
That is the choice????
 
Green Tortuga said:
I find that strangely offensive. So let me understand this correctly--you believe that no one should ever go out into the snow?
-- Ryan

Hello?
Navarricano never said "no one should ever go out in the snow."
I find that conclusion rather silly.

When the local population, who have grown up in the area, advise a pilgrim NOT to travel over the pass, but rather to take the road for safety, then I believe that they should listen and NOT travel over the pass. It must really be a pain in the kazoo for the authorities to have to organize and pay for yet one more rescue of a stubborn peregrino who refused to listen to time-founded advice!

If they ignore that advice and require rescue, I think the Spanish government would be well within their rights to bill them for the costs of the rescue.

If they die, yes it is tragic, but it is also "natural selection." And before someone busts my chops for insinuating the Brazilian had been warned, I am not talking about him. I have no idea whether or not he was warned. If he WAS warned, he paid the ultimate price for his decision.

Being myself one of those children who had to touch the hot stove, I understand ignoring advice and making your own decisions. But I also realize there are consequences, sometimes dire, and even sometimes fatal.

That said, I certainly don't find people's intelligent concern or warning to be "offensive?"
 
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okay, changed my mind.

I somehow find it strangely offensive to rant in a post announcing the very unfortunate death of a fellow pilgrim...
 
Green Tortuga said:
Navarricano said:
But folks, please... her rescue was complicated by the snow.

I find that strangely offensive. So let me understand this correctly--you believe that no one should ever go out into the snow?

You know what else can complicate a rescue? Hurting yourself when you're in the Pyrenees without snow. There might be cliffs that need navigating, the visibility might be bad, and rescuers might take a wrong turn on their way out of town.

Every rescue is unique and can have complications. But that's hardly a reason not to go on the road less traveled and get off the beaten path. It's unfortunate when injuries do happen, but locking yourself into a room for the rest of your life in an attempt to make sure your rescue is easy isn't much of a life either. Oh, wait, firefighters have DIED trying to rescue people from their own homes. How utterly selfish of them, getting trapped in their very own homes.

I plan to snowshoe around Crater Lake later this month. I'll take every precaution to do so safely, and while there's always a chance I could get caught up in an avalanche or break a leg or something, but telling me I shouldn't even go--or waiting until the summer--kind of defeats the purpose. To get out and LIVE. To see Crater Lake covered in snow without the hoards of tourists in their fleet of shiny cars.

Just because you don't feel comfortable trekking through the snow is no reason to show contempt for those that do. Maybe it's not suitable for you, and that's alright. But it's not fair to judge others who have a different level of experience or capabilities by comparing it to your own. There are people who walk the Pyrenees in the summer who have no business doing something so strenuous, and there are people in the winter who know exactly what they're doing.

So in my opinion--assuming that the woman is qualified and has experience traveling through the snow--good for her. Accidents happen, and she had the skills and knowledge to extract herself from a potentially dangerous situation. That's exactly how we want things to work!

-- Ryan

1. I don't think anyone has suggested that no-one should ever go out in the snow.
2. Or that the respondent "doesn't feel comfortable" trekking in the snow - you are making a wild assumption here.
3. And no-one here is showing contempt for anyone else,or making judgements ,except perhaps you.
4.And, no-one on here would dream of telling you what to do - snowshoe to your hearts content.
 
New Original Camino Gear Designed Especially with The Modern Peregrino In Mind!
Pieces said:
okay, changed my mind.

I somehow find it strangely offensive to rant in a post announcing the very unfortunate death of a fellow pilgrim...

I agree.
And I'm sure most of us (ok not Green tortuga) thinks Navarricano has been posting good and sensible advice, trying to help us.
 
Emergency workers know that their job can be hazardous, and accept the risk. However, for adrenaline junkies to put these courageous people at risk is unconscionable. Twist your ankle? Bad luck. Twist your ankle where a snow rescue is required? More a bad choice than bad luck.
 
Anniesantiago said:
When the local population, who have grown up in the area, advise a pilgrim NOT to travel over the pass, but rather to take the road for safety, then I believe that they should listen and NOT travel over the pass.

Ah, well, we'll just have to agree to disagree. I've probably said too much already, but I'm a little protective people who get picked on--especially people who aren't even around to explain their decisions or what may or may not have happened.

I agree that pilgrims should listen to locals and take their advice to heart, and I'll leave that argument there. (I don't entirely agree with "not" traveling over the pass part--but it's not an argument that interests me either so I'm letting it go.) If that's what you felt offended me, I apologize. Apparently, I failed miserably at expressing my thoughts.

The part I felt seemed a little offensive was pointing out that the snow made the rescue more difficult. "Yeah, well, it was a real pain in the rear to rescue you because of all that snow. At least have the decency to break a leg where it would be more convenient for us!"

It just seems a bit insensitive to me, but apparently, I'm alone in that opinion. Such is life. Sorry for ruffling any feathers. (But admittedly, it still seems a little insensitive to me.)

-- Ryan
 
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Found the video I mentioned in my last post .. If your a first time Pilgrim ( like me ) heed this .
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSUd9aw_-yM

I don't have access at the moment but there is a video on the forum by a gent from Korea ( 20 something) that didn't heed the warnings from the Pilgrim office about staying off the Napoleon and decided to head over the Mtn at 2 pm! He had a massive hard time winding up spending t he night behind a rock in cold rain and wind . He seemed intelligent ... go figure.
 
I received this message on my blog today from the Brazilian pilgrim's sister:

Dear Annie,
Thank you for your kind words.
We all will miss him!

My family and I went to Spain and we was able to place a wonderful memorial for him in the way... It is very visible for everyone who does the Pirineus and almost arriving in Roncesvalles.
When we were there, we had already seen a lot of peregrins passing through and praying for his soul. Definitely he will receive a lot of positive vibrations and will be remembered forever.


I think it's sweet that people are already leaving remembrances for this young man.
It means a lot to his family.
If anyone happens to take a photo along the way, please send it to me and I'll post it on the blog so the family can see it.
 
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DeadFred said:
Found the video I mentioned in my last post .. If your a first time Pilgrim ( like me ) heed this . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSUd9aw_-yM
I thought this video was very effective in illustrating the concept that IF locals are advising not to cross/use the Route Napoleon there is no second option; you do not cross. Period. There were so many signs for this young man to stay put; he ignored them all and almost paid dearly. The video really captures the thought process from total disregard to local advice to his desperation and regret when he gets lost.

The part about the local truck picking him up just to dropped him back at an isolated section of the Camino was confusing to me...what do you guys think happened? I really have a hard time believing that a local farmer found this young man lost, cold, and hungry and opted to dropped him off to his luck. :?:
 
Olivares said:
The part about the local truck picking him up just to dropped him back at an isolated section of the Camino was confusing to me...what do you guys think happened? I really have a hard time believing that a local farmer found this young man lost, cold, and hungry and opted to dropped him off to his luck. :?: [/color]


Yes, I think there must have been a major misunderstanding of some sort there ....
 
Second hand anecdote: A pilgrim was badly bitten by a dog. The police responded, and took him to the hospital for treatment. After getting stitches, they gave him a ride back to the point where he was bitten, saying "We are required to do this."

Anything is possible!!!
 
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I was watching some camino videos on TV with my 88 year old mother and saw the young Korean's one as well. I had intended to calm my mother's concerns, but this did not help. I did explain that someone of more mature years had learnt to listen and take advice. It did help that when he said that it was two o'clock and he was going INTO the Pilgrims Office before setting out, I told my Mother that he was being stupid.
Let's hope that this thread does not have to discuss other unfortunate events.
 

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