Hi folks. I am writing from the US. I am walking from Burgos to Leon next month. I know it will be cold and possibly wet. But will I need spikes because of ice on the ground? Thank you for any information you can provide.
If you need spikes to walk from St. Louis to Kansas City in February, then you will need them on the Camino. I for one, can't imagine using them. The Camino is a walk in the park, not summiting Everest.
They do have relatively light weight slip on ones that I would have used in a few spots, none of them on the meseta. That being said if the weight isn’t a burden and you would feel more comfortable having them, just in case. The places I’ve run into the most challenges where the terrain didn’t allow for other options such as being forced to walk on the road which seems to be an ice magnet, particularly around the ascent/descent of O Cebreiro…always on a blind corner on foggy mornings where taking a slip isn’t advised.
My answer is a pretty firm NO! Could there be a freak storm on the Meseta? But if so and you need spikes(?) to walk one day ( which is extremely unlikely) better to take a day off, then to lug those ice grips the entire time.
In bad weather, In February , I delayed leaving Foncebadon a few hours, on the advice of the albergue, until after the plow came through and sanded/salted (?) and then walked up and down to El Acebo on the roads. On the paths snow shoes would have been more useful that year but not a good option in toto.
Living near the Rockies we have crampons for walking in the forest and smaller spike ones for walks from the house. Today we walked from the house and it was extremely icy with the recent temperatures changes.
When we walk from the house we never take poles. We will be leaving from Burgos at the end of March and are expecting to run across some snow or ice but we will have poles so not concerned.
From experience most of my slips on winter caminos has been on icy smooth pavements in towns - and spikes are no use on such surfaces. Even my first arrival in Santiago in late spring there was frost/ice and I slipped on the pavement at edge of town - I was so annoyed that such a short distance before the cathedral that I nearly ended up with an injury- though I went down, it thankfully was just a few bruises.
There's a middle ground, also: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B006O5K050/ . I have those, and would bring them for a winter camino. They're really nice on icy trails in mountainous terrain, as well as on icy, compact snow on roads or where many people have walked.
Who knows whether you will encounter ice on this stretch.. Probably not. I had no ice at all on our March Camino and ice on just one day on a Dec/January walk. We enounced ice on one day only - just frozen-over puddles which were easy to walk around. It was a bit tricky in the forest area walking in to San Juan de Ortega, the puddles were like skating rinks!! We walk with walking poles and these helped tremendously during this stretch - either for smashing the ice or steadying us. Personally, I would not bother buying them. If, when you arrive in Burgos there is a high chance of needing them, they should be easy enough to purchase. For what it is worth, I spent ages considering whether or not to take the and glad I did not. Good luck and happy planning
Also, will probably be windy - icy cold winds. A buff and/or ear warmers came in very handy - like this (not me in the pic haha)
Hola, the real thing that matters when stepping in the meseta is the sole of your boots.
The walking paths are covered with millions of stones in all measures and sharpness.
They continue putting preasure on your feet, so you must protect them very well.
Solid and sturdy footwear is not an unnecessary luxury but an essential requirement.
I February 2018 I walked through the snow at O Cebreiro through to Alto do Poio, no crampons, sticking to the footpath not the road. Just crossed the road at Linares. Fabulous views - wear gloves! Buen Camino