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LIVE from the Camino Autumnal baztan turned into winter ,advice anyone?

2020 Camino Guides

Bill27

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
norte/primitivo octobre 2015
Bought a poncho yesterday, must have since my rain clothing turned out to be totally useless in the torrential rain i have seen in the last 4days . Did i miss out that the deluge has come ? Even the local people ,who seem to be used for some rain since everybody wheres umbrellas, are astonished on the bad wheather that has hit navarra and What has been forecasted for the next ten days. About these forecastes ; they were 400 meters wrong on the snow altitude. Or perhaps they couldnt believe the output because from What i understand it seldom snows in this part of navarra. Even in winter. To make a long story short, i like to think i am well prepared (altough a poncho was not on my list) but cramp ons are not in mij backpack. So here i am in the albergue of berroeta. I can see the snowborder at i guess 700 meters so the belate pass will be covered for sure. Is the path doable without cramp ons?How steep is it for the last 200 hight meters? The alternative seems to be the busy d20, not hiker friendly in my opinion. Sorry for lay-out,, very small smart phone and no dictionary. Cheers Bill
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Bought a poncho yesterday, must have since my rain clothing turned out to be totally useless in the torrential rain i have seen in the last 4days . Did i miss out that the deluge has come ? Even the local people ,who seem to be used for some rain since everybody wheres umbrellas, are astonished on the bad wheather that has hit navarra and What has been forecasted for the next ten days. About these forecastes ; they were 400 meters wrong on the snow altitude. Or perhaps they couldnt believe the output because from What i understand it seldom snows in this part of navarra. Even in winter. To make a long story short, i like to think i am well prepared (altough a poncho was not on my list) but cramp ons are not in mij backpack. So here i am in the albergue of berroeta. I can see the snowborder at i guess 700 meters so the belate pass will be covered for sure. Is the path doable without cramp ons?How steep is it for the last 200 hight meters? The alternative seems to be the busy d20, not hiker friendly in my opinion. Sorry for lay-out,, very small smart phone and no dictionary. Cheers Bill

My advice would be to ask the locals. They will have the best feel for the situation.

Joe
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@Bill27 I cannot really help you with details. I did the Baztan in very nice autumnal weather. :)
If empathy helps, I can give you that ;) I finished walking Invierno a week ago and the rain throughout was unmerciful (but not snow) and two people walking behind me have had a continuation of the same. The words biblical, noachic and diluvial have been used! :eek:
And clearly at this time people are having difficulty or at least anxiety on Primitivo from what you can read on the subforums.
Rain is 'doable' it just isn't very nice, and obscures the views and on the Invierno converts some paths into rivers or mudbaths. And can make paths dangerous in parts, as I found out this year in Albania and in North Macedonia.
But obviously snow is a different thing altogether and it is important to stay safe and I suppose local advice can be very useful here. I have not walked in snow in Spain (and I note first snow of the year in both Roncesvalles and O Cebreiro earlier this week) but I did around Great St Bernard Pass in Switzerland last year.
There are two linked issues I think - the physical difficulty of walking in snow and the added difficulty of finding the correct path in the snow.
If I were there I would find someone local who you feel you can trust to give wise advice - I know this may not be easy. And I would err on the side of caution.
Can someone here tell us how good the direction marking is on Baztan if it is snow covered? I am guessing not as good as on Primitivo which had high posts marking the path over hospitales route which would stick up out of the snow.
Buen Camino and do stay safe and warm.
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Bought a poncho yesterday, must have since my rain clothing turned out to be totally useless in the torrential rain i have seen in the last 4days . Did i miss out that the deluge has come ? Even the local people ,who seem to be used for some rain since everybody wheres umbrellas, are astonished on the bad wheather that has hit navarra and What has been forecasted for the next ten days. About these forecastes ; they were 400 meters wrong on the snow altitude. Or perhaps they couldnt believe the output because from What i understand it seldom snows in this part of navarra. Even in winter. To make a long story short, i like to think i am well prepared (altough a poncho was not on my list) but cramp ons are not in mij backpack. So here i am in the albergue of berroeta. I can see the snowborder at i guess 700 meters so the belate pass will be covered for sure. Is the path doable without cramp ons?How steep is it for the last 200 hight meters? The alternative seems to be the busy d20, not hiker friendly in my opinion. Sorry for lay-out,, very small smart phone and no dictionary. Cheers Bill
Sorry to hear of these challenging circumstances, Bill. Did you ask the Berroeta hospitalera for advice? If it’s the same lady as two years ago, she regularly hikes in the mountains and will probably have a useful perspective. Alternatively, the nice couple who run the bar in Venta San Blas will hopefully be able to help (and welcome you with a warm fireside and a cooked breakfast).

That said, if you have doubts about the wisdom of hiking alone in those conditions, it might just be a case of trusting your gut.

Here’s a link to the bus timetable, in case you need it: http://www.labaztanesa.com/paradas_intermedias.pdf

Good luck and stay safe!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
In addition to Nuala and Tim's good advice, here are some pics of the approach to the pass at Belate, in May (next post). There are steep sections of old paving, and patchy waymarking. The pass itself is marked by menhirs so at least up there you would know the way. But the part that might be most fraught would be going down to Lantz. There is more than one option.

Bottom line is that if I were in your shoes, I would ask at the albergue or Venta San Blas, and then regardless of what they say, I'd only take my chances if I had an offline gps track to follow as well as adequate winter clothing and footwear.
 
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