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Avoiding the Alto de Perdon

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mspath

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If pilgrims wish to avoid the dangerous slippery climb up and down the Alto de Perdon due to deep mud they might consider this 'walk around' which I have often followed along back roads and eventually the end of the Camino Aragonese . From Cizur Menor walk SE on NA6000 roughly 14k to Campanas, then on NA121 SE to Muruarte de Reta on NA601 to join the Camino Aragonese. Continue W 10k to the splendid circular Romanesque church at Eunate and 4k further to Puente la Reina on the Camino Frances.
Buen Camino,
Margaret Meredith
 

falcon269

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Camino(s) past & future
yes
But it is so much fun (perhaps schadenfreude is more apt) watching cyclists slide down the mud hill up to Alto del Perdon... :twisted:

The two mud covered pilgrims who had just blown past me without so much a ding from their bells left me in a much better mood for the rest of the Camino. After reflecting on the irony of karma, I helped them clean up a bit, and felt a surprising sympathy. I liked bicyclists much more after seeing them equalized. Their fate was my fate as my boots picked up two inches of volcanic mud, and I skated along for parts of the trail over the next two days.

The Aragones from about Tiebas is an excellent walk, Mspath, I agree. I think a few stretches might be a bit muddy in the rain, but nothing like Alto del Perdon. I had dust, which is mud dried out.
 

tyrrek

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Try not to avoid it unless conditions are really bad. It's just a ridge - not really a mountain - but it does get muddy as it's misted over much of the time. If you're lucky and it's a clear day you can see for miles from the top by the pilgrim monument and it's beautiful. The Alto is another reason to stay in Pamplona the night before rather than Cizur Menor (as Brierley's guide suggests), because by the time you get there from Pamplona the mist has lifted and you get the beautiful hazy views. Buen Camino!
 

scruffy1

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The opinions concerning the statues on Alto de Perdon aresharply divided - I love them! A first time pilgrim should make the attempt to climb and see them to form your own opinion, there is a small access road shown on better maps if one should decide to leave the Camino and go around, it is also used by the guy who is usually there and who will sell you a sandwich or a cold cup of coffee from his thermos.
S.
 

sillydoll

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I recommend to not-so-steady pilgrims to walk up and get a taxi down.
A friend of mine did that in 2007 when she developed a dicky knee between St Jean and Pamplona. We asked a taxi to fetch her from the top of the+ Alto and take her to Zariquiergui where we met up with her and continued on our way.
 

dougfitz

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tyrrek said:
It's just a ridge - not really a mountain
Alto de Perdon might be a ridge, but its local prominence (nearly 300m) and absolute height (790m, >600m or 610m in the UK) both qualify it as a mountain. Over 3/4 of English mountains are lower.

Clearly, its a mountain.

Regards,
 

tyrrek

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dougfitz said:
tyrrek said:
It's just a ridge - not really a mountain
Alto de Perdon might be a ridge, but its local prominence (nearly 300m) and absolute height (790m, >600m or 610m in the UK) both qualify it as a mountain. Over 3/4 of English mountains are lower.

Clearly, its a mountain.

Regards,
*Sigh*. OK it's a mountain then. It doesn't feel like a mountain though. It feels like a ridge to me. :D Buen Camino!
 

dougfitz

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I agree with Tyrrek that on a clear day, the views from Alto de Perdon are magnificent. When I walked it in Apr 2010, I had started from Pamplona, and if it had been foggy earlier, it was wonderfully clear by the time I reached the top of the climb.

It is a challenging climb and descent, with some sections needing particular care with foot placement, but that is about as technically difficult as it gets. Its not the sort of rocky crag that many recreational walkers might seek out for their technical difficulty in different circumstances, and which pilgrims might want to avoid for the same reason.

That said, I can see why pilgrims who have stretched themselves over the previous two or three days might not relish a strenuous climb, and prefer to take a more level path.
 

mspath

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I should like to clarify my reasons for proposing the Alto del Perdon 'walk around' posted above. During eight caminos I have climbed the Alto six times. Often on route the sunrises have been splendid and arrival at the metal pilgrim silhouettes lining the crest was generally both a physical relief and aesthetic pleasure. Indeed from there on a clear day you 'can see forever'!

However late last October this was NOT the case. Although all was dry to start mid way up a storm rolled in. Thick heavy MUD, dense fog and cold rain quickly turned much of the route into a dangerous pathless whirlpool. The always rough descent on scree towards Uterga now on slick mud over scree was pure hell... Thus after reading about the recent mud slides near Puente La Reina it seemed to me most appropriate to suggest a 'walk around' to avoid any potentially dangerous situation on a muddy Alto del Perdon.

Margaret Meredith
 

falcon269

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Camino(s) past & future
yes
There is nothing I have seen on a camino that I would not skip to stay safe. A moment of daring can end the walk with a fall, twisted ankle, or torn knee ligament. It is just a walk; take it easy and have fun! :D

The bad path conditions will be over within a week if it stops raining. More rain is predicted, of course, Monday through Saturday.

Mspath's suggestion is a pretty good one, and you can see the proposed route on Google Maps. The approach to Eunate from the backside is spectacular.
 

eano

Member
Margaret, is there an albergue or any other accommodation between Cizur Menor and Puenta La Reina on the 'walk around'.
Debbie
 

SYates

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dougfitz said:
tyrrek said:
It's just a ridge - not really a mountain
Alto de Perdon might be a ridge, but its local prominence (nearly 300m) and absolute height (790m, >600m or 610m in the UK) both qualify it as a mountain. Over 3/4 of English mountains are lower.

Clearly, its a mountain.

Regards,
Lol, for most continental Europeans, like me, that barely qualifies it as a low hill ;-) SY
 

jpflavin1

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Tyrrek:

I would agree with your assessment. That said, this is what Wikipedia says.

There is no universally accepted definition of a mountain. Elevation, volume, relief, steepness, spacing and continuity have been used as criteria for defining a mountain.[1] In the Oxford English Dictionary a mountain is defined as "a natural elevation of the earth surface rising more or less abruptly from the surrounding level and attaining an altitude which, relatively to the adjacent elevation, is impressive or notable."[1]

Whether a land form is called a mountain may depend on local usage. The highest point in San Francisco, California, is called Mount Davidson, notwithstanding its height of 300 m (980 ft), which makes it twenty feet short of the minimum for a mountain by American designations.[citation needed] Similarly, Mount Scott outside Lawton, Oklahoma is only 251 m (823 ft) from its base to its highest point. Whittow's Dictionary of Physical Geography[2] states "Some authorities regard eminences above 600 m (2,000 ft) as mountains, those below being referred to as hills."

Within Great Britain and Ireland, a mountain is now usually defined as any summit at least 2,000 feet (or 610 metres) high,[3][4] whilst the official UK government's definition of a mountain is a summit of 600 metres or higher.[5] In addition, some definitions also include a topographical prominence requirement, typically 100 feet (30 m) or 500 feet (152 m).[6] For a while, the US defined a mountain as being 1,000 feet (304.8 m) or more tall. Any similar land form lower than this height was considered a hill. However, today, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) concludes that these terms do not have technical definitions in the US.[7]
Left to right: Mount Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam in the Himalayas

The UN Environmental Programme's definition of "mountainous environment" includes any of the following:[8]

Elevation of at least 2,500 m (8,200 ft);
Elevation of at least 1,500 m (4,900 ft), with a slope greater than 2 degrees;
Elevation of at least 1,000 m (3,300 ft), with a slope greater than 5 degrees;
Elevation of at least 300 m (980 ft), with a 300 m (980 ft) elevation range within 7 km (4.3 mi).

Using these definitions, mountains cover 33% of Eurasia, 19% of South America, 24% of North America, and 14% of Africa.[9] As a whole, 24% of the Earth's land mass is mountainous.[10]

Ultreya,
Joe
 

mspath

Veteran Member
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For both 'walk arounds' I stayed in the Albergue Concejo de Tiebas near Companas. This is their Eroski page >>http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/mobile/albergue-de-tiebas. For my posts about Tiebas see >>http://mermore.blogspot.fr/2011/04/aaatiebas.html.

Buen Camino,
Margaret Meredith
 

Barbara

Active Member
I walked over the Alto de Perdon yesterday, splendid weather and views.
There was some mud, maximum 4cm, one place with a small diversion. The downhill was dry but the loose stones meant going carefully. Uterga and Eunate refuges were closed. Because I have no shame when tired, I gratefully accepted the offered lift from Uterga via Eunate to Puenta la Reina
 

Robindra

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 May
Can one walk north towards Cizur Maior instead of SE, and walk to Urtega bypassing the Alto?
 

mspath

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Robindra said:
Can one walk north towards Cizur Maior instead of SE, and walk to Urtega bypassing the Alto?
Robindra,

Of course we can all walk anywhere our legs can go! However there is no path to follow if you were to go north towards Cizur Maior and then west to Uterga. Also the new Autopista A12 is 'in the way' and walkers are NOT allowed to walk along it. You MIGHT be able to follow NA1110 to its junction with NA6016 which leads into Uterga. Check this on Google.

Margaret Meredith
 
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annelise

Active Member
After a lovely rest day in Pamplona (having started from Roncesvalles), and being somewhat unfit I carefully considered my options for the next stage(s). I then took a short day (11,7 km) to Zariquigui – halfway up to Alto del Perdon.

Starting next morning all rested, I did not feel it too difficult to reach the top to Alto del Perdon (but no mud at the time, though).

But when I took a good look at the trail going steeply down at the other side – horror! – steep descents are certainly not for me! – So instead I took the road to the right – peaceful, no traffic at all – and manouevred to Uterga, where I again was on the camino. It may have added an estimated 4 km, but then I had also previously read about the sprains others have contracted going down.
---
Another place where I chose the road, was down from Alto N.S. del Poyo (between Torres del Rio and Viana) – looked to be rather steep. (And where I had a lot of 'buen camino' greetings yelled to me from cyclists hurtling down the same road :) )
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
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But when I took a good look at the trail going steeply down at the other side – horror! – steep descents are certainly not for me! – So instead I took the road to the right – peaceful, no traffic at all – and manouevred to Uterga, where I again was on the camino. It may have added an estimated 4 km, but then I had also previously read about the sprains others have contracted going down.
Margaret and Annelise, thanks for these alternatives! We'll be starting our first camino in Pamplona and with our weak knees we're nervously thinking of the Alto de Perdón as our own mini-Pyrenees that we'll have to cross on our first or second day. :-]

Annelise, can you clarify the "road to the right" by which you found your way to Uterga? Looking on Google Maps I'm seeing NA-6056 which leads to NA-1110. Was that it?

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.7348212,-1.7468998,1116m/data=!3m1!1e3
 

mspath

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Margaret and Annelise, thanks for these alternatives! We'll be starting our first camino in Pamplona and with our weak knees we're nervously thinking of the Alto de Perdón as our own mini-Pyrenees that we'll have to cross on our first or second day. :-]

Annelise, can you clarify the "road to the right" by which you found your way to Uterga? Looking on Google Maps I'm seeing NA-6056 which leads to NA-1110. Was that it?

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.7348212,-1.7468998,1116m/data=!3m1!1e3
Since Annelise last posted here in 2013 I shall answer your question. The roads you cite are correct. However by paved road it is a long route crossing over the super highway A12 to get to the Uterga road NA 6016. Remember that you CAN NOT walk on the verges of a super highway. There is a farm track leading down the actual slope which might be useful if you cross country off the paths. Wherever you walk watch out for mud and scree.
MM
 
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Prentiss Riddle

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Thanks, Margaret!
 
P

PANO

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*Sigh*. OK it's a mountain then. It doesn't feel like a mountain though. It feels like a ridge to me. :D Buen Camino!
Alto de Perdon might be a ridge, but its local prominence (nearly 300m) and absolute height (790m, >600m or 610m in the UK) both qualify it as a mountain. Over 3/4 of English mountains are lower. Clearly, its a mountain.
Its a ridge, trust me
;) Pano (Switzerland)
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
The opinions concerning the statues on Alto de Perdon aresharply divided - I love them! A first time pilgrim should make the attempt to climb and see them to form your own opinion, there is a small access road shown on better maps if one should decide to leave the Camino and go around, it is also used by the guy who is usually there and who will sell you a sandwich or a cold cup of coffee from his thermos.
S.
Its a ridge, trust me
;) Pano (Switzerland)
I remember my first Camino, I though the Alto del Perdon had 'no perdon" - that it was so difficult to get up there (and once you think you have made you struggle even more to go down the other side) but when I did it for a second time I kept wondering how they had changed the path to make it so easy, if they had taken off some of its height because it was a breeze in comparison to what I remembered ;0) But yes, if you think up is hard and long, just wait until you cross the road and head down ;0)
 

Icacos

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It's nice to learn there is an alternative to the Alto de Perdon. When we climbed this hill (I'll call it a hill) in spring of 2013, it was very muddy. As I recall, there were some short declines during the ascent and, as minor as they were, it was very tricky negotiating some of these declines. We encountered one decline where at some point in the past there had been some wooden steps, but these steps had completely given way. The mud was so slippery we had no alternative but to get on our backsides and slide down. It was an interesting trek that day, but my feet have never been so sore, either before or since, as they were that day after we got down those loose rocks on the other side of the hill.
 

dougfitz

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Its a ridge, trust me
;) Pano (Switzerland)
You're perfectly correct, @PANO, but you seem to have missed the semantic point. I suspect @tyrrek might originally have been making the point that the Alto de Perdon does not require technical mountain climbing skills. It is not rugged, craggy bare rock. So for those of you blessed with that type of mountain - the rugged, craggy bare rock versions - it might not feel like a mountain. But local prominences are named mountains not because of some subjective view of how rugged, or craggy, or bare they might be, they are named mountains on the objective measure of their height above sea level and local prominence. My point is that the Alto de Perdon qualifies to be called a mountain on that basis. It might also qualify in terms of steepness as well. The climb up to the top of the ridgeline appears to be about 6.5% on average (depending, of course, on where one measures it from), and the slope on the descent is nearly 10%. It clearly is no gentle hill!
 
I always stayed in Zariquiergui (I like the albergue) and so climb nice and refreshed. Just as well as I consider that descend among one of the worst ones on the Frances (the descent from the Cruz being another).
though the Alto del Perdon had 'no perdon"
The first time I was there I had one of my more meaning full Camino moments and came to new terms with myself and big G. :)
 
P

PANO

Guest
You're perfectly correct, @PANO, but you seem to have missed the semantic point. I suspect @tyrrek might originally have been making the point that the Alto de Perdon does not require technical mountain climbing skills. It is not rugged, craggy bare rock. So for those of you blessed with that type of mountain - the rugged, craggy bare rock versions - it might not feel like a mountain. But local prominences are named mountains not because of some subjective view of how rugged, or craggy, or bare they might be, they are named mountains on the objective measure of their height above sea level and local prominence. My point is that the Alto de Perdon qualifies to be called a mountain on that basis. It might also qualify in terms of steepness as well. The climb up to the top of the ridgeline appears to be about 6.5% on average (depending, of course, on where one measures it from), and the slope on the descent is nearly 10%. It clearly is no gentle hill!
Ahhh Doug, you’re absolutely right of course, as always >>>:D<<<
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
Camino(s) past & future
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BTW as of May/June 2013 the walk down from the Alto de Perdon was in GREAT shape. One of the best descents of the camino.

The way up was muddy, but one of my favorite ascents nonetheless
 

susanawee

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Lol, for most continental Europeans, like me, that barely qualifies it as a low hill ;-) SY
But for some of us Western Australians, every big hill seems like a mountain.....We have very little high places here in Perth where I live.....just saying..
 

tyrrek

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You're perfectly correct, @PANO, but you seem to have missed the semantic point. I suspect @tyrrek might originally have been making the point that the Alto de Perdon does not require technical mountain climbing skills. It is not rugged, craggy bare rock.
Well, not really. I was thinking that it only takes a couple of hours to get up and down it, and that it has wind turbines and a burger van at the top. And it's ridge shaped.
 

falcon269

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yes
Pity the elevation-challenged state of Florida:

Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida at 312 feet (95 meters) above sea level. It is in Lake County, near the town of Clermont. This compares to 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level for the highest point in the entire state, Britton Hill, located in the Florida Panhandle.

The Washington Monument is 555' high...
 

waveprof

Enthusiast
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May-June 2013, Camino Frances
Pity the elevation-challenged state of Florida:

Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida at 312 feet (95 meters) above sea level. It is in Lake County, near the town of Clermont. This compares to 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level for the highest point in the entire state, Britton Hill, located in the Florida Panhandle.

The Washington Monument is 555' high...
Talk about elevation challenged.....

http://untappedcities.com/2011/09/09/the-highest-point-in-new-orleans-not-monkey-hill-2/
 

jmcarp

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We happened to hit the Alto de Perdon during a dry spell in late August 2013, so we didn't have to contend with mud. Yes, it is a long slog up to the top of the ridge, but not particularly hard compared to some of the other climbs on the CF. I found the descent to be harder due to the loose gravel and rocks, but totally doable with a bit of care and taking it slow. It's definitely a place where poles are very helpful, as is taking a zig-zag course (the trail is generally pretty wide for most of the way). I would not let trepidations about this portion of the Camino make anyone seek an alternative -- the silhouettes of the perigrinos have become such an icon of the Camino, especially since the movie The Way, that I'd hate for anyone to miss the photo op that spot provides, and the view back towards Pamplona is magnificent.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I would not let trepidations about this portion of the Camino make anyone seek an alternative -- the silhouettes of the perigrinos have become such an icon of the Camino ...
Agreed - it's a bit not to be missed. If nothing else, it will teach you about microclimates: how can it be so cold going up, super windy on the 10m wide ridge, and so hot and arrid just across the road? Our planet is fragile, and no part of it exists in a vaccum, let these 50 meters of Spanish territory demonstrate that.
 

dougfitz

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Pity the elevation-challenged state of Florida:

Sugarloaf Mountain is the highest point in peninsular Florida at 312 feet (95 meters) above sea level. It is in Lake County, near the town of Clermont. This compares to 345 feet (105 meters) above sea level for the highest point in the entire state, Britton Hill, located in the Florida Panhandle.

The Washington Monument is 555' high...
We have similar inconsistencies here in Australia. On the east coast, 700 m is generally accepted as the height at which a local prominence can be named a mountain. In my home state of Western Australia, hills of much lower overall height attract the name.
 

dougfitz

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Well, not really. I was thinking that it only takes a couple of hours to get up and down it, and that it has wind turbines and a burger van at the top. And it's ridge shaped.
I get the wind turbines and the statues and the ridge shape, but there was no burger van at the top when I walked. I am now so disappointed!
 
Well, not really. I was thinking that it only takes a couple of hours to get up and down it, and that it has wind turbines and a burger van at the top. And it's ridge shaped.
What! I don't doubt you for a moment tyrrek but have never seen one. Then again I walk up from Zariquieguiri at daybreak in early May. What a shame! It would spoil the moment for me. But that's just my opinion.
 

Kanga

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image.jpg One year the Albergue at Cizur Menor was full and Instead we stayed at a casa rural in a nearby village. To rejoin the Camino we climbed the Alto del Pardon on a different track, through a grove of trees. In the trees we came upon the Madonna del Pardon - this lovely statue. I've since tried unsuccessfully to pinpoint the path. Any ideas?

image.jpg
 

Kanga

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That's the problem @Al the optimist, I can't remember. It was very late and the owner of the casa rural came and collected us from Cizur Menor. I was so tired I did not take much notice and the next day the owner just pointed us in the right direction and we followed a path all the way up the hill.
 

Thornley

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Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
That's the problem @Al the optimist, I can't remember. It was very late and the owner of the casa rural came and collected us from Cizur Menor. I was so tired I did not take much notice and the next day the owner just pointed us in the right direction and we followed a path all the way up the hill.
In MMDD there is a Casa Rural to the North of the way Kanga at Astrain , Casa Rural Carpintero , owned by Fernando
Paths ?? shown to the Alto on map
 
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Kanga

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That sounds likely.
In MMDD there is a Casa Rural to the North of the way Kanga at Astrain , Casa Rural Carpintero , owned by Fernando
Paths ?? shown to the Alto on map
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
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Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
Thanks, Kanga, Thornley, and Bystander! We are thinking of having a short first day out of Pamplona and stopping overnight before tackling the Alto de Perdón. Since we're going to try to stay in pensiones or casas rurales, it looks like a short detour from Zariquiegui to Astraín and a stay at the Casa Carpintero would be just the ticket. We'll look for your statue!
 

tpmchugh

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*Sigh*. OK it's a mountain then. It doesn't feel like a mountain though. It feels like a ridge to me. :D Buen Camino!
Felt like Everest to me. My avatar was taken half way up with about six inches of snow behind me and six inches of mud in front of me. By the time I got to top I was no longer smiling and at the bottom reached Uterga and felt like lying down and dying seemed like a good option. It was my first day walking having started in Pamplona. Would I change it and avoid Perdon if I could turn back time? No way, it was tough but this old 64 at the time fit for nothing pilgrim made it and on other tough days thoughts of mud slide mountain made them seem somehow easier :)
 

WineShoppe Guy

John Morritt
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My advice to new pilgrims regarding the ascent and decent of the Alto de Perdon, or any other section of the Camino de Santiago is this:
start where you start, follow the yellow arrows, don't over-think, be adventuresome and accept what happens.
The Camino is your pilgrimage ....it is there to provide you opportunity to live outside your comfort zone.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
My advice to new pilgrims regarding the ascent and decent of the Alto de Perdon, or any other section of the Camino de Santiago is this:
start where you start, follow the yellow arrows, don't over-think, be adventuresome and accept what happens.
The Camino is your pilgrimage ....it is there to provide you opportunity to live outside your comfort zone.
No hair dryers John ???
 

Prentiss Riddle

Aprendiz de todo, maestro de nada
Camino(s) past & future
Poco a poco: we're nibbling away at the Francés. (2015, 2016 & 2017)
Kanga, I thinks this confirms the location of your statue. It's a screenshot from an Open Street Map app, and the star marks an "imagen de Nuestra Señora del Perdón."

image.jpg

(This particular app is PocketEarth for iPhone but I think the statue is there in any Open Street Map viewer.)
 

wayfarer

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-Santiago-Finistera-Muxia. April/May 2012
Sarria-Santiago Sept. 2013
SJPP - Almost Orrison April 2014
Kanga, I thinks this confirms the location of your statue. It's a screenshot from an Open Street Map app, and the star marks an "imagen de Nuestra Señora del Perdón."

View attachment 16153

(This particular app is PocketEarth for iPhone but I think the statue is there in any Open Street Map viewer.)
Looks like you are right Prentiss, thank you. Below is what it looks like on Flashearth.com
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2004 road cycling
Frances path cycling (2016)
castillo-guendulain - evening view in the fall.jpg
If pilgrims wish to avoid the dangerous slippery climb up and down the Alto de Perdon due to deep mud they might consider this 'walk around' which I have often followed along back roads and eventually the end of the Camino Aragonese . From Cizur Menor walk SE on NA6000 roughly 14k to Campanas, then on NA121 SE to Muruarte de Reta on NA601 to join the Camino Aragonese. Continue W 10k to the splendid circular Romanesque church at Eunate and 4k further to Puente la Reina on the Camino Frances.
Buen Camino,
Margaret Meredith
Interesting - I was just considering something similar for a future cycling Camino, using both the path and some roads.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/6887337

Having ridden through it in 2004, I can say that Companas is an exceedingly ugly place, with lots of trucks rumbling through - but you can get a good, cheap lunch there.

If you don't need to buy lunch, my route avoids it.

I'm also considering a detour after leaving Cizur Menor to see the ruins at Guendulain, but was somewhat turned off when I saw that there is a lot of graffiti on them - not seen in the photo I'm attaching.

castillo-guendulain - evening view in the fall.jpg

One other possible option if you need to go into Campanas. Instead of leaving on the busy NA-121, go behind the train station to Barraco Oncelaya. This brings you to what appears to be an agribusiness structure, but it looks like there is a rough track to Calle San Cristobal in Biarrun, with a small road to Ucar, and a back road from Eneriz, which brings you directly to Eunate. You'd avoid a whole lot of walking on major roads.

Charles
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
My advice to new pilgrims regarding the ascent and decent of the Alto de Perdon, or any other section of the Camino de Santiago is this:
start where you start, follow the yellow arrows, don't over-think, be adventuresome and accept what happens.
The Camino is your pilgrimage ....it is there to provide you opportunity to live outside your comfort zone.
Right on, John! I think a lot of prospective pilgrims get scared when they read the accounts of a few who have had problems with one hill or another on the Camino. In fact, tens of thousands of others have crossed these places with little (or at least acceptable) levels of trepidation and discomfort. Granted, there are those who have physical issues that make steep ascents or descents an issue, but anyone with reasonable levels of fitness and conditioning -- including septuagenarian geezers like me -- can walk the Camino by, as you say, simply following the yellow arrows wherever they lead you. Sure, sometimes it's hard and it takes a lot of huffing and puffing, but just take it slowly and carefully, and soon you will be past it and feel a real sense of accomplishment. Poles are your friends in these places, especially on the downhill side.
Jim
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2004 road cycling
Frances path cycling (2016)
If you wish to avoid the Alto for any reason, including bad weather or expected mud, here is a route that skirts it to the east. You're on narrow, numbered, paved roads until Subiza (8.5 miles), and then dirt tracks to Eneriz at mile 14 - also the first possibility for food, although you should be able to get water in the smaller villages on the way there.

http://ridewithgps.com/routes/7011619

Click the camera icons for an image from that location.

There is a possibility of using unpaved farm tracks from Esparza (5.5), although the best route from Arlegui to Subiza would involve walking along the edges of fields for a brief connecting section. In the top right corner you can change the map to OSM Outdoors or Esri Topo to see contour lines. The tracks shown on these maps don't always agree with what you can see in satellite view.

You join the Camino Aragones in Biarrun (quite different from Biarritz ;-)
This route brings you past the wonderful Templar chapel at Eunate.

I just made an interesting discovery - if you zoom in using the OSM Outdoors map, it displays the Camino route - including alternates, as well as alburgues and other lodging and dining locations. This would have saved me a lot of time when I was plotting my MTB route, but I would have also missed out on a lot of discovery.

Charles
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Charles,

Thanks for your update on alternate routes! I trust that you have read this earlier thread regarding mud and the Alto. By the way in Eneriz the Meson del Camino is a great place to have a drink or eat before arriving at Eunate.

Buen camino,

Margaret Meredith
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2004 road cycling
Frances path cycling (2016)
Hi Margaret - I had seen the earlier thread and may have suggested a similar route there. As I recall, yours went through Campanas and used all paved roads, so I tried to find something shorter (more easily doable in a day) and perhaps less busy. I noticed Meson del Camino in Eneriz (I think from a sign in street view), but when I tried clicking on a link in your thread it was dead.

I noticed all the folks saying that one should definitely do it, but I would be biking and have climbed plenty of difficult and taller mountains in my time (on foot), so would feel no compulsion to go over it. The comment on cyclists slipping backwards in the mud certainly didn't help. I don't mind challenges, but see no need to subject myself to foreknown misery.

I also feel that the views from the tops of mountains are usually not particularly interesting. Photographs certainly aren't - a viewer can tell that you were on a high place, but as an image they are generally quite boring, as there is usually no foreground and little middle-ground to help create a composition. YMMV

Most of what you're feeling is from the effort of getting there and simply being above everything else, and gazing on flatland somewhere below does little for me - I generally prefer my scenery more up close and personal. It obviously isn't from the same height, but a fair amount of time in street-view indicated that you have plenty of sweeping panoramic views as you round the eastern end of the formation.

I have a secondary reason. I tried to cycle through Biarrun and Ucar in 2004 from Campanas, but the road I had seen on an old provincial map no longer existed - or went all the way through, as I've recently discovered. So - I'd like to complete what I tried to do over a decade ago.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hi Margaret - I had seen the earlier thread and may have suggested a similar route there. As I recall, yours went through Campanas and used all paved roads, so I tried to find something shorter (more easily doable in a day) and perhaps less busy. I noticed Meson del Camino in Eneriz (I think from a sign in street view), but when I tried clicking on a link in your thread it was dead. ....
The link in my post above works!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
I see very little info - is there a hidden menu?
No menu as such. However the site does mention casera o regional.
Regional cooking was, indeed, their strong point whenever I ate there.
 
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Felipe

Veteran Member
When I climbed the Alto del Perdon, it felt as a ridge -no big deal. When I started the muddy and slippery way down, it had clearly become a mountain.
 

Nonna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago (Fall 2015)
If pilgrims wish to avoid the dangerous slippery climb up and down the Alto de Perdon due to deep mud they might consider this 'walk around' which I have often followed along back roads and eventually the end of the Camino Aragonese . From Cizur Menor walk SE on NA6000 roughly 14k to Campanas, then on NA121 SE to Muruarte de Reta on NA601 to join the Camino Aragonese. Continue W 10k to the splendid circular Romanesque church at Eunate and 4k further to Puente la Reina on the Camino Frances.
Buen Camino,
Margaret Meredith
Thank you. I will take those directions with me. If it is wet I may do that.
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
Alto de Perdon might be a ridge, but its local prominence (nearly 300m) and absolute height (790m, >600m or 610m in the UK) both qualify it as a mountain. Over 3/4 of English mountains are lower.

Clearly, its a mountain.

Regards,
Here in the colonies we would call that a foot hill;)
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Here in the colonies we would call that a foot hill;)
Really! I don't know about that. After all, the US has mountains of the dizzying heights of Sugarloaf Mountain in Florida or Storm King Mountain in New York, both of which are towered over by the Alto de Perdon! Mind you, it is one thing where Australia has real bragging rights. Mount Wycheproof in Victoria is the world's acknowledged smallest mountain.
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
Actually Dougfitz I have not walked the French route yet, soon though. I live on what we refer to as the eastern slopes of the Sierras with mount Whitney at 421 meters being the tallest point. I live and train at 1371 meter ergo foot hills. Buen Camino
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Actually Dougfitz I have not walked the French route yet, soon though. I live on what we refer to as the eastern slopes of the Sierras with mount Whitney at 421 meters being the tallest point. I live and train at 1371 meter ergo foot hills. Buen Camino
I have to get this in before you can correct your typo!! But at 421m your Mt Whitney will still be in the shadow of the Alto de Perdon. Surely you have something you might really call a mountain to use for comparison. Perhaps a fully grown Mt Whitney?
 

MTtoCamino

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis SJPdP to Finnestere April(2014)
I am going to be very amazed if someone from Nepal jumps in on this discussion of mountains. Now I have to go climb MT. Wycheproof :)
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
I have to get this in before you can correct your typo!! But at 421m your Mt Whitney will still be in the shadow of the Alto de Perdon. Surely you have something you might really call a mountain to use for comparison. Perhaps a fully grown Mt Whitney?
Ops :) make that 4421 meters.
 
P

Pabloke

Guest
Actually there is a wrong information going around. The name is Sierra del Perdón, it is not just a mount. Alto del Perdón refers to the highest point of the sierra, 1040m, but the Way doesn't go that high, the monument is at 770m. But these altitudes are above the sea level.

Pamplona is 449m and Cizur Menor is 459m above the sea level.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Mea culpa. Nevertheless Dom Elias Valina of yellow arrows fame in his early Pilgrim Guide referred to climbing the Alto and did not mention the Sierra. ...Thus if I have erred in using the term Alto it is from following his most distinguished footprints.
 
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P

Pabloke

Guest
Mea culpa. Nevertheless Dom Elias Valina of yellow arrows fame in his early Pilgrim Guide referred to climbing the Alto and did not mention the Sierra. ...Thus if I have erred in using the term Alto it is from following his most distinguished footprints.
Not your fault, mspath, not at all.

My comment was written after the hill/mountain debate. I didn't mean to correct you.

Many people, even in media, says Alto del Perdón. But locals call it puerto del Perdón or simply el Perdón (subir al Perdón, pasar el Perdón, ir al Perdón...)
 

DianainCocoa

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2016)
Does anyone know the current condition of the Alto de Perdon. I will be there next week and wonder if I will encounter a lot of slippery mud.
 

newgabe

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francis May (2016)
Thanks for all your advice and comments people. I will be starting from Pamplona on 5 May, and although I don't want to overplan, it certainly is worth knowing to be aware of this patch being so weather vulnerable. Looks like my brand new Pacer Poles may come into their own on the first day...
And I just had a quick look at Googlemaps of this area and the Camino marked there completely disappears just over the Alto (!) reappearing closer to Uterga.. apparently following the course of what's marked as a stream. And I can see why it would get muddy in just a bit of rain.. there's a row of 10 streams appearing out of that ridge.. must be riddled with springs...
 
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