• In case you had not seen it, there is a new link in the top menu to the most popular contents on the forum from the last 90 days, 1 year and all the way from the beginning in 2004.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Baby Baztán in Winter?

2020 Camino Guides

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Hi everyone,

The only Camino short enough for my Winter holiday is the Baztán (5-6 days).

Is it an impossible mission to walk in December? What is the highest point (the pyrenees?!) and will there be snow?

So please let me know if you have walked this baby Camino in Winter and what the terrain was like...

I was thinking about leaving for Biarritz on December 17 and do really short stages.

/BP
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
To avoid snow, why not walk from Biarritz to SJPdP? Beautiful Basque Country, lower elevations, and perfect for 5-6 days. 👍. The Batzan in the winter will be very unpredictable.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
To avoid snow, why not walk from Biarritz to SJPdP? Beautiful Basque Country, lower elevations, and perfect for 5-6 days. 👍. The Batzan in the winter will be very unpredictable.
The Baz was my main target, but if the weather is shaky maybe I should skip the idea 😞!
 

Afri-Can

Not so new member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Finisterre (2017)
Baztane (2019)
Norte (?)
I know some have done it, and as much as I like the Baztan, I would avoid it during the high winter
if there is snow in the passes (I don't know if it snows there since it's close to the coast). On the passes, the trail sometimes follows along the side of the mountain with a precipice going down to your side (think double black diamond). If the trail is covered with snow and ice this will be very dangerous. I've attached some photos as examples, although the photos do not do the steepness justice.
Hope this helps.

20190508_083529.jpg 20190509_140905.jpg 20190509_141048.jpg 20190509_141724.jpg
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
I know some have done it, and as much as I like the Baztan, I would avoid it during the high winter
if there is snow in the passes (I don't know if it snows there since it's close to the coast). On the passes, the trail sometimes follows along the side of the mountain with a precipice going down to your side (think double black diamond). If the trail is covered with snow and ice this will be very dangerous. I've attached some photos as examples, although the photos do not do the steepness justice.
Hope this helps.

View attachment 67345View attachment 67346View attachment 67347View attachment 67348
Holy mother of inclinations,

With all this information I think I will have to postpone this baby Camino to another season...

I just wanted to get away for a few days, but the other routes are too long! 😭

So Easter would be a better time for the Baztán, right?
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
It’s a great concept, just POSSIBLY mistimed. 😬. Easter could be better and it avoids the CF crowds. But go walk SOMEWHERE now if you can! Walk now and then. Walk, walk, walk. Piemonte, Ingles, Norte, Irun, Aragon,.... in short, GO! 👍
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
It’s a great concept, just POSSIBLY mistimed. 😬. Easter could be better and it avoids the CF crowds. But go walk SOMEWHERE now if you can! Walk now and then. Walk, walk, walk. Piemonte, Ingles, Norte, Irun, Aragon,.... in short, GO! 👍
@Bad Pilgrim
I agree with the above !!
If you’re lucky enough to have 5 or 6 days free to walk. .......then....lucky man.. walk ‘somewhere’ ..there must be lots of routes still to see?
Go do a ‘recci’ on a section of one or the first 5 days of another.
Not sure what weather would be like on the section that is starting to be walked now from Zamora (alternate cut towards Portugal and up instead of first section of Sanabrés ). Might be nice that way ??
Buen camino
Annie
 

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)
Heck, BP, I'd do it in a heartbeat, any time.
The pass is not so high as further West, and if it's a white-out, you could get potentially around the pass by walking on the road. Check with the really nice señora at the Hostal Venta San Blas.
@Afri-Can 's is right. The pics don't do justice to the steepness of the way up, but it's gorgeous.
View media item 6957
View media item 6958
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
If you're based in Europe, you might want to keep an eye on the weather forecast and make the decision closer to the date. I remember looking at the pilgrim log in the Berroeta albergue and noticing that French and Spanish pilgrims walk this Camino all year round. So maybe don't rule it out just yet!

Re. the elevations: the highest point at Puerto de Belate is 936m and involves a climb of just over 600m. It’s a slow and gradual climb, through a beautiful forest and is typically tackled as part of a relatively short walking stage (about 16kms).

Most days have a few ‘ups and downs’ and some of us found the 500m climb after Urdax to be almost as challenging as the bigger one to the Puerto de Belate. You can mitigate this by staying in Urdax and tackling that climb in the morning - but be warned, the albergue has a reputation for being extremely cold! There are private options nearby.

Another feature of the Baztan is that some paths are poorly maintained and you may encounter mud, fallen trees, overflowing streams and other obstacles during or after bad weather. Despite all of that, I'd have no hesitation about walking it in winter if the weather forecast was reasonably OK!

Happy planning and walking, whatever you decide.
 

FionaLucy

I promise to stay true to my Butterfly....
Camino(s) past & future
April 2016
June 2016
August 2016
September 2016
October 2016
April 2017
How about SdC to Finisterre/Muxia? I have six days from 28th Dec to 2nd Jan and will be doing this route.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
Augusta is flat and quite pretty. See my post about it elsewhere here - one bad dog encounter, the rest definitely "would do again".
 

bokormen91

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF, Via Podensis, Baztan, Coastal Portugese, sections on others...
Some would hate the Baztan in Winter, some would hate walking in Winter...

I walked the Baztan (solo) in 2nd week of Jan this year, then again in April with a friend - loved them both,but different.

The Baztan is totally doable in Winter, as in any other route - as long as common sense is applied (which ain’t that common anymore...) I grew up with «Fjellvettreglene» - the most important, in my mind, is 8- Don’t be ashamed to turn around/back.

There was fairly poor weather forecast on the day I started from Elizondo, so my plan was to walk 4-5 hours, then turn around - get the bus to Pamplona, but the weather shifted - and it was beautiful clear skies, so I carried on.

I had «mini-crampons» in my bag- needed them getting to airport from home - I used them once - crossing Belotea, and felt much safer; there’s a brook from the Ermita that had frozen, and the brook sort of covers the main path, crampons allowed me to «walk» down it. It might be doable without, but it’s plain stupid not to have them.

I started walking in January with short notice - accomodation was more limited than in peak season, but there were options available for days around the 20 and 30 km mark, most days also had an option for 12-16km. I had a down 3 season sleeping bag, would not have wanted to be without it - as I stayed in a few places with no/limited heating.

If you feel drawn to the Baztan - and are flexible enough to change plans according to weather - I see absolutely no reason why you should not choose it.

I know some have been disappointed about markings, paths, facilities - we all have different expectations. I am totally a Baztan «fan-girl». I love it! Feel free to PM,

best wishes for upcoming walk,🙂
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Far too many...
Some would hate the Baztan in Winter, some would hate walking in Winter...

I walked the Baztan (solo) in 2nd week of Jan this year, then again in April with a friend - loved them both,but different.

The Baztan is totally doable in Winter, as in any other route - as long as common sense is applied (which ain’t that common anymore...) I grew up with «Fjellvettreglene» - the most important, in my mind, is 8- Don’t be ashamed to turn around/back.

There was fairly poor weather forecast on the day I started from Elizondo, so my plan was to walk 4-5 hours, then turn around - get the bus to Pamplona, but the weather shifted - and it was beautiful clear skies, so I carried on.

I had «mini-crampons» in my bag- needed them getting to airport from home - I used them once - crossing Belotea, and felt much safer; there’s a brook from the Ermita that had frozen, and the brook sort of covers the main path, crampons allowed me to «walk» down it. It might be doable without, but it’s plain stupid not to have them.

I started walking in January with short notice - accomodation was more limited than in peak season, but there were options available for days around the 20 and 30 km mark, most days also had an option for 12-16km. I had a down 3 season sleeping bag, would not have wanted to be without it - as I stayed in a few places with no/limited heating.

If you feel drawn to the Baztan - and are flexible enough to change plans according to weather - I see absolutely no reason why you should not choose it.

I know some have been disappointed about markings, paths, facilities - we all have different expectations. I am totally a Baztan «fan-girl». I love it! Feel free to PM,

best wishes for upcoming walk,🙂
Tusen takk for rådene,

But I think it's too late for me to go now... As I wrote in another thread, I would have to buy myself a whole new wardrobe of winter camino outfits and I don't really know where to begin... Perhaps I will go in Easter... The thing is that I like solitude, but I think there will be a lot of people on Baby Baz during la semana santa!
 

Book your lodging here

Get e-mail updates from Casa Ivar (Forum + Forum Store content)


Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 15 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 9 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 49 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 174 15.0%
  • May

    Votes: 282 24.3%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 23 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 26 2.2%
  • September

    Votes: 331 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 145 12.5%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top