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The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

bad news


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2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Pilgrim dies

What a tragic thing to happen.

This is an un editted google translation of the article:

An English dies travelling that was lost near Roncesvalles during 18 hours The firemen of Burguete found alive, but he passed away in the Hospital of Navarre Travelling an English died yesterday in the Hospital of Navarre after having been lost during 18 hours in Ortzanzurieta, near Roncesvalles, from the eight of afternoon of Tuesday. The firemen of Burguete had found it alive but cardiorrespiratoria underwent a shutdown. Shortly before, the firemen had rescued to another travelling one, this one Italian, misled in the same zone during all the night. LAURA PUY MUGUIRO. PAMPLONA. Size of letter: | to print | to send A travelling one, to its passage by Roncesvalles in a snow-covered day. JESUS DIGES (EFE) The firemen knew that travelling the English was lost when asking two Italians for him in Roncesvalles. They told that the three had been joined on the eight of afternoon, but that shortly after and due to the intense fog lost of Vista the English, resident in London. They also had become lost in the section by mount that separates the French locality of Saint Jean Pied de Port and Valcar them, very dangerous at this time by the snow, the cold and the wind. These meteorological conditionses were Tuesday yesterday and. Of the conversation with the Italians, the firemen deduced that, instead of following by the col of Lepoeder, the English had turned aside itself of the Way of Santiago. After two hours and average of long walk between precipices of much slope, regatas and zones where the snow covered until the waist, the three firemen found to the travelling one. He was fallen down on the snow, and were the three of afternoon. They sheltered with his clothes and blankets to him and requested to the helicopter that arrived until a clear one to rescue to him and to transfer it to Pamplona. But it began to snow and the apparatus could not fly. Helped by other two companions, they initiated the knocked down way of return with the travelling one in a stretcher. Half an hour later, two agents of the Civil Guard and others of the Leasehold Police were united to them. On the six of afternoon and already in the ambulance, the travelling one entered shutdown cardiorrespiratoria, and the medical aid put under to him resuscitation workings during two hours, before initiating the passage to Pamplona. In addition, due to the snow that fell, snowplows had to lay way to the ambulance, that went escorted by the Leasehold Police. But the travelling one passed away when entering the hospital. Search at daybreak Also to a hospital of Pamplona the Italian that three firemen of Burguete, companions of the previous ones, had located hours before, on the eight was lead travelling in the morning. Then, they took from the one of the dawn looking for, after to have warned the own traveller to him Navarrese Sos. Of 54 years, it in the morning maintained contact with the center of coordination of emergencies until the five. But the battery of the moving body finished to him there. Until then, it had given the instructionses to the operator of Navarrese Sos, that transmitted the firemen. These looked for to him without success by the Stop of Ibañeta and Ortzanzurieta, under the snow, rain and the cold, between ventisqueros with up to two meters of snow. On the six in the morning agents of the Group of Rescue and Mountain Intervention (Greim) of the Civil Guard joined themselves, and all returned to divide the zone to follow with the tracking. In the proximities of the col of Lepoeder, two of the firemen discovered tracks and they followed them. Shortly after they found to the travelling one. It underwent one hypotherm.
nico500 said:
Anyone going that way, please be very careful
more to the point, don't go that way until the weather improves. More snow forecast for tonight. In fact, the forecast for the Easter w/e is much better for the UK than for Spain; considerably warmer in both London and Paris than Madrid.


This is really sad, a prayer for him. For those fellow-pilgrims that are planning on doing this route, do seriously consider alternatives, like the Camino Portugues, Via de la Plata, Camino a Fisterra. Changes of plans r givens in the Caminos. Buen Camino, xm


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Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
It seems that every couple of years the weather in March and April is quite treacherous.
Two pilgrims died when they were caught in blizzards during the crossing to Roncesvalles in January and April 2002.
In 2003 a 78-year-old French pilgrim crossing the Pyrenees during early April got lost and froze to death.
In March 2005 a pilgrim wrote of almost dying on the route Napoleon after not heeding the advice of locals in St Jean not to cross.
In April 2005 a South African pilgrim wrote about 'being forced to her knees" by snow, rain and mud on the camino.
The CSJ-UK says: "It is likely to snow in the Pyrenees, the Montes de Oca (before Burgos) and parts of the Montes de León and Galicia in winter and early spring". This could mean well into May.
Although some pilgrims report having wonderful weather in spring, the risks of snow, blizzards and heavy rains are high.
It is just tragic that someone who has probably been planning this walk for a long time, loses their life on what was probably the first day.
I feel for his family.


Active Member
What a terrible thing to happen. I feel for their family.

I'd just like to echo Peter's thoughts. Best to avoid the Route Napoleon when it's like that... :(


In the midst of life - -- very sad for the ones he has left behind. How wonderfully brave and determined were his rescuers.

I crossed in March, year 5 and thought I'd lost it at one point. I wasn't wearing enough clothing and didn't realise until almost too late. I found a windbreak but couldn't move my fingers to open my pack to get at more clothing. If I hadn't been so tired, sitting there, I could have been afraid.
Had to leave the path a few times because of snow and it snowed whilst up there but not much. Had it really come down I think there would have been space on this planet for one more human.

That poor poor man.
How terrible!! His poor family....

It also makes me very nervious, as I will be starting the CF from St. Jean in only 2 weeks (female hiking solo). This is my plan anyways... is there any news as to the weather conditions now? Would it be stupid for me to continue with my original plan? And if so (that I should change it), where should I start instead? Would I still go to St. Jean and then catch a bus over or should I just start in another town and in which case what town would I start in? Thank you very much...

a nervious pilgrim,


Hi Annie, I just heard from pilgrim friends that are starting the Camino tomorrow. They changed their plans from beginning at SJPdP for Roncesvalles. Things may change in a couple of weeks, keep tuned to wheather forecasts. Just in case u may want to check out other Camino posibilities. Buen Camino :arrow: xm 8)


Staff member


Active Member
FAO Annie

Annie, there will be a few people heading out on the same day as you, I should imagine... If the weather looks bad, I'd strongly advise you to take the lower, less dangerous route... Just ask around. Don't panic...
:? i got lost took me 18hours and i had to give up cuz i almost died i took the wrong route tru the hills and ended up in 3-4feet of snow
and whent in suvival mode and was in shock if i would of stop moving i was finish i wouldnt be here doin this msg!im so mad that it had to end like this i planed this for 2 years :oops: wast of time money and life i just feel like i should of died in the hills that night at -15 2000feet i should of jump down im sure i would feel better then i do at the moment!

QUESTION:this italien guy when did he leave and does anyone knoe he name cuz i made a friend of the walk he was italien and he vanish even the two other italiens 1 of then was he friend didnt know where he was!?!
and brit person any one know he name age? cuz i meet 2brit brother and 1 was missing age name any one??


Active Member
Santos, his name is Chris Philipps, he was 50 and he was walking alone.

I don't know how many times people have been warned, on this forum and in other places, how dangerous the crossing of the Pyrénées is from StJPdeP in fall, winter and spring. Also we have told people to speak AND LISTEN to the locals about the situation past Orisson. After a while it gets dull and, at least I, realise that these people are all adults and vaccinated. They have to live (sometimes die) with their decisions.

This being said, it is always quite sad to learn that a fellow pilgrim has died on the path you so enjoyed to walk on.


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Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
SANTOS!! I am SOOOooooo pleased you are OK!!
The reports were that Chris Philips, a 50 year old man from England, was walking with three Italians when the weather turned bad. They became separated. The Italians had a cell phone and were able to alert the emergency services. When they reached Roncesvalles they asked about the Englishman. The warden at Roncesvalles alerted the emergency services who set out to search for him. He was lost in the snow for 18 hours but was alive when they found him.
They could not use a helicopter to take him to Pamplona because of bad weather and had to carry him to Roncesvalles. Snow ploughs had to come to clear the roads. He died of hyperthermia before he reached the hospital.

This is part of the report on the Telegraph:

Marie Sol Zoicoa, the manager at the refuge, said: "We were immediately worried about his safety as the weather was so bad and we contacted the refuge in St Jean de Port in the hope that he had found his way back there. Unfortunately he hadn't so we alerted the rescue services." A mountain rescue team found Mr Phillips, who had fallen into deep snow, at around 3.30pm on Wednesday, near Ortzanzurieta, less than two miles from Roncesvalles.
He was showing signs of advanced hypothermia but was still breathing. Mr Phillips had to be carried by stretcher to a point where a snowplough had cleared a path for an ambulance.
On the way to hospital in Pamplona Mr Phillips had to be resuscitated but he died six hours after being admitted.
She described the weather as some of the worst she could remember for the time of year. "The weather can be terrible in this area but it is usually all right in April," she said. "Last week we had about a metre of snow and in the mountains it can arrive very quickly. One minute you could be walking in sunshine and the next it's a blizzard."

You can read the report (and see a graphic map) at this website.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jh ... lgrm10.xml

Where are you SANTOS?
:? sillydoll im back home got home yesterday:S
that story is about what happened to me got lost on the wrong trail up down to Roncesvalles :? i left stpdp a 8am and got to Roncesvalles at 12am :? the auberge didnt even open the door no one came to the door :? so i went to the only hotel in town :shock: the guy there was like you sure you dont need help i can call an doctor or something like that :?
it been 2 weeks and still have 3 fingers that i dont have felling it and still black and blue toe r getting better :cry: that nothing the worst was i didnt even take the mountain route we had to take the other route :cry: lucky i didnt.then the next day the ppl at the hotel payed for my taxi back to stjpdp like i has told they was no way out of this they was sending me back.and wouldnt let me keep walking :oops:
Santos, did I read you correctly? You took the Valcarlos route & this still happened? :shock: Maybe I should take a taxi to Roncesvalles. :shock:

What warnings did you get before you set out from SJPdP?

Have you seen a doctor about your fingers & your toes? I hope you are recovering well & will be able to complete your Camino in the future. I'm sorry you had such a bad experience this time.

tell you YUP take taxi to Roncesvalles
we was told to take the other route and stay on the road but i saw thing saying that way so took the bush that we was told DO NOT TAKE THE TRAIL once on it. 2 ppl pass me then pouff whent back and cold whit in 5 min and went from 5 to -15 -20 and rain then snow(was already 3 feet)
when i got the next day like 50 taxi show up droping ppl off
that was 14days ago so i dont know about if any snow or all gone
i couldnt tell where i was cuz i lost my map of the route they told me to take i know they was one town 1/2 way where we got food and then it was it for the next 20km till Roncesvalles(nothing there but hotel reto and auberge)
yes i saw a doctor once i got to paris (tnx god i took travel assurances)they gave me some cream to put on(fuck up i got that cuz it was only -15 in the hill)
the thing i realy didnt like was the fact i was turn away from auberge i was freezing wet and seeing stuff and none came to help me
thanx god for the ppl at the hotel >GOD bess them! (and F... the auberge cuz of the i m anti-christain now) i saw ppl in the hills that wasnt even there that went i went in survival mode and stop felling the cold i just knew i had to get moving and very fast !once i saw the road i got out and started weaving at the cars passing by then saw it was goin down hill i stated to run(most of fall face first 5-6 time b4 getting to the stup.. auberge!Grr iv got to do this im goin back ! god got me this time see who lol next time i do back! :twisted: if i need ill sell my soul to the devil to go tru this!(j/k)he already got it :roll:


What I can't understand is that, in spite of bad weather, people obviously knowing about it, "saying" that they have alternative plans in the event of bad weather, pilgrims getting lost, one dying (so far this year?), folks are still going/planning to go to, SJPDP &/or Roncesvalles, now/in the near future.

Caramba :!:

Dunno...there's some type of lesson for us all to be learned there, am sure :cry: .


xm 8)
Sooooo, I'm going to wait & see what the weather & conditions are like once I get to SJPdP. I still plan to take the Valcarlos Route & stop in Valcarlos. If the weather & conditions are still bad, & more cold than I have provisions for, then I'll take a cab.

I’ve gone to Roncesvalles this afternoon and the weather was warm and sunny. Lots of people around and quite a good number of pilgrims too. Pity I did not take a camera with me as it’s been an unplanned visit, but I can tell you that there was no snow at all, which could only be seen on top of the mountains. People starting the Camino in the next weeks should not be very worried about the weather. It does not mean that there cannot be a big storm at this time of the year but if there were, they would surely know before setting off.
Glad to hear weather is clearing up.... am starting the camino next Monday. I think I will change my start from St.Jean to Roncesvalles because I am a bit wary of hiking it solo due to recent bad weather. So, to start in Roncesvalles, do I still need to go to St.Jean and get my passport there, and then get a taxi? Or can I get a bus or train straight to Roncesvalles (I will be coming from Toulouse, France) and get my passport stuff there? How much is a taxi from St.Jean if I have to start there?


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Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Thanks for weather site link for France

jeff001 said:
Here is a link to the current weather in SJPdP:
http://www.meteofrance.com/FR/mameteo/p ... ID=FR64485
Thanks for this link. I used it to find Le Puy en Velay. I am thinking of leaving NZ this time next year for Le Puy. It is useful to get an idea of what the weather is like in that region right now. I want to start as early as possible, to avoid too much extreme heat later on in case I decide to go all the way to Santiago. But I don't want to be hitting so much bad weather early on that hypothermia becomes a real danger. A balancing act....


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Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Thanks, that is a great link as well. The weather is surprisingly warm there at present. I have been in the region of Clermont Ferrand, not far away, early May, and it was cold and quite snowy.

I also spent two months in France last year, so know how changeable it can be even in May. We had some lovely days mid-May so I decided it was time to buy my bicycle. The weather almost instantly deteriorated again until June!
don't be put off


There are 2 routes from SJPP. Just heed the advice of staff who issue the pilgrims passport at SJPP.

When you climb the summit just make sure you have plenty of water and supplies, fruit, chocolate.

Be prepared, I hit some of the worst weather to be experienced on the Camino in late March/April. I did this walk on the 30 March and struggled with the climb but I was not that fit before. I was surprised that I have walked so much Camino last year and I felt myself failing at the first day.

I met a German woman who experienced a similar climb to me, lack of energy and stamina were the symptoms we both experienced

Came home to England to find it like the summer.

Don't be put off just treat the walk with respect.

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