The benefits are primarily those associated with solitude - something in very short supply in peak season. Seeing all the closed albergues and bars simply reinforces that difference. I last walked the Camino Frances
in September/October 2016. On the day I left SJPDP in 2016 over 400 people had started on the same day. I'm in Fromista tonight so fairly close to the halfway point. There may be about 8-10 people who walked the stage from Castrojeriz today. About the number I encountered on my second Camino Frances
in 2002. A winter Camino is in effect a time-shifting experience. A way for those like myself with very long memories of the Camino to experience the route again without the distraction of huge tour groups or hordes of luggage vans.
The challenges are that your options for food, accommodation and other services are severely limited at this time of year. There is no luggage transport service before O Cebreiro - if you want to walk now then you must be prepared to carry your pack. Which is probably heavier than a summer camino because of winter clothing and waterproofs. That may partly explain why at 60 I am near the top of the current age range. I walked through a brief fall of snow today near Castrojeriz. Many of the smaller villages which in summer have several bars or albergues have NO services in winter. At times you can expect to walk a minimum of 20km between open accomodation. Occasionally more. And there is little or no choice of albergues. Be grateful for what you find. Tonight I am in a hostal room in Fromista because the only open albergue is full. It is a more physically demanding challenge than a summer Camino and one which requires more pre-planning. As a natural solitary I find that price well worth paying.