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Camino Frances winter


Does anyone know of the conditions likely during Jan and Feb?
Is SJPP a feasible start or would it be prudent to start on other side of Pyrenees?
I am holding Northern route as plan B but understand that all refuges are open all winter on Camino Frances.
I am experienced in mountains in winter but don’t want to way myself down with winter survival gear. Anyone travelled the route at this time of year and got any input on what to carry?

Michael W
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camino winter

"If the passes are blocked with snow, take a lower-level alternative."

Are alternative routes in the guide or do you have to work them out for yourself? I have heard that the locals will not let you go over some sections if the forecast is bad.
Sorry if this seems all a bit vague at present but was intending to use Via de la Plata but informed that no accommodation Jan and Feb so just switched to Camino Frances and have not got guide book yet.

Michael W
The 'alternative' is to use the road rather than the path. The track used by the St-Jean - Roncesvalles section for instance rises to 1440m, whereas the road rises only to 1057m. In snow, the road will be cleared, the path will not. The road is also safer in other bad weather, such as mist/low cloud. Locals, e.g. at the accueil in St-Jean, will be able to advise.

From Ponferrada, an alternative low-level route via Lemos, the Camino de Invierno, is being developed. Should be almost finished, though it's not been officially adopted by the Xunta yet.

I actually think the biggest problem in winter is not the weather but the lack of daylight.

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