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Crossing the Pyrenees

2020 Camino Guides

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
I don't think there has ever been a snowstorm in September, so your crossing should be safe (but maybe wet).
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
The Pilgrim Office in St Jean Pied de Port will advise you of the current weather conditions on both the Route Napoleon (over the top) and Route Valcarlos (the other route), when you check in and receive that first stamp/sello in you pilgrim credencial.

You can also pick up a fine scallop shell there for a donation.

I concur with Falcon about September weather. I have not walked it at that time of year, but I have researched historical weather patterns. DO plan for rain. DO plan for the possibility of rain turning to an icy mix at altitude. SO bring layerable fleece-type outerwear and proper rain gear. Umbrellas do not work well whilst crossing the mountains.

But do not panic. If the local authorities do not consider the path safe, they will advise you to take the Valcarlos Route.
 
We went in Sept 2012 and found that it was colder than I expected and extremely windy. I was concerned that I Had not prepared correctly. However, after going over the top and heading down into Ronc. it warmed quickly and the cool temperatures were no longer an issue. It was cool in the morning and I needed I light jacket but by the time the sun was up I had shed it quickly. We will be attempting it this year starting in Burgos with our two children in March!
Buen Camino
Mandy :)
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
My daughter and I will be hiking the camino in mid september 2014. Is crossing the pyrenees at that time of year favourable. This is our first camino!
It's the perfect time, if you don't like it too hot or too cold, or too wet or too dry. But you takes your chances. I'm taking mine in mid september, again. Hope to see you there!
Whatever, don't miss it.

Buen Camino
Gerard
 

kathrynwb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis (2013);
Camino Portuguese (2016)
I crossed the Pyrenees Sept. 2 of last year. It was rainy and very windy but no snow or ice.
 

Milepost99

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013); Camino Portugese TBD.
I crossed on Sept 18, 2013. Rain, wind, fog, muddy, but very doable.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, September 2014
I am doing my Camino in September as well. This is my first Camino. My friend and I are leaving from SJPP on either the 10th or the 11th.

Buen Camino!
Jacqueline
 

daviddephillips

there are More than One Camino.
Camino(s) past & future
(2013) sept. finished.
2017 Camino Porta
august20-sept 27, 2013
The weather was wonderfully warm and very dry. My hooded windbreaker was all I needed. It was crowded the days in August with vacationer and holiday groups but the 2nd half of Sept, was much less crowded. You will love it.

This photo I took at the top of the Pyrenees when we were greeted by these Pyrenees ponies. We took our lunch break and they just stood nearby. ImageUploadedByCamino de Santiago Forum1391608647.625424.jpg
 
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Jabaldo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
Greetings-my wife and I will be on the trail as of Sept 17 departing SJPP. I look forward to the crossing for the adventure and the testing on oneself. Good question hope to see you out there
Buen Camino
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I left SJPP on Sept 9, 2013. It was a beautiful day. Stayed at Orisson that first night and continued on to Roncevalles the 10th in the rain. I heard that the following day it was sunny again. Temperatures were perfect except for a few days after the mountains that got very warm. I admire the ones who walk In the summer as the heat would do me in.
 

fernandezr

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
My daughter and I will be hiking the camino in mid september 2014. Is crossing the pyrenees at that time of year favourable. This is our first camino!
I hiked the Camino Frances from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Santo Domingo de la Calzada last year, we started on September 8 so we went over the Pyrenees right in the time you plan to be there. The steepness of the route is at points a little daunting; it was also off and on rainy and damp but it was a memorable experience. We spent the first night at Orisson (we started at SJPdP in the early afternoon) where the people were very pleasant, the food excellent and the views breathtaking. Going down the other side of the Pyrenees is almost tougher than going up the French side; I advise using trekking poles for stability.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
If the weather's ok don't miss the Route Napoleon cobber. :)
It is one of the great scenic highlights of the Camino Frances.
Rightly or wrongly anyone who does the 'Napoleon' sits just a little higher in my estimation.
Regds
Gerard
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
The OP does not appear to have been back since her original post to consider our contributed wisdom. Nevertheless we Valcarlosians now know where we sit in Gerard's scale of evolutionary value. I'll still buy you a tinto mate 'cos I like your stories: but i might spit in it...;)
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
anyone who does the 'Napoleon' sits just a little higher in my estimation
Above the wheelchair pilgrim who started in Sarria?;)
 

JLuis

Member
I've been at the Pilgrim's Office in SJean the first or second week of September for the last 3 years. Will be there again this year, from the 8th to the 15th. Never ever any snow at all. Some days hot, very hot up the mountain, next day cold, very cold (not freezing though). Sometimes rain, sometimes fog, sometimes sun, sometimes all of the above in the same day :)
So bring a good hat and a windbreaker and a rain poncho. And enjoy the walk.
 

gerardcarey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF x2, CPL
The OP does not appear to have been back since her original post to consider our contributed wisdom. Nevertheless we Valcarlosians now know where we sit in Gerard's scale of evolutionary value. I'll still buy you a tinto mate 'cos I like your stories: but i might spit in it...;)
Don't do that cobber. I apologise.
You are the driving force behind the new thread 'There Once Was Three Pilgrims'
Regds
Gerard
 

Jnlee99

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: SJPdP -> Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Future: Santo Domingo de la Calzada -> Santiago
First week of Oct '13 over the Route Napoleon was perfect. Higher elevation had some fog and light drizzle but nothing to unpack the rain gear for. It was a perfect shorts and t-shirt hike.
 

Jnlee99

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: SJPdP -> Santo Domingo de la Calzada
Future: Santo Domingo de la Calzada -> Santiago
august20-sept 27, 2013
The weather was wonderfully warm and very dry. My hooded windbreaker was all I needed. It was crowed the days in August with vacationer and holiday groups but the 2nd half of Sept, was much less crowed. You will love it. This photo I took at the top of the Pyrenees when we were greeted by these Pyrenees ponies. We took our lunch break and they just stood nearby. View attachment 7905
Some of the ponies (they were very large) had cow bells on them, and I was told (hope I don't offend any horse lovers) they are for meat.
 

DeadFred

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean-Los Arcos ,Sept, Oct 14'
Los Arcos - Logrono-May16'
Next Logrono to ? - Sept 2019
My daughter and I will be hiking the camino in mid september 2014. Is crossing the pyrenees at that time of year favourable. This is our first camino!

We (wife ,son & I) are ticketed to arrive in Pomplona 9/24 Our plan is to leave St Jean Sept 26th , from my research I haven't run across any issues with folks crossing over the mtns . Fog seems to be ever present . I pray that its a clear blue crisp day when we cross but preparing for torrential wind swept rain .
 

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I always get a kick out of that epic-sounding "Crossing The Pyrenees" description. The walk is not easy, but it is only one mountain, and that´s only up to the pass and down the other side. So you are "crossing a Pyrenee," I suppose. And tens of thousands of people do it every year. You probably can, too!

I do not belittle those who make the effort. But Valcarlos Pass is not a mountain range, any more than the dreaded Meseta is a trackless desert waste or packs of wild dogs are wandering loose.
 

Vincentayd

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept.-Oct. 2011 SJPdP-SDC
Hola TwoToTango,
I walked the CF leaving SJPdP on Sept. 21, 2011, the weather was perfect for the crossing to Roncesvalles . Take enough food to keep you energized, two places for water bottle fill ups along the way. It is a long uphill trek, the sights are spectacular, the flora and fauna will enchant. Pause and take in the beauty of it all, be careful not to step on the enormous snails on the path. After this first enchanting day you will find it much easier to hike the hills and mountains between France and SdC. Buen Camino.
 

Jabaldo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
We went in Sept 2012 and found that it was colder than I expected and extremely windy. I was concerned that I Had not prepared correctly. However, after going over the top and heading down into Ronc. it warmed quickly and the cool temperatures were no longer an issue. It was cool in the morning and I needed I light jacket but by the time the sun was up I had shed it quickly. We will be attempting it this year starting in Burgos with our two children in March!
Buen Camino
Mandy :)
Greetings , my wife and I will be walking the Camino this September 2014. I read your post about crossing the Pyrenees. How did you find the rest of the walk? Was it crowded and if so did you have any problems finding beds? were most places still open?
Thank you
 

Canucks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014), Porto to Santiago (2019)
I always get a kick out of that epic-sounding "Crossing The Pyrenees" description. The walk is not easy, but it is only one mountain, and that´s only up to the pass and down the other side. So you are "crossing a Pyrenee," I suppose. And tens of thousands of people do it every year. You probably can, too!

I do not belittle those who make the effort. But Valcarlos Pass is not a mountain range, any more than the dreaded Meseta is a trackless desert waste or packs of wild dogs are wandering loose.
But it sounds so grand to others!!:eek:

First we crossed the Pyrenees, then walked through verdant fields of vineyards, followed by hayfields as far as the eye can see. We made it through the never ending moonscape of the prairie-esque Meseta,,,,,barely....., struggled to the mountainous summit near O Cebreiro, and finished in the constant storms of the lush West Coast rain forests of Galicia.

Makes for a good story! Puffery, yes, but even us pilgrims need to massage our egos instead of our feet once in a while.:)
 

ManyMiles2Go

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
We went in Sept 2012 and found that it was colder than I expected and extremely windy. I was concerned that I Had not prepared correctly. However, after going over the top and heading down into Ronc. it warmed quickly and the cool temperatures were no longer an issue. It was cool in the morning and I needed I light jacket but by the time the sun was up I had shed it quickly. We will be attempting it this year starting in Burgos with our two children in March!
Buen Camino
Mandy :)
We left SJPP August 17, 2013 and we were glad for the breeze going across the Pyrenees. Worked up a sweat going up, up , up the mountain :) We had perfect weather the entire Camino. It only "drizzled" two days our entire trip and only once hard enough to even break out the rain ponchos. Wore them for a total of 45 minutes in 34 days :)
 

Janicem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean Port de Pied to Santiago(Sept2014)
Thank you all for these comments. I am walking this September(2014) also - leaving SJPP 18th or 19th . Hope to see some of you along the way
 

Jabaldo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
Thank you all for these comments. I am walking this September(2014) also - leaving SJPP 18th or 19th . Hope to see some of you along the way
My wife and I will be in SJPP getting ready to start our Camino on September 16. Hope to see you along the way
Buen Camino
 

JanetEllen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan Sept/Oct 2014
I too, will be beginning my walk from SJPP on September 15, 2014 for the first time. Thank you all for your informative posts. Perhaps some of us will meet along the trail. :)
 

Jabaldo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
My wife and I are training to walk this September 2014
I too, will be beginning my walk from SJPP on September 15, 2014 for the first time. Thank you all for your informative posts. Perhaps some of us will meet along the trail. :)
I will be looking for all of the class of 2014 that will be out there.
Buen Camino and enjoy
 

Holly

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning on doing my first Camino September, 2014 but only have 3 weeks Best birthday present to myself!
I should be starting my walk Sept. 19. from SJPP.
 

Icacos

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
I always get a kick out of that epic-sounding "Crossing The Pyrenees" description. The walk is not easy, but it is only one mountain, and that´s only up to the pass and down the other side. So you are "crossing a Pyrenee," I suppose .....
Rebekah, I have given this some thought and I cannot agree with you. So far as I know, that entire mountain range is called the Pyrenees. I believe that no matter where one crosses that range, one is still crossing the Pyrenees. I started in St. Jean because I wanted to ‘cross the Pyrenees’. Don’t deprive me of my bit of fun :):):)
Charleen
 

Pita

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances. May - June 2014
I always get a kick out of that epic-sounding "Crossing The Pyrenees" description. The walk is not easy, but it is only one mountain, and that´s only up to the pass and down the other side. So you are "crossing a Pyrenee," I suppose. And tens of thousands of people do it every year. You probably can, too!

I do not belittle those who make the effort. But Valcarlos Pass is not a mountain range, any more than the dreaded Meseta is a trackless desert waste or packs of wild dogs are wandering loose.
I agree with your comment. I am starting my Camino from SJPP next month, but I've been to the Pyrenees before and I don't think they're an imposing mountain pass. It will probably be an long uphill hike. I'm sure I'll be tired at the end of the day but I think I (and most others) will get up and down the hill without much problem. I hope I'm right...
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
We went in Sept 2012 and found that it was colder than I expected and extremely windy. I was concerned that I Had not prepared correctly. However, after going over the top and heading down into Ronc. it warmed quickly and the cool temperatures were no longer an issue. It was cool in the morning and I needed I light jacket but by the time the sun was up I had shed it quickly. We will be attempting it this year starting in Burgos with our two children in March!
Buen Camino
Mandy :)
Love the Avatar pic Mandy. Is that one of your kids 'in harness' pulling your gear :)
 

Say Simba

Live, Love, Laugh.
Camino(s) past & future
2013
My daughter and I will be hiking the camino in mid september 2014. Is crossing the pyrenees at that time of year favourable. This is our first camino!
I would say that crossing then should be fine. It is earlier in the year you should worry, when it is cold and snowy. Just make sure you are ready for a full day of walking uphill. Once you get to the top, it is a quick press downhill to the albergue at Roncevalles. The first day is a hard day right off the bat, but nothing to worry about if you have already been walking regularly before you come. Alternatively, if you decide not to climb, there is a route around the mountain, just in case. Once you do make it over the mountain, the rest of the route will be more pleasureable until you are challenged in the same way again below the mountains of the Iron Cross and Militar Cruz, or what I found to be rough, the climb up the mountain to Ociebro.

Buen Camino!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
This is one of my favorite photos of those "ponies" queuing up for a quaff at the Fontaine de Roland. They are such gentle souls and do wait their turno_O DSC_0430.JPG
 

Adhemar78

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014)
Via Francigena (Lucca to Rome) (2017)
Kumano Kodo (2018)
My daughter and I will be hiking the camino in mid september 2014. Is crossing the pyrenees at that time of year favourable. This is our first camino!
Thanks for starting this thread - I am starting from SJPP on September 21 and stopping the first night at Orisson, so I will be taking the Route Napoleon. I am grateful for the information about the conditions at that time of year. 120 days to go! Cannot wait!
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
This is one of my favorite photos of those "ponies" queuing up for a quaff at the Fontaine de Roland. They are such gentle souls and do wait their turno_OView attachment 9917
Hi Biarritzdon,
The pic takes a while to download, which is why I've only just seen it. Wow. Is that an 'unowned' pony just out walking and queued up ? or walking with someone? Gorgeous. I bet it received a lot of pats.
 

Patch

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago (June 2014)
St Jean to Leon (Sept 2015)
Burgos to Santiago (June 2016)
Porto to Finisterre (June 2017)
Having walked the Pyrenees from Mediterranean to the Atlantic over a fair number of years. I would say take care as the weather can change quickly and snow can fall at almost any time of the year. Thunderstorms are equally dangerous and can be pretty frightening. So...take care, take the correct equipment, keep to the path and enjoy :)
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
I crossed the Pyrenees Sept. 2 of last year. It was rainy and very windy but no snow or ice.
Really? I walked Sjpp to Roncesvalles on sept 3 last year and it was hot hot hot all the way.
 

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