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Easiest Places to Get Lost in Winter

KyleJ

New Member
I just saw my first pictures of the snow-covered route through the Pyrenees. For those who have walked in winter, what were the places where you had to be most aware and most vigilant to avoid getting lost?
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola

Generally speaking winter walking particularly when there has been snow is much more of a challenge. There are other threads on clothing etc. However you raise a very valid point - snow covers up waymarks and arrows. It is impossible to say where snow will fall and therefore impossible to predict the "easy to get lost" points. For example I got lost myself a couple of years ago on the simple turning from Cebreiro to Triacastela. It is always good to check with locals, even stopping a passing car to make sure or simply to walk along the road rather than the camino.

In terms of walking in the upper elevations particularly the Route Napoleon from St Jean to Roncesvalles it is vital to follow the advice of the Pilgrims Office in St Jean - they will have up to date information on walking conditions and the visibility of waymarks. It would be foolhardy and indeed life threatening to ignore their advice.
 

nellpilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SDC-Fisterra 08/Camino Frances SJPP to SDC 09/Nuremburg-SDC 11- ongoing
JohnnieWalker said:
In terms of walking in the upper elevations particularly the Route Napoleon from St Jean to Roncesvalles it is vital to follow the advice of the Pilgrims Office in St Jean - they will have up to date information on walking conditions and the visibility of waymarks. It would be foolhardy and indeed life threatening to ignore their advice.
It can be tricky even in Spring (early April in our case). We got Winter weather with white out conditions for our attempted crossing of the RN and (on the advice of a local shepherd who was bringing his animals down as well as two young American pilgrims who had to overnight on the mountain :shock: ) had to turn and take the Arneguy road towards Valcarlos and the valley route. Despite a steady trickle of pilgrims going down this surfaced road one couldn't 'follow the leader' as deep footprints were blown smooth in 2 or 3 minutes, and visibility was limited to 15-20 feet at times. The margins of the road were also difficult to distinguish but by tapping the metal tips of our poles onto the hard surface we were able to keep on the road and get down into the valley .....and then trudge :( up to Roncesvalles and hot ports :D .
I still far prefer Winter and early Spring conditions and, if the conditions are bad, you always have the option of waiting a day or even a few hours to see if things change. Pilgrims leaving the day before us got a brilliant sunny crossing and pilgrims who left a just few hours later than us on the same day missed the storm and enjoyed a dull but clear crossing in terms of visibility.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Walking in snow on the Camino in winter can be very treacherous. Going from Villafranca Montes de Oca to San Juan Ortega in February 2006 the path was completely hidden under deep snow; I waited two days in Villafranca for the storm to finish. Similarly in March 2009 the path was obliterated by deep snow drifts from Foncebadon to the Cruz de Ferro; at Foncebadon I waited for two days for clear skies. Whenever a snow storm hits it is imperative to walk on the road, seek shelter, ask the locals for advice and wait for the weather to clear. Don't take chances. Margaret
 

drvnsmiln

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP - SdC Sept-Oct 2014
SdC - Finisterre-Muxia. Oct 2014
Sarria - SdC Nov 2014
VdlP April - May 2017
I will be walking the Camino Frances in mid September 2014. From SJPP. My biggest concern (fear) is losing the trail once it leaves the road after Orisson. (I have heard stories and seen YouTube video.....) I am one who gets "turned around" I.e. lost quite easily. How well is the path marked now?
 

JohnnieWalker

Nunca se camina solo
Hola - imho it is well enough marked. You should have little weather problems in September and all you will probably have to do is follow the many other pilgrims who will also be walking.
 

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