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Nieve en el camino - Snow on the camino - RONCESVALLES

Javier

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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

OMG!! Javier - when did you take these photographs?

They remind me of those taken a couple of years ago when a guy was trying to find his car under 1 m of snow in Roncesvalles. Some were taken in April! (These are not my photos).
 

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Javier

Active Member
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

That photos was taken this week, but they are not mine.-
There are a lot of snow in Burguete and Espinal too.-

Roncesvalles´cloister
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KiwiNomad06

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Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

Very beautiful, but glad I am not trying to walk amidst it! I know that some people walk the Camino in winter quite successfully, but think these photos should be compulsory viewing for anyone thinking about it!
Margaret
 

Javier

Active Member
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

My daughter Silvia today, like tourist.................. Roncesvalles.-


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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

This may be a very naive question. In relation to these photos and our StJPdeP - Valcarlos - Roncesvallees walk at the end of March - what does one do - walk on the snowploughed (hopefully?) road or try and find the actual Camino way under feet of snow? I have read 'a good walk unspoiled' and the various 'winter weather walking' postings. I presume the actual 'pathway' is not manually cleared of snow? Thanks.
 

mspath

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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

sergeantmajormammy said:
This may be a very naive question. In relation to these photos and our StJPdeP - Valcarlos - Roncesvallees walk at the end of March - what does one do - walk on the snowploughed (hopefully?) road or try and find the actual Camino way under feet of snow? I have read 'a good walk unspoiled' and the various 'winter weather walking' postings. I presume the actual 'pathway' is not manually cleared of snow? Thanks.

sergeantmajormammy,

As you suggest the actual SJPdP - Valcarlos - Roncesvalles camino path is NOT manually cleared of snow after a storm. One walks along the roadway. In bad conditions it is always imperative to be able to see the ground where you place your feet. I have slogged up to Roncevalles from Valcarlos a few times in snow. It was difficult enough walking on the roadway verges and would have been impossible and extremely dangerous through the woods.

Margaret Meredith
 
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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

try and find the actual Camino way under feet of snow?
That is very hard to do, which is why the Valcarlos route is recommended. It can be done completely on the roadway once it is cleared. Of course, walk on the left to see oncoming traffic, and wear the high visibility vest that is required under Spanish law (once you reach Spain).
 

newfydog

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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

Looks like a wonderful time to go over the top......with full winter gear, snowshoes and an accurate GPS track.

When we get a good dump of snow here we ski or snowshoe the hiking and biking trails. It is amazing how hard it can be to follow a snow covered trail, even one that you have done 50 times without snow.
 
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SJPdP - Pamplona March/April 2013
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

Thanks for your replies. I chose to go during Easter holidays as I couldn't face pulling young teenagers out of their beds at 6 am during summer holiday time ... now I am wondering was I mad to opt for a March Camino! Oh, well ... too late now ...
 
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Damian27

Member
Past OR future Camino
1st- 05/28 - 06/27/2013
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

Great shots! I watch TVE online daily (love Ana Blanco! 8) ) so I now how bad this winter has been up there.

Word to the wise, there is a newspaper article that 4 korean pilgrims will have to reimburse the €1,500 that it cost Navarra to rescue them. I haven't read the full details but it seems they did not heed the warnings and got stuck in an albergue.

I have a feeling the camino will be quite muddy for a while lol

Damian
 

vlebe

Walker Member
Past OR future Camino
2001; 2004; 2009; 2013, (2016/2017)
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

I'm starting to get really worried about all this snow :shock:
I'll be in SJPP in 16 days to start my first winter camino and I'm still worried about taking a lot of snow gear with me or keeping it light...
:|
 

sillydoll

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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

Take a mobile phone, a foil survival blanket, a bright orange shawl or flag and the emergency numbers for Spain.

112 is the Europe-wide emergency number. It works even if you have no money in a pre-paid mobile phone or even if your supplier has no network. It works 24/7 365 days - and the operators speak many languages. The number for the Guardia Civil in Spain is 062.
 

codecables

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (March 2013); Via Jacobi (June/July 2015)
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

vlebe said:
I'm starting to get really worried about all this snow :shock:
I'll be in SJPP in 16 days to start my first winter camino and I'm still worried about taking a lot of snow gear with me or keeping it light...
:|

I fully concur with you on this! Fingers crossed the weather might change and the snow will melt... We will be all the wiser in 16 days :wink:
 
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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

Planning a camino can take on a life of its own! In the full perspective of your life, how important is it that you might not be able to walk over the Pyrenees? Tens of thousands of pilgrims do not do it each year, yet they seem quite satisfied with their experience. Keep in mind that you can endanger your life or your health by being too insistent on walking from SJPdP to Pamplona. By all means do it if the weather cooperates, but don't let it become an obsession that could lead to making a bad decision. If it is bad enough to require true winter gear, should you really do it?

There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots. What is true in aviation is true in life (a variation on George Will's "life is baseball"). :D
 

annakappa

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falcon269 said:
Planning a camino can take on a life of its own! In the full perspective of your life, how important is it that you might not be able to walk over the Pyrenees? Tens of thousands of pilgrims do not do it each year, yet they seem quite satisfied with their experience. Keep in mind that you can endanger your life or your health by being too insistent on walking from SJPdP to Pamplona. By all means do it if the weather cooperates, but don't let it become an obsession that could lead to making a bad decision. If it is bad enough to require true winter gear, should you really do it?

There are old pilots, and their are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots. What is true in aviation is true in life (a variation on George Will's "life is baseball"). :D
I totally agree with Falcon. A few years back, we met up with the Dutch father, who's son died of hypothermia between SJPP and Roncesvalles. The month was February. The father later in the year carried on the pilgrimage from the spot where his son died, which is when we met him. It would be a good question to ask this father if it had been worth the while that his son left SJPP in dubious weather! Anne
 

annakappa

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We were watching the Spanish TV News last night and the were a few interviews from residents in Roncesvalles and Burgete. Apparently they had a gigantic fall of snow, more than having been experienced in the last hundred years! I think that there must have been a load of wind too, for the snow to pile up as it did.
The weather forecast along much of the Camino is still pretty grim. Lots of snow still expected. Anne
 
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more than having been experienced in the last hundred years!
But did it stop the Koreans??

So far, they have accounted for all the rescues this year. Their focus can be detrimental.
 

julienasos

New Member
Hi all, my husband and I start our first camino 20th Feb I checked Accu weather and it looks like the weather will improve... I hope so as a little bit concerned that we do not have full winter gear :roll:
 
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vlebe

Walker Member
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I know this is a very personal thing for everyone, but for me (if I'm able and have the health and time to do it); once I stamp my Credencial del Peregrino for the first time I don't take any other vehicle or taxis or send gear away... I gotta walk carrying all my stuff until I think I'm done with the Camino (being Santiago, Finisterre, Muxia or if something happens, before that) . I know this is controversial but if I can... That's how I like to roll :p

On the other hand I won't be taking the chance of going through te passage on napoleon route if the weather and the sky aren't clear and beautiful on March the 2nd...

I don't want my parents to fell obliged to carry my ashes from the pirinees to Finisterre if something happens :-?

I reckon I might just take the Valcarlos route if the weather is still bad by then!

Ow my nerves! I can't even sleep these days so excited I am now!

:D

Very happy!!!
 

sillydoll

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Vlebe, I was just as determined as you on my first Camino.
I also insisted that I only sleep in pilgrim albergues, no 'habitaciones' in pensiones or hostales for me! My pack weighed 11kg to start with and by the time I reached Uterga I thought my shin bones were going to poke through the bottom of my feet! I sent 3kg onto Santiago and carried on walking. No bus or burro, taxi or train for this peregrina!
I felt guilty if I ate nice food in a good restaurant instead of the simple Menu del Peregrino in a cafe-bar, or if I only walked 20km instead of our planned 28km - 30km per day. I didn't even want to do much sightseeing, because I was a pilgrim, not a tourist!
Along the way I met people who had started in other countries and had already walked 1000's of kms, who had much bigger backpacks than mine, who sometimes slept outdoors or in the portico of a church. I felt a little bit inadequate. When I was planning my Camino I thought 800km would be an award-winning challenge!
On my 2nd Camino I started in Paris. There were no pilgrim albergues so we had to sleep in hotels or Chambre in pensions etc. Some parts of the walk were extremely dangerous and we had no option but to take a bus or a taxi over or under sections of highway that looked like spaghetti junctions.
When I walked the Via Francigena in 2006 it was the same as walking from Paris. Lots of road walking, no pilgrim shelters and parts where pilgrims are advised to take transport to avoid dangerous sections of the route.
Walking 4 more Caminos - some all the way with no transport and sleeping in a mix of albergues and rooms, and some with baggage transfers, I've realised that it doesn't matter where you sleep or eat, or what you have on your back. Its a great personal challenge but no more than that.
What matters is what's in your heart and that you love and respect the Camino and your fellow pilgrims - those walking, riding, taking buses in-between, with 10kg backpacks or 3kg day-packs - no one is better than the other.
 

reg2450

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
March 2013
vlebe said:
I know this is a very personal thing for everyone, but for me (if I'm able and have the health and time to do it); once I stamp my Credencial del Peregrino for the first time I don't take any other vehicle or taxis or send gear away... I gotta walk carrying all my stuff until I think I'm done with the Camino (being Santiago, Finisterre, Muxia or if something happens, before that) . I know this is controversial but if I can... That's how I like to roll :p

On the other hand I won't be taking the chance of going through te passage on napoleon route if the weather and the sky aren't clear and beautiful on March the 2nd...

I don't want my parents to fell obliged to carry my ashes from the pirinees to Finisterre if something happens :-?

I reckon I might just take the Valcarlos route if the weather is still bad by then!

Ow my nerves! I can't even sleep these days so excited I am now!

:D

Very happy!!!

Nieve, I feel the same way about the Camino. However, having planned for 3 years, and with only 4 weeks left to go (AAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!) I am beside myself with anxiety (it won't stop me though!!)
I have reassured my family that I will listen to the locals regarding the weather and the Pyrenees. :)
 

reg2450

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
March 2013
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

vlebe said:
I'm starting to get really worried about all this snow :shock:
I'll be in SJPP in 16 days to start my first winter camino and I'm still worried about taking a lot of snow gear with me or keeping it light...
:|

My concern too. How cold is it going to be from SJPP to say, Pamplona? If I pack a lot of cold weather gear (where???? I don't think I have any room left), will I need it any time later in the journey? I'm walking 21st March - 5 May.
Help.
 

lettinggo

Active Member
Hola
That is a lot of snow...
Last February I walked from St.Jean to Roncesvalles and we also had snow, although much less.
(Get the printed list of Albergues that are open all the way to Santiago from the Albergue. - Our list was not accurate so you may find youself in a town with a closed Albergue that 'ought' to be open.)
The high pass was closed and we were instructed at the Albergue to walk on the road and not on the Camino.
It went fine but took us much longer than we had expected, the road is longer than the Camino, and when we finally arrived a Roncesvalles all probably felt that breaking the day up in two would have been better.
This came in very handy on our walk: Reflective bands, head lights to feel that the cars either saw us or our lights. Snack, biscuits,fruits, water. There are no shops after Orrison.
And taking frequent breaks so all felt comfortable.
Once in Roncesvalles go to the bar/restaurant and order Menus as they probably will need 45 min to arrange it.
Ronchesvalles albergue is a warm place.

Next day stop in Zubiri (we didn't) as the albergue in Larrasoana was very! cold.
There are probably not an albergue open in Zubiri so one can share rooms at other accomendations.

Third day. Consider to stop in Pamplona instead of Cizur Menor if weather is bad.
It will probably be warmer.
Ask 'Califacion?' meaning 'heater' at places that are open.
Bring a sleeping bag.

The trail on the Camino was easy to see as the pilgrims that were days ahead of us had left their footmarks in the snow to follow.
Often it was better to walk on the road as walking in snow is much harder for the body.

So. In winter one has to be a bit more careful but the reward was well worth it.
Don't take riscs, ask the locals, watch the news cast on tv, bring more food with you to compensate for the extra energy needed.

Most important, stay completely dry.
Use Mitten for hands as 'water proof' gloves are not water proof..

Buen Camino
 
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JoanneDoe

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Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

reg2450 said:
vlebe said:
I'm starting to get really worried about all this snow :shock:
I'll be in SJPP in 16 days to start my first winter camino and I'm still worried about taking a lot of snow gear with me or keeping it light...
:|

My concern too. How cold is it going to be from SJPP to say, Pamplona? If I pack a lot of cold weather gear (where???? I don't think I have any room left), will I need it any time later in the journey? I'm walking 21st March - 5 May.
Help.

Today (15FEB) there is snow on all the mountains surrounding Pamplona. Today's temperature: 12ºC and it felt like the first day of Spring.
BUT: NOBODY can actually foretell the possible weather trend in Mid- or EndMarch.
Check THE WEATHER CHANNEL or WeatherBug or, the best: eWeatherHD and you might gather the right info for the time you walk the Camino.
There is ONE rule for Spain: All mornings and all evenings ARE COOL if not COLD, especially in the Winter, but ALSO in the Summer.
There are many threads here in the Forum that give excellent advice on WHAT TO WEAR AND NOT.
BUEN CAMINO!
 
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP - Pamplona March/April 2013
Re: Nieve en el camino.- Snow in the camino.-RONCESVALLES

vlebe said:
I'm starting to get really worried about all this snow :shock:
I'll be in SJPP in 16 days to start my first winter camino and I'm still worried about taking a lot of snow gear with me or keeping it light...
:|


Has anyone had an update on the 'real' situation in Roncesvalles? I have been watching accuweather.com and they predict some snow this weekend and next weekend but I wonder have the (reported) higher temperatures in the last week made much of a difference?
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
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falcon269 said:
http://www.aemet.es/es/eltiempo/prediccion/municipios/orreaga-roncesvalles-id31211
Not the best of forecasts AND at the top of the page there is a waring stating a cold wave and snow approaching! Personally, if it was me, I would start in Pamplona! Anne
 

Tia Valeria

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The latest snow warning we have seen today is for snow down to 0mts in the whole of the north of Spain for late today and into the weekend. Brrrrrrrr. It isn't snowing here (UK) but is bitterly cold and we are sitting in front of a great log fire.
If in Spain I would check out the forecasts and take local advice about walking anywhere for the next few days at least.
Buen Camino and safe walking to those on the Camino now.
 
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Vlebe is on the Calendar for a March 2 departure from SJPdP, too far away for an accurate forecast! If the standing snow is deep, the path disappears, so the road route is pretty much the only one that can be found even if the sky has cleared. A week may make a big difference (or not).
 

vlebe

Walker Member
Past OR future Camino
2001; 2004; 2009; 2013, (2016/2017)
Fingers crossed everybody!

I have faith that I'll have at least Valcarlos route with visible marks to take me to Roncesvalles!

Unfortunately, faith and hope is all I can have against unpredictable weather.

:grin:
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
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I think that the problem here is that, if someone is not used to heavy snow fall and drifts, they cannot even begin to understand the problematics of walking under such conditions. We lived in the Alps for many years and the situation could be fine two bends in the road towards the valley and then hopeless two bends higher up. Snow just doesn't always fall quietly, there is the wind factor to take into account, hence drifts, etc! In 2009 we met the Dutch father whose son died on his way from SJPP to Roncesvalles.That morning he left SJPP in fairly good weather conditions but got caught in a blizzard higher up, lost his way and died of hypothermia. The father then took over the Camino from the place where his son lost his life. Anne
 

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