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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
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There can be snow at the Napoleon Pass, and at most other places higher than about 700 meters above sea level (ASL) through June. Snow at the Napoleon pass at this time of year (April) is very common.

Listen to Mona...

Hope this helps.
 

dgallen

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
Just shows you how much can change up in the mtns in a couple days. Monday and Tuesday had some very small patches of old snow on Roncesvalles side of the Napoleon trail, but clear. At least Orisson will have a few more days to compete their renovations. A few snow showers and drizzle Wednesday near Zubiri, but weather fairly good past Pamplona.
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I guess we can ask @Monasp every day of the year what the latest advice is on taking the Napoleon route.

I understand how excited one can be as a new pilgrim but really, does it make sense to ask her today about the weather and trail conditions for the Route Napoléon if you will not start walking today or tomorrow but in 2 weeks' or 2 months' time?

Message from the SJPP pilgrim's office of today. It does not get more "official" than that [Translated from French]:

The Route Napoleon is administratively closed by the Government of Navarre from 1 November to 1 April each year. During the rest of the time from April to October it is either advised to take the Route Napoleon or it is not advised to take the Route Napoleon, depending on the weather but it is not CLOSED !!! [...]. Beware of those people who say" "I was told this or that" .... "I heard from someone who said that they were told this or that".

Go to the pilgrims office on the day of your arrival in SJPP and seek advice for the day of your departure.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
@Monasp, have you ever thought to regularly post up to date advice on your website and perhaps even modernise the website and offer an English version? I'm sure you could easily find volunteers from around the world who have the necessary skills and would be happy to assist you. And these guys don't have to be in SJPP to do their work, they can do it from any computer anywhere in the world. Just a thought.

People who do figure out that aucoeurduchemin.org is the website of the pilgrims office in SJPP and have enough knowledge of French will eventually figure out that the weather forecast for the Route Napoleon is under the links for meteo and Port de Cize which will lead them to the forecast from Viewweather for the Col de Bentarte. And they might even know where this mountain pass is exactly.

For the considerable rest of the international pilgrims population all this is already an obstacle that is too high - much higher than the Pyrenees. 😊
 
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CillaP

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2019)
I guess we can ask @Monasp every day of the year what the latest advice is on taking the Napoleon route.

I understand how excited one can be as a new pilgrim but really, does it make sense to ask her today about the weather and trail conditions for the Route Napoléon if you will not start walking today or tomorrow but in 2 weeks' or 2 months' time?

Message from the SJPP pilgrim's office of today. It does not get more "official" than that [Translated from French]:

The Route Napoleon is administratively closed by the Government of Navarre from 1 November to 1 April each year. During the rest of the time from April to October it is either advised to take the Route Napoleon or it is not advised to take the Route Napoleon, depending on the weather but it is not CLOSED !!! [...]. Beware of those people who say" "I was told this or that" .... "I heard from someone who said that they were told this or that".

Go to the pilgrims office on the day of your arrival in SJPP and seek advice for the day of your departure.
Do you know the date I start walking?
 

Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Do you know the date I start walking?
Welcome to the forum and the internet, @CillaP :).

You had already asked the same question when you started this thread a few days ago and you had posted several times that you plan to start in SJPP around 25th April. This is not Facebook where messages disappear into the depth of cyberspace and out of view very quickly. They stay forever and can easily be retrieved and read. They are just one mouseclick away.

But my reply was not addressed to you specifically, it was of a general nature, mainly prompted by the post from the SJPP pilgrims office that I saw this morning elsewhere and where I felt it would be good to repeat it here.

Buen camino!
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
An unusual photo, tweeted today by the First Responder team of Navarra. It's the Napoleon trail and it must be at high altitude because I think I can make out one of the numbered poles that they've put up to assist walkers in weather with poor visibility. At first I thought, what a service, they are clearing the trail for the walkers! But they wrote that they clear the trail to improve their own response time for rescue operations.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday and the start of the Easter week. The "pilgrim season" is well underway ...

54928
 
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Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2008.
Napoleon Route is open now !
Una vez abierto el paso del #Caminodesantiago por #Lepoeder limpiamos la pista de nieve acumulada, mejorando el tiempo de respuesta @bomberos_na Parque de #Auritz #Burguete @pirineonavarro #Stjamesway https://t.co/Yvhmga2wQp
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
Make sure that you are aware of the weather conditions at altitude (and not just in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port) if you are walking the Napoleon route in the next few days. It will feel cold. The First Responders team had to rescue a pilgrim today. She was in the forest area near the Lepoeder pass (the highest point of the trail), disoriented, with hypothermia and unable to continue walking.

 
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Kathar1na

Member
Camino(s) past & future
To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
The pilgrims office in SJPP actually advises today to stay away from the Napoleon route and take the Valcarlos route because of the weather conditions and in particular also because of the strong wind.

A severe weather warning had been issued (see the Spanish weather service http://www.aemet.es for example or https://www.meteoalarm.eu/ who issue severe weather warnings for European countries) and there are wind gusts of up to 50-65 km/h on the passes of SJPP according to the weather services.

This is likely to be a short interval lasting a day or two but it just confirms that it is impossible to predict several weeks in advance what today's weather will be like.
 
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Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I'm shaking my head in disbelief (about people's behaviour, not about the weather): the First Responders team of Navarra had to rescue 23 pilgrims today - twenty-three people - from the shelter on the top of the Napoleon trail because of the bad weather conditions.

 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
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Make sure that you are aware of the weather conditions at altitude (and not just in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port) if you are walking the Napoleon route in the next few days. It will feel cold. The First Responders team had to rescue a pilgrim today. She was in the forest area near the Lepoeder pass (the highest point of the trail), disoriented, with hypothermia and unable to continue walking.

Poor lady! Glad she's safe. The Col is quite close to the road, isn't it?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
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Not exactly, after you cross the top of the Col you either descend into the woods or follow a road but that road is never used by vehicles.
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
There is some more information here:

SOS-Navarra received a call at 13:40 h and learnt that a group of pilgrims were in the Izandorre hut on the Napoleon trail and requested help because of the terrible weather conditions, with low temperatures, snowfall, very strong gusts of wind and intense blizzard. Some of the pilgrims reported that they had difficulties walking and had symptoms of hypothermia.​
When the rescue team arrived at the hut, they saw that there were around 30 pilgrims there and they told those who were fit to walk to continue on foot to Roncesvalles.​
The rescue team had two vehicles; they had to make two trips to transport 20 pilgrims in total, and in addition, they also picked up another man and his seven year old daughter and another woman.​

It is not known whether everyone had consulted the SJPP pilgrims office and not followed their advice to go via Valcarlos or whether they had failed to inform themselves about the weather.

From April to October, the trail is not officially closed. Make sure that you get up to date advice before you set off. The weather changes quickly on the mountains but this bad weather front did not come out of the blue.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances; Primitivo; Norte; Salvador; Ingles; Piedmont (all since 2014)
wow am i glad i clicked on this thread today. i leave on Friday to start my camino - will start walking from SJPdP on the 28th. maybe i'll throw in an extra beanie & leggings!
Hi Jane. I also plan to start on 28th. Hoping for clear skies. Buen camino.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I hope that it warms up in the next couple of weeks. I'm starting from SJPDP on May 11th.
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
@Monasp, could you perhaps please clarify something? What does this sign mean? People say it means that the Route Napoleon is open and that it is safe to go.
They think that when the weather is bad (during the time from April to October) this sign will be changed to say Fermé (Closed). Is this true?
Do you or someone else go to this sign and change it to Fermé when the weather is bad in spring and summer?

55915
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I imagine the pilgrim office has no authority over that sign, it looks governmental.

It would likely be better if that 'Ouvert" sign was never there. It does say 'inform yourself about weather conditions', but let's be honest, people are stupid. It's a wonder the species has survived.
 

Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2008.
I imagine the pilgrim office has no authority over that sign, it looks governmental.

It would likely be better if that 'Ouvert" sign was never there. It does say 'inform yourself about weather conditions', but let's be honest, people are stupid. It's a wonder the species has survived.
This means that for the administration it is open but without taking into account the weather. It is only the pilgrims' office that has the weather at the pass and is in contact with the Burguete firefighters and with the Albergue of Roncesvalles. That is why the advices given by volunteers are very important to follow
 

biarritzdon

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The hut is in Spain
 

Beeks

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) only 2 weeks available! St. Jean PDP - Pamplona, then Sarria - SDC with the family,
It was closed on April 10. We had reservations at Orisson but oh well.

Every member of our party carried two of these. Very cheap and weigh next to nothing.20190504_090058.jpg
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
@Monasp, have you ever thought to regularly post up to date advice on your website and perhaps even modernise the website and offer an English version?
It is a nice suggestion @Kathar1na but can’t pilgrims just walk into the Pilgrim’s office and ask? Saves everyone a lot of bother.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
@Monasp, could you perhaps please clarify something? What does this sign mean? People say it means that the Route Napoleon is open and that it is safe to go.
They think that when the weather is bad (during the time from April to October) this sign will be changed to say Fermé (Closed). Is this true?
Do you or someone else go to this sign and change it to Fermé when the weather is bad in spring and summer?

View attachment 55915
I find it very sad that we now need signs :rolleyes: And what’s more, they now need explaining!!!
 

Kathar1na

Member
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I find it very sad that we now need signs :rolleyes: And what’s more, they now need explaining!!!
I don't know whether we need them or not. My point is that the sign is there in SJPP, permanently, and as others have indicated, people read only half of what's written on it and spread their half knowledge and misinterpretation in social media where others believe what they read. And not everyone feels an obligation to walk into the pilgrims office. Some people don't even know that it exists.
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
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Closed means closed. Pretty simple message. It's in English and French, what don't you get!
 

Kathar1na

Member
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Closed means closed. Pretty simple message. It's in English and French, what don't you get!
No. During the summer the sign says OPEN all the time and in smaller letters something like inform yourself about the weather. Yet many people believe there is some power that opens and closes the trail during the summer months and when they see the OPEN sign they believe it is safe to go. That was the point I was trying to make but it is drowning among the many comments.
 

Kathar1na

Member
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Why do I even bother ... 🙄.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
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I just saw a Facebook post that there was snow up there yesterday!
 

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
@Rick of Rick and Peg, thank you. I don't know ... perhaps it's mainly because inadequate information and misinformation annoy me and because I feel that there's some room for improving the information flow ... the weather services had indicated that it will feel very cold today at 1300 metres on the Napoleon trail in the Western Pyrenees, maybe that was the reason why the First Responder team from Burguete had to pick up three pilgrims today, one from the pass, the other from the emergency shelter and, closer to Roncesvalles, a third one with a broken ankle.

 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
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One day at a time. I have a friend who walked over the pass from SJPdP to Espinal on 4 May. He sent pictures of trees full of frozen mist and said the winds were strong but no snow on the ground. It's cold up there.
 

biarritzdon

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@Rick of Rick and Peg, thank you. I don't know ... perhaps it's mainly because inadequate information and misinformation annoy me and because I feel that there's some room for improving the information flow ... the weather services had indicated that it will feel very cold today at 1300 metres on the Napoleon trail in the Western Pyrenees, maybe that was the reason why the First Responder team from Burguete had to pick up three pilgrims today, one from the pass, the other from the emergency shelter and, closer to Roncesvalles, a third one with a broken ankle.

I agree with you but no one should be expected play "helicpter mom" to everyone who walks the Camino. People walked the Napoleon yesterday and it was cold, how do you warn people to protect themselves from the cold.
Someone had a twisted ankle, that happens every day I have attached a Croix Rouge triage at Calzadilla.
 

Attachments

Kathar1na

Member
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To Santiago and beyond (own way; Voie de Tours; Camino Francés; Biskaya; Manche; Via Brabantica)
I agree with you but no one should be expected play "helicopter mom" to everyone who walks the Camino. People walked the Napoleon yesterday and it was cold, how do you warn people to protect themselves from the cold.
You read the weather forecast and understand what it means for your hike over a mountain. The SJPP pilgrims office has explained in this thread how to do this: you go to their website, in French, called aucoeurduchemin.org, then you find the link that says meteo, then you click on meteo: ports de cize which is obviously where you are going to go. It gives you a detailed forecast for the weather at 1322 metres on the Napoleon trail at 3-hour intervals per day. There's also an excellent article on their website, it always takes me a while to find it again, in French, called "Les dangers de la montagne". Obvious and easy, no? ....
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I agree with you but no one should be expected play "helicpter mom" to everyone who walks the Camino.
I don't expect this but I'm glad they try. No one here is stopping anyone from doing stupid things but they do give advice. Don't walk in dangerous weather. Don't shake anyone awake at night. Blisters can become infected. Stay hydrated. Walk in sight of others.
People walked the Napoleon yesterday and it was cold, how do you warn people to protect themselves from the cold.
By letting them know that they can die from hypothermia. If not from just walking but because they cannot think right and may stumble and become unconscious or get lost or make bad judgements (like not knowing they are in trouble or that they could call for help -- if their fingers work.) Or you could let them know that their rescue could cost a lot. Or that the rescue could kill one of the rescuers.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2020? Looks like.... nowhere! 😁
Those bomberos are stars! 🌟

No one here is stopping anyone from doing stupid things but they do give advice. Don't walk in dangerous weather. Don't shake anyone awake at night. Blisters can become infected. Stay hydrated. Walk in sight of others.
And so are the helpers on this forum 😎

Trouble is, so many people seem so unprepared, it astounds me ☹ Accidents, yes, can happen to anyone but venturing out without checking the weather, the kms involved? 😕

I hope everyone’s ok.
 
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