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Snow in the mountains

#1
I changed planes in Madrid yesterday and the view of the Guadarrama mountains was very pretty. Lots of snow. Friends tell me it has lasted for a lot longer than any snow in recent memory, as long as two weeks. If anyone is heading out for the Camino de Madrid, you can be sure you will find snow at the pass after Cercedilla. Make sure to check before setting out -- though it is beautiful, it could be quite dangerous.

F066E479-8854-47F3-A87F-5C46FFE26A14.jpeg
 

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Camino(s) past & future
None
#2
We are starting from Madrid on the 11th March to do a maximum of 12 days , thanks for the advice & any other info would be welcome . This is our first attempt & this section is one area of concern for me , I have been searching for webcams / weather reports for the area but unable to find any snow reports , thanks Tony
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#3
We are starting from Madrid on the 11th March to do a maximum of 12 days , thanks for the advice & any other info would be welcome . This is our first attempt & this section is one area of concern for me , I have been searching for webcams / weather reports for the area but unable to find any snow reports , thanks Tony
This might help: http://www.caminodesantiagotiempo.com/
Just click on desired Camino and town (left column sorted in chronological order, right one in alphabetical) and voila.
Hope that helps.

Buen Camino!
 

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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#7
Regarding show, Stephen Jones's VLOG post from today shows it between Estella and Los Arcos. Glad I'm not there!

He has a playlist of his Camino which began on 24 or 25 February 2018 from SJPDP.
Quite entertaining. I need something to look forward to everyday since Sara Dhooma's VdlP Camino will be wrapping up soon! ¡Buen Camino!
@Latecomer this is the post about snow on crossing the Guadarrama ridge which is on Camino de Madrid and Stephen Jones (Frances) and Sara Dhooma (VdlP) are on completely different Caminos. Not to compare.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#8
We are six 70 year olds from Australia (men) setting off from Madrid on the 1 April. we are also hopping for a bit of snow. (austraila is lacking in the white stuff!
Hello, Froggy,

Stage from Cercedilla to Segovia (or detour to Valsain) isn't something you can take easy especially in winter conditions, it's 30km and with a lot of elevation! There is no asphalt road access, no fountains, no mountain huts, just remains of Roman road and very changeable weather. If the weather report for next day will be sunny then I say go for it but if there's a chance for rain/snow I would abandon it and take a train (half an hour) to Segovia. Or wait another day in Cercedilla if needed.

I walked it reasonably fit 44 y/o in rain and cut it to Valsain and I was knackered when finished.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#9
We are starting from Madrid on the 11th March to do a maximum of 12 days , thanks for the advice & any other info would be welcome . This is our first attempt & this section is one area of concern for me , I have been searching for webcams / weather reports for the area but unable to find any snow reports , thanks Tony
Hi Tony
We are in a similar position but setting off a bit later. Mar 23 from Madrid. If the pass is considered too dangerous., we will look at the train from Cercedilla to Segovia.
Please report back when you get to that section please ., if you can. and Buen Camino.
Annie
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#10
Hi Tony
We are in a similar position but setting off a bit later. Mar 23 from Madrid. If the pass is considered too dangerous., we will look at the train from Cercedilla to Segovia.
Please report back when you get to that section please ., if you can. and Buen Camino.
Annie
I don't think the pass is dangerous in snow as it would be with fresh snow in the Alps. It would take a lot of energy to wade through the snow and you'd lost a lot of energy needed for (not so steep) descend. Exhausted and maybe even a bit of hypothermia could be fatal even on this altitude. Add temperatures and late afternoon with lower visibility and there you have problems. I know that in my climbing years I could've had run over this pass even in almost waist deep snow but now...
I would say remember the warnings from Napoleon (and even Valcarlos) route and apply them here and you'll be on the safe side.

Buen Camino de Madrid to you too, Annie!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#11
Take a peek here how it might look in snowy conditions. Approximately on 02:40 they reach the Fuenfria pass and as it looks they have much more problems on the way down to the other side:
It seems like they are were having fun and most probably they did but it was 31st Camino of the guy filming it and he walked a lot of them in winter conditions!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#12
Hi Tony
We are in a similar position but setting off a bit later. Mar 23 from Madrid. If the pass is considered too dangerous., we will look at the train from Cercedilla to Segovia.
Please report back when you get to that section please ., if you can. and Buen Camino.
Annie
Hi OzAnnie , I was following your thread about setting off on the 23rd & I was keen to join the party but a friend asked to go a bit earlier . I will do my best to let you know on conditions , cheers Tony
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#13
I don't think the pass is dangerous in snow as it would be with fresh snow in the Alps. It would take a lot of energy to wade through the snow and you'd lost a lot of energy needed for (not so steep) descend. Exhausted and maybe even a bit of hypothermia could be fatal even on this altitude. Add temperatures and late afternoon with lower visibility and there you have problems. I know that in my climbing years I could've had run over this pass even in almost waist deep snow but now...
I would say remember the warnings from Napoleon (and even Valcarlos) route and apply them here and you'll be on the safe side.

Buen Camino de Madrid to you too, Annie!
Thanks for the advice Kinkyone & I will have a look at the youtube film , cheers Tony
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#16
I went this way in early December one year and, although the southern side of the walk from Cercedilla to Segovia was dry, there was still quite a lot of snow on the northern (shady) side of the mountain. Only an inch or two for only the first few km of descent, but even so there were ski marks in the snow.

I was lucky in finding the fuente de San Pablo just after hitting the flat part of the trail, perhaps 8km from Segovia. Delicious cool untreated water, very welcome after quite a tough day.

The first view of Segovia from the Puerto de la Fuenfría is one of my favourite views of all my caminos: the city, seen from almost 6000' up, is apparently sailing across the meseta. It does look a very long way from lunch, but it's worth it.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), Primitivo(13), Norte(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18)
#18
We are six 70 year olds from Australia (men) setting off from Madrid on the 1 April. we are also hopping for a bit of snow. (austraila is lacking in the white stuff!
I walked through on April 3rd and had a foot of snow for 8k with 18 inch drifts. I am sure I posted some pictures. The route was still doable but it did slow me down. I imagine the views are beautiful in fair weather. As Alan states my first view of Segovia was beautiful but still a long way to go.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#20
Flew into Madrid today & there looks to be a significant amount of snow on the mountains. The fields have a fair bit of standing water in them & it looked like there had been a downpour today . Walk starts tomorrow !
Buen Camino Tony
Thanks for the update. I’ll be watching to hear from you. Hoping you get some dry days .

Annie
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#21
Flew into Madrid today & there looks to be a significant amount of snow on the mountains. The fields have a fair bit of standing water in them & it looked like there had been a downpour today . Walk starts tomorrow !
I'll be following your steps (for a second time) in a bit more than one month.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#23
We decided to catch the train out to Tres Cantos & start our walk from there . This didn't exactly go to plan for a couple of reasons , we struggled slightly to get out of town as I was following Instructions which told me to start near the foxa hotel & there was no sign of it . We eventually found yellow arrows & crossed the motorway bridge to pick up a dirt track. After a while this led us to the river , no bridge & plenty of water flowing . We had to climb back up the hill & spotted a concrete wall (weir ?) , to get to it we had to clamber down a steep banking (slippy) & then crossed over , within 5 mins we were stood in front of another ford, with no chance of crossing. Climbed back up & had a good look at the river , even if we could have crossed on the 3rd attempt, you would have to cross back again further on . Bit disappointed as we headed back to town & caught the train to Colmenar. Now holed up in Gran hostal El Chiscon, very nice & discount for pilgrims , €48 For a twin room Inc breakfast. Tried to attach photos but I'm not good with computers / phones etc
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
#24
Thanks Alan , I believe you are a fellow Cumbrian
Buen camino from a hill farm tucked into Cold Fell, Cumbria - still a few drifts heading up to the higher ground, but most of the snow in the lower fields has melted, and my ewes and lambs are back out.

Is that Buttermere in your avatar? - ages since I've been up Haystacks.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#25
. Bit disappointed as we headed back to town & caught the train to Colmenar. Now holed up in Gran hostal El Chiscon, very nice & discount for pilgrims , €48 For a twin room Inc breakfast. Tried to attach photos but I'm not good with computers / phones etc
Tony
I can imagine your disappointment after trying so hard. Put that behind you, you’re on your way now.
Don’t worry about trying to upload pics, the info is good.
Thankyou and Buen Camino , Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#26
Buen camino from a hill farm tucked into Cold Fell, Cumbria - still a few drifts heading up to the higher ground, but most of the snow in the lower fields has melted, and my ewes and lambs are back out.

Is that Buttermere in your avatar? - ages since I've been up Haystacks.
I think it is Thirlmere Alan but someone may correct me
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#27
Lovely church in Colmenar to start from & should have taken calle America ? a few streets in , this was cordoned off & being dug up , but still open to pedestrians. Easy from then on . A spanish guy stopped us & with my limited spanish, his limited english & sign language, he told us under no circumstances to go over fuenfria . He said it is waist deep in snow & was quite concerned that we may try it . He also wished us our 1st buen Camino & we both felt quite emotional not having experienced it before. Had 2 stream crossings this day , plenty of melt water coming off the hills . Stepping stones / logs etc but we managed. Stayed the night in manzares el real & had fantastic days walking to cercedilla. Stopped in mataelpino for breakfast (12ish) coffee shop next to pharmacy is excellent. Next stop navacerrada, motorbike bar for lunch .Very steep climb out of town & then down hill. Will give snow update later , cheers T
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#28
Hi Tony
Really appreciating your updates.
Looking at my weather info (here in oz) for area you’re walking , looks like rain and still more snow to come ? Is that what you’re getting there ?
Well done ,you’re ploughing on!
I hadn’t realised there would be so many arroyos to navigate across. You managed without ‘wading thru?’
You’re a tough one. Glad you’re walking with someone else .

Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#32
Rain this morning & heavy snow forecast on hills . Decided to take the 12.30 train to Segovia after breakfast in colonial cafe , very nice . Stayed in hostal la maya ? €45 twin without breakfast. Didn't get many views from the train as it was very misty. Dry in Segovia & we had a good look around , then late lunch. Set off for Zamarramala late afternoon in the train & were damp when we arrived . Saw a place on the way in which I thought was the albergue & then went to find bar to collect the key . On the way we passed a new looking albergue which I think kiwi mentioned in an old post, still had to collect the key from bar as directed by sign. Bar was closed but lady stuck her head out of window & didn't seem to want to help at first but then produced a phone number which I rang , the guy said the albergue was closed. My lack of Spanish probably didn't help my case . We set off back to Segovia & thought we'd pay a visit to the church of vera cruz, to have a look & dry off for 10 mins as we were damp & cold by now . I didn't get through the door when a guy inside said no & closed the door ? Anyway now in Condes de Castilla drying out, €41 for twin & very nice , breakfast not included . Not sure what to make of the day
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#33
Hi Tony
Shame you missed the view over the pass but decision taken out of your hands by that weather. Good info on train times and accommodation, Thankyou.
How frustrating to retrace your steps. I guess you were trying to make your following day easier by moving on. @Bad Pilgrim wrote that he wasn’t impressed with Zamarramala either.
Did you find breakfast in Cercedilla before you left? Bad pilgrim mentioned food was available early at the station.
You’re holding out well and a positive: that it was dry in Segovia. Did your wet weather gear work well?
Are you finding wifi to post your info on the forum; or did you get a local sim; or using home sim(roaming)?
Thanks and Buen Camino
Annie
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
#34
Hi Annie , there is a cafe on the station but we had a leisurely breakfast at colonial cafe on the main st (good) wet gear is leaking slightly & using home simply as well as Wi-Fi where we can get it . Cheers Tony
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#35
I would suggest you check the next day weather forecast and decide immediately in Cercedilla if taking the train to Segovia. Cercedilla has nothing much to offer but Segovia has a lot and you can enjoy the whole afternoon and evening there.

I would also suggest a Duerme Vela Hostel in Segovia, located very close to aquaduct which is (apart from Alcazar) Segovia's main attraction.

For the albergues on less traveled routes - always call in advance and make your Camino less miserable especially in this kind of weather. These albergues are often staffed by locals and if they get sick or something else you're on your own. Always check in advance at which hospitalero or hotel/hostel owner could help you when calling.

Of course Zamarramala offers nothing much, it's just a small village half an hour walk from Segovia. But it has an albergue (when opened), a shop and three restaurants. and magnificent view over the Alcazar of Segovia. Not to be missed!


I wish you drier continuation of your Camino :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese' ' Frances' ' Norte' 'Salvador_prim' ‘le puy’ ‘Inglés’ ‘CDM’ ‘Invierno’ ‘Fin_Mux’
#36
Thanks for that advice @KinkyOne ( to check on following days weather rather than sleeping in Cercedilla if there is possibility that a train to Segovia is needed. )
I was just re-reading your report & thoughts on your experience in Zamarramala.. you had a really good day. I guess communication makes a big difference. So guess it’s a very individual thing.

With booking ahead the day before ., did you find that many were ‘completo’. if left to day before? I have been looking at distances and stages in the Madrid and Invierno and wondered about needing to book further ahead - but if plan goes awry , it would require many phone calls to cancel bookings. Also some want payment in advance . So may be safer to just have list of possibles and phone day before ??

Thanks again K1

Annie
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#37
Thanks for that advice @KinkyOne ( to check on following days weather rather than sleeping in Cercedilla if there is possibility that a train to Segovia is needed. )
I was just re-reading your report & thoughts on your experience in Zamarramala.. you had a really good day. I guess communication makes a big difference. So guess it’s a very individual thing.

With booking ahead the day before ., did you find that many were ‘completo’. if left to day before? I have been looking at distances and stages in the Madrid and Invierno and wondered about needing to book further ahead - but if plan goes awry , it would require many phone calls to cancel bookings. Also some want payment in advance . So may be safer to just have list of possibles and phone day before ??

Thanks again K1

Annie
I called in advance mostly to check if sleeping at the albergue is possible at all the next day. Usually there wasn't a problem and also this way the village hospitalero knows someone is likely coming. For example in A Pobra do Brollon (Invierno) is possible to sleep in polideportivo but the day I called the mayor was absent and nobody else wanted to take responsibility to let unknown peregrino into their gym. And then I called Pension As Vinas and had another nice experience.
But of course I booked pensions in advance when there was no albergue. It's really strange that Zamarramala albergue wasn't opened because it should be from March to November???
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014); Madrid, Salvador and Norte or Primitivo (2018)
#38
Delighted to have stumbled on this thread as I will be considering the Fuenfria route about eight weeks from today. Walk out of Madrid on May 7th. Hope the snow is gone by then, but really appreciating the insight and experience of others. Thank you!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#39
Delighted to have stumbled on this thread as I will be considering the Fuenfria route about eight weeks from today. Walk out of Madrid on May 7th. Hope the snow is gone by then, but really appreciating the insight and experience of others. Thank you!
People in Cercedilla would surely know what the circumstances are or you might ask this Camino couple living in Manzanares el Real (and even offering donativo accommodation): http://www.rayyrosa.com/

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014); Madrid, Salvador and Norte or Primitivo (2018)
#40
People in Cercedilla would surely know what the circumstances are or you might ask this Camino couple living in Manzanares el Real (and even offering donativo accommodation): http://www.rayyrosa.com/

Buen Camino!
Thank you, K1. Read about RayyRosa for the first time on@Timr’s posts last year. Perhaps I will try to connect with them. Finding all the dialogue on here really helpful and pleased to see the experienced peregrinos speak of it so positively. Except perhaps for the current weather!
 



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