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LIVE from the Camino Spot of snow here in the Pyrenees

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
I'm in a mountain refuge at 2150m up the side of the Pic du Canigou (hoping to do a camino joining Canigou with Montserrat, two sacred mountains for Catalans). It snowed hard most of the afternoon, probably 10-15cm accumulated here, more higher up. Assume it will be similar on the Route de Napoléon and the Col de Somport.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
I'm in a mountain refuge at 2150m up the side of the Pic du Canigou (hoping to do a camino joining Canigou with Montserrat, two sacred mountains for Catalans). It snowed hard most of the afternoon, probably 10-15cm accumulated here, more higher up. Assume it will be similar on the Route de Napoléon and the Col de Somport.
I hope you have a warm sleeping bag, and the makings of a hot drink...
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Here you go again! Hope you will post every now and then. I was looking at the map, just to see where you might be passing by, and I wonder if you will go through Ripoll. I remember its monastery as being about as beautiful as could be imagined, with a cloister that reminded me of Santo Domingo de Silos a bit. If only it were perched up high, like Sant Pere de Rodas instead of surrounded by buildings. But my visit was way back when in the 70s so I have no idea what it looks like now. Buen camino, Alan, so glad you found a way to walk this year.
 
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kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2012
CP 2015
St Olavs Norway 2016
88T Japan 2017
PWC/VF 2019
Israel 2020 X
Wales CP 21?
KK?
VdlP?
I'm in a mountain refuge at 2150m up the side of the Pic du Canigou (hoping to do a camino joining Canigou with Montserrat, two sacred mountains for Catalans). It snowed hard most of the afternoon, probably 10-15cm accumulated here, more higher up. Assume it will be similar on the Route de Napoléon and the Col de Somport.
Any chance of posting some photos? Would be great to see what you're seeing.
Happy trails.
👣 🌏
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Limited coverage up here, but I'll try

View attachment 84337


Quite a contrast with sunset the day before at St Martín du Canigou

View attachment 84338
First, thanks for the photos. Second, I envy your agility! Third: last year, after the Ingles, we wandered in and out of the Ribera Sacra (by car) and I was in awe of the inspiration and mechanics of raising some of the monasteries there. Your sunset photo heightens that awe. Not only why they were built, but how... I guess there are examples in every country, but this one you have shown is truly a thing of wonder. Take care up there.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
There have been there have been whispers that you are walking Alan, so thank you for taking the time to post for us here. If those two photos are any indication, you are already off to a grand start.

Heartfelt bon chemin and buen camino! This year the chance to walk is particularly precious. So I very much look forward to seeing whatever manage to post here along the way — even if it scrambles my list of Camino priorities
 

Harington

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
I'm in a mountain refuge at 2150m up the side of the Pic du Canigou (hoping to do a camino joining Canigou with Montserrat, two sacred mountains for Catalans). It snowed hard most of the afternoon, probably 10-15cm accumulated here, more higher up. Assume it will be similar on the Route de Napoléon and the Col de Somport.
Ah, les neus del Canigó! Which refuge?
 

GraemeHall

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017/18; Portugués 2019
I'm in a mountain refuge at 2150m up the side of the Pic du Canigou (hoping to do a camino joining Canigou with Montserrat, two sacred mountains for Catalans). It snowed hard most of the afternoon, probably 10-15cm accumulated here, more higher up. Assume it will be similar on the Route de Napoléon and the Col de Somport.
Hello Alan
I would really love a bit more information about the route you are following ..... from Perpignan??
Thank you for the great reports and photos to date.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Alan, those are stunning photos! Thanks for posting them. They are so inspiring.

For people interested in seeing the complete network of GR's in Spain, here's a handy site. Click on a province for a list with a brief description of all the GR's in that province - their length, difficulty rating, etc. Click on a particular GR for detailed info including a map and links to any topoguides that exist - most available free online.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
A glorious sunrise did not disguise the fact that I am not equipped to head over the peaks in these conditions. So, sadly, I gave up my attempt to get to Spain by the high road, like last year. Under normal early October circumstances, going via Canigou would not have been much of a problem, but this is not a normal year, and I'm quite glad a rare outbreak of common sense prevented me from making the attempt as I have no wish to be "a traveller by the faithful hound, half buried in the snow was found" especially as I have no banner in my hands of ice.

The first pic is the same view as from last night, but a little prettier this morning and the second is looking down over the Mediterranean coast up to 100km away (and from over 2km up}.

IMG_20201003_075155.jpg


IMG_20201003_081139.jpg
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Estrecho, Ruta Fray Leopoldo,
Vía Serrana, Camino Francés
Under normal early October circumstances, going via Canigou would not have been much of a problem, but this is not a normal year, and I'm quite glad a rare outbreak of common sense prevented me from making the attempt as I have no wish to be "a traveller by the faithful hound, half buried in the snow was found" especially as I have no banner in my hands of ice.

Your photo surely shows the effects of the cold snap that moved in from the north. Lovely to look at, but not so great to walk in. I hope your alternative route turns out to be passable...
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
What goes up must come down...

Two of the people (8 of us altogether) staying in the refuge des Cortalets at 2150m up had mild frostbite, having been caught in the previous day's blizzard. Going down seemed a bit of an admission of failure, but preferable to death from exposure. The other plus, not perhaps quite as big, was that the quickest route down took me past the glorious Romanesque abbey of St Michel de Cuxa, brother abbey of Montserrat. You know you're quite high up when you see eagles circling below you - the second time in my life: once previously on the Olvidado near Caminayo. The snow was still ankle deep at first light, but a couple of hours later, at about 1600m, it was mostly gone. In the gaps between the trees the views were fantastic in that crystal light - it was like having a relief map laid out in front of you. And at about 1600m I first made out the distinctive high 1000 year old tower of St Michel nearly 1000m below. The feet and knees may (and did) complain, but when you have no choice you go on. Back below 1000m and it was funny to be back in Mediterranean heat, with lizards scuttling about, pale blue crickets, hot scented cistus and wild lavender, all in one walk. St Michel was a delight: preromanesque arches, soaring tower, pale pink marble, romanesque virgin, austere crypt, views back up the cliff I'd spent the previous three days battling, totally deserted.

The first pic is of the town of Prades from high up, with St Michel in its own little square of paler green stage centre, and the second is of the tower and remains of the cloisters from near by (if you want to see the rest of the cloister you'll have to go to upper Manhattan).

IMG_20201003_115746.jpg

IMG_20201003_161317.jpg
 
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filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2020
Stunning! I have just completed a mere 8 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Orisson, through intermittent heavy, cold rain broken by sunshine, but no snow here. Fabulous photos.
Stunning! I have just completed a mere 8 km from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Orisson, through intermittent heavy, cold rain broken by sunshine, but no snow here. Fabulous photos.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
What goes up must come down...

Two of the people (8 of us altogether) staying in the refuge des Cortalets at 2150m up had mild frostbite, having been caught in the previous day's blizzard. Going down seemed a bit of an admission of failure, but preferable to death from exposure. The other plus, not perhaps quite as big, was that the quickest route down took me past the glorious Romanesque abbey of St Michel de Cuxa, brother abbey of Montserrat. You know you're quite high up when you see eagles circling below you - the second time in my life: once previously on the Olvidado near Caminayo. The snow was still ankle deep at first light, but a couple of hours later, at about 1600m, it was mostly gone. In the gaps between the trees the views were fantastic in that crystal light - it was like having a relief map laid out in front of you. And at about 1600m I first made out the distinctive high 1000 year old tower of St Michel nearly 1000m below. The feet and knees may (and did) complain, but when you have no choice you go on. Back below 1000m and it was funny to be back in Mediterranean heat, with lizards scuttling about, pale blue crickets, hot scented cistus and wild lavender, all in one walk. St Michel was a delight: preromanesque arches, soaring tower, pale pink marble, romanesque virgin, austere crypt, views back up the cliff I'd spent the previous three days battling, totally deserted.

The first pic is of the town of Prades from high up, with St Michel in its own little square of paler green stage centre, and the second is of the tower and remains of the cloisters from near by (if you want to see the rest of the cloister you'll have to go to upper Manhattan).

View attachment 84423

View attachment 84424
Beautiful photographs,
Hope the hearing was on!!
We stayed at the Cortalets refuge a few years ago when walking the GR 10 ......I have never been so cold in all my life.....and that was in the middle of Summer!!
 

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