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Torrential rains in the pyrenees?

Sandi Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I’ve been trying to keep an eye on the weather in SJPdP and Roncesvalles. Obviously, its tough to find accurate info from here in the States.

Could anyone over there tell me if the rains in these areas are as terrible and constant as I seem to see on AccuWeather? Is the Napoleon still open?

I won’t be walking for another 2 1/2 weeks. I know things can change quickly. I just want a sense of the terrain as of now. Is the mud so deep one cannot safely walk there? Is the route closed? Are the reports grossly overstating the rain? Blah, blah, blah

This is my second Camino. I only had one day of rain 4 years ago. And that Camino was from SJPdP to Finisterre. Isn’t that something that we treasure about the Way?! We never really know what we’re in for.

Any idea about the current conditions will help me in deciding my gear.

Thanks,

Sandi
 
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The biggest concern, if there has been heavy rain, is the descent from the Col de Lepoeder to Roncesvalles. You would want to stay off the traditional path and instead use the narrow paved road which is to the right of the path. The path is simply too slippery and treacherous which creates unnecessary risks for injury.

Most of the walk over the Napoleon is on narrow and paved roadway. There are some shorter sections which will be muddy with a hard rain, but they are usually not impassible if one takes sufficient care.

When in SJPdP, the Pilgrims Office volunteers will give you the best advice for that day's conditions.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
You would want to stay off the traditional path and instead use the narrow paved road which is to the right of the path.
I would suggest that anyone who wants to save their knees and avoid injuries on their first or second day of the Camino should take the road to the right!
 
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SFletcher

Una flecha sigue una flecha
Past OR future Camino
SJPdP - Pamplona (2018); Pamplona - Burgos (2019)
I crossed over the Napolean route last week in misty rain, poor visibility, no wind. Most of the route is on paved roads. After that, the tracks were not heavily muddy. The final section through the woods to Roncesvalles was steep and slippy and muddy in places, but it was usually possible to walk around the worst of it.
The worst mud was between Zubiri and Pamplona where the track was narrow and there was no option but to go through. It was generally on flat sections and poles helped to maintain balance.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
You can use any browser to go here:

http://www.eltiempo.es/navarra/roncesvalles.html?q=navarra/roncesvalles&c=prediction

This is for Roncesvalles. Or, you can go here (bleow) for Saint Jean Pied de Port:

http://www.eltiempo.es/saint-jean-pied-de-port.html?q=saint-jean-pied-de-port&c=prediction

This site is also available as a free app for Android and iOS. It is called "el tiempo.es +" In my experience, it has the best local weather and forecasts all across Spain and the Pyrenees region.

Hope this helps.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
...
Most of the walk over the Napoleon is on narrow and paved roadway. There are some shorter sections which will be muddy with a hard rain, but they are usually not impassible if one takes sufficient care.
...
That section that's several hundred meters long right alongside the fence that separates France and Spain, after you leave the road up from SJPP and Orisson, can get pretty muddy, but at least it's mostly level. The path down through the woods from the Col to Roncevalles was dry when we walked it, and the biggest danger was tripping on exposed roots. I would definitely agree with others who recommend the road down to the right if it is or has recently been raining. The road is about a km longer over the same ~450 meter drop, but the shorter and steeper trail is not worth the risk if the weather is not favorable.
 

Sandi Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
The biggest concern, if there has been heavy rain, is the descent from the Col de Lepoeder to Roncesvalles. You would want to stay off the traditional path and instead use the narrow paved road which is to the right of the path. The path is simply too slippery and treacherous which creates unnecessary risks for injury.

Most of the walk over the Napoleon is on narrow and paved roadway. There are some shorter sections which will be muddy with a hard rain, but they are usually not impassible if one takes sufficient care.

When in SJPdP, the Pilgrims Office volunteers will give you the best advice for that day's conditions.

Yes, as I mentioned, this is my second Camino. I took the path to the right last time and intended to do it again regardless of weather. My query is just to see what the trail looks like in general right now. But thank you very much. I'm sure newer pilgrims will need that heads up for certain.

Buen Camino!
 

Sandi Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I would suggest that anyone who wants to save their knees and avoid injuries on their first or second day of the Camino should take the road to the right!
I absolutely agree. I've never tried the one to the left but I have had no interest in it.
 
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Sandi Smith

Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I crossed over the Napolean route last week in misty rain, poor visibility, no wind. Most of the route is on paved roads. After that, the tracks were not heavily muddy. The final section through the woods to Roncesvalles was steep and slippy and muddy in places, but it was usually possible to walk around the worst of it.
The worst mud was between Zubiri and Pamplona where the track was narrow and there was no option but to go through. It was generally on flat sections and poles helped to maintain balance.


Thank you so much. I know the weather can change in a flash. I was just curious about how rutted up and muddy things look right now. This is very helpful.

Sandi
 

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