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Weather at the Pyrenees

melloglrm

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2019)
Hi folks,

I'm am 25 doing the Camino for the first time, starting next week. I'm doing my best to keep updated about the Camino, and recently I looked at the forecast for the first part of the Frances Route - SJPdP to Roncesvalles, and it is not very exciting. On April 4th, the day I planned (still plan) to start, it gets cooler in the region, even with snowy conditions near Roncesvalles.

I have some Under Armour thermal clothes I used in a snow trip before and they worked well at low and negative temperatures. but I'm concerned about things as visibility, slippery paths etc. Could someone give me a light on this issue? Would you recommend taking the Valcarlos route, or it is doable by the Napoleon in these conditions?

By the way, does someone know some local weather forecasts or the big ones (Accuweather, weather.com) work well?
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
It is too early to forecast the weather on 4 April, but it does not look good considering there is still snow remaining at the top which might obscure the trail markers.
Consult with the Pilgrim Office in SJPdP and follow their advice.
There are numerous places where one could be fooled into taking a false trail into oblivion, if they can not see the markers.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
In snow or other adverse weather take the Valcarlos. The Route Napoleon may or may not be open. The sensible and safe thing to do is check in with the Pilgrims Office at 39 Rue de la Citadelle. They will have the actual weather and will advise accordingly.

Thermals may be handy though personally I get and keep pretty warm when walking. It is having additional warm layers for when at rest that can be tricky but useful. Stuck in a snowdrift on the Ibaneta is not the time to be changing into thermal undies ;)
 

pjacobi

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015, St. Jean Pied de Port to Burgos
2016, Burgos to Ponferrada
2017, Ponferrada to Atlantic Ocean
I think that there was at least one bad year where the Route Napoleon was closed due to snow until mid-April. Does anyone have the actual historical dates?

-Paul
 
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biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I remember continuous snow storms the entire month of May 2015.
 

aperfectmess

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances August 2019
Hi folks,

I'm am 25 doing the Camino for the first time, starting next week. I'm doing my best to keep updated about the Camino, and recently I looked at the forecast for the first part of the Frances Route - SJPdP to Roncesvalles, and it is not very exciting. On April 4th, the day I planned (still plan) to start, it gets cooler in the region, even with snowy conditions near Roncesvalles.

I have some Under Armour thermal clothes I used in a snow trip before and they worked well at low and negative temperatures. but I'm concerned about things as visibility, slippery paths etc. Could someone give me a light on this issue? Would you recommend taking the Valcarlos route, or it is doable by the Napoleon in these conditions?

By the way, does someone know some local weather forecasts or the big ones (Accuweather, weather.com) work well?

Hi,

I start the same day from SJPP. Also curious about how the weather will be. However, I might go for the Valcarlos. I will wear t-shirt, a fleece and a puff jacket in colder weather. Hoka runners. No thermo clothing. If I feel cold, I wear my poncho too. This is what works for me in these temperatures. See you around!

Anna

P.S I use the eltiempo.es app
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (6), Primitivo(3), Finisterre/Muxia (3), Aragones, Norte, Portuguese, Camino del Rey
I'm starting my 10th anniversary camino (6th from SJPdP) on April 1st, starting when I arrive on the noon train and will make my way for a short walk to either Valcarlos or Orrisson that afternoon. And as the case with every early April camino I walk, always curious anout the conditions on the high pass. I always dread that steep upward bit via the pass on the Valcarlos, so the Napoleon or St Michel are the preferred options. Anyone at the Pilgrim office been speaking with locals about Napoleon conditions? I wrote to Orrisson to see if they will be open, and they said call them on March 31st to find out. I will report on conditions when I get there.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
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NancyLee

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First Camino Mar-April 2018
I did this piece from SJPdP to roncesvalles second week of March 2018. In the morning it was sunny and some in our group were wearing shorts as we left France. We took valcarlos route as Napoleon wasn’t open. (We heard the next day some took that route anyway but are at risk of high fines if caught when closed). Our group separated and I encountered others throughout the day and by the time I was scaling the Pyrenees, it started to rain, then freezing rain, then snow. The trail became treacherous but it was a heavy springlike snow (I am from 🇨🇦 canada) not real cold. Does that make sense to anyone? That day we needed more rain type gear rather than layers for warmth. That was day one for me. Buen Camino - you will be fine as long as you don’t allow weather to dictate outcome of daily walks.
 

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