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Weather in April 2018

Camino(s) past & future
August 2017
April 2018
#1
Hi all did my first walk in Aug 2017 .Good weather right through (hot) .Now doing it in April starting 11th what can I expect will the pass be open from Orisson on wards.
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15,16 & 19 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo
#2
Terry, we have walked various sections of the Frances route in early April 2014, 2015 and 2016. April can be a wet month and snow can still fall at the higher elevations. Our experience has been the opposite on all three years with only one exception as noted below. We probably have only had our rain ponchos on only a half dozen times in three years. But, more luck on our part than anything.

We did encounter some wet muddy sections from prior rain, but with our trekking poles and a little maneuvering we were able to get by these without wet feet.

In April 2016, our first day out of St. Jean was on the morning of April 8th and the Napoleon route was closed due to heavy snow the prior day. It will be truly hit or miss if the that route is open in the first part of April, impossible to predict. In any case we enjoyed the walk through Val Carlos to Roncesvalles and even encountered heavy snow on the last part of our walk into Roncesvalles on that route.

I would not carry a heavy jacket, a wind breaker and other layers below is enough. Ski mitts and a knit ski hat are good to have this time of year for first thing most mornings. Warm hands, head and feet are the secret to keeping warm. You don't want to over dress and sweat as that is the path that leads to hyperthermia.

I still wore my pants with the zip offs removed on 80% of the days, but then I am from northern Alberta so my cold tolerance may not be normal for a lot of people.

Spring is a great time on the Camino, lots of gushing brooks and springs everywhere, the green and spring flowers are great to see.

The picture attached is how I would start most mornings. Wind breaker, cable knit sweater and normally a Merino wool long sleeve shirt below that. Would have to be below zero C for me to add to this. I have on my knit ski hat. In this picture I don't have on my ski mitts, just lighter fingerless gloves I wear most of the time since I use my poles 100% of the time. IMG_0852.JPG
 
Last edited:

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
#3
Nobody can predict the weather, but there are some averages to consider. Expect +5C in the mornings. Up to +15C in the afternoons, but cooler in the mountains. Later on, up into low 20's, but still cool in the mornings. Snow is possible in the first few days, but not likely. And rain. Be prepared for rain, because it will. I just don't know how much, but we had plenty on my last Camino. The pass will either be open, or it won't. In early April, it comes and goes as the weather changes, ask at the pilgrim office when you get there.
 

Monasp

I'm a manager of pilgrims office in SJPP
Camino(s) past & future
Camino in 2008.
#5
Hi all did my first walk in Aug 2017 .Good weather right through (hot) .Now doing it in April starting 11th what can I expect will the pass be open from Orisson on wards.
We don't know. In this moment there is a lot of snow in the mountain. In April we can't know every year is different.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (SJPdP-Burgos, 2015)
Camino Frances (Burgos-Sarria, 2018)
Sarria-Santiago (Oct. 2018)
#6
Check weatherspark.com for average highs, lows, precipitation, cloud cover, etc., over the past few years. Just plug in the names of various towns you'll pass through and the month. It can't forecast the future, but it's great for planning purposes.

Also, someone suggested to me to check the forecast the week before I leave. Brilliant idea!

May we all have great weather and the clothes we need.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
#9
Hi all did my first walk in Aug 2017 .Good weather right through (hot) .Now doing it in April starting 11th what can I expect will the pass be open from Orisson on wards.
April 15th 2015, started from St Jean and Napolean was open. Cloudy, just nice temperatures and good walking to Orisson. Next morning, slightly damp from early morning mist. As we left the road to head up towards Spanish border, cold biting wind. Had to put on my sunglasses to protect my eyes. Spanish side still had places were snow was still lying and were it was melting the trail was deep mud. From Roncesvalles on the weather steadily improved and by the time we were leaving Pamplona it was hot as summer. May was freezing as we left Carrion and cold enough to almost make me give up at O Cebreiro. Generally however, the weather was very good. This April as I start again, hopefully it will be just as good but it could be freezing, Napolean could be closed till late in the month, it could pour with rain every day. The past weather is past, tomorrows weather could be completely different. In 2013, it was the worst early March weather in many years. Back home in Belfast we had snow 12ft deep when for over 30 years, the worst we had was 6 inches. Weather can be so unpredictable. I start April 6th so hoping it will have warmed up a bit but the only extras I am bringing are a woollen beanie hat, a thermal buff and a pair of Rohan fleece gloves. Lightweight but very warm. My usual will be shirts, Rohan microrib fleece, and my rain jacket and long trousers for cold mornings
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June/July 2015 with Jam
Starting Camino Frances 11 April 2018 :)
#10
Hi Terry,

i'm also starting on the 11th April - can't wait - coming from Biarritz on the train to St Jean Pied de Port - pick up my pilgrim passport and hopefully on to Refuge Orisson - still awaiting a reply from Refuge Orisson where i'm hoping to stop of - i know it's not that far but thought i do so for the fun of it. When i last walked the Camino with my son we were rather short on time and walked it in 25 days which was brillliant but didn't leave a lot of time to look around and embrace other things on the way. This time i'm walking on my own but having more time so looking forward to exploring the camino Frances more slowly - very excited about that. Keep changing my mind on what to pack but will just pick according to the weather forecast a couple of days before :)

Have a wonderful Camino Terry - might see you on the Road :)
 

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