A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Weather looks.....challenging?

Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#1
Hi everyone - i commence from SJPDP on 2 March - has anyone walked in conditions that mean the way markers may be covered? - I am walking alone and I must admit a little nervous of the weather!
 

Advertisment

Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2017), Norte (2017), Frances (2017), Portugues (2018), La Plata (2018)
#2
Yeah ... we are experiencing a really complicated weather!!!

Please be careful, before departing an albergue always check the weather conditions .... and rememeber that the emergency phone number is 112!! If you are experiencing any problem ... phone them ... they are able to speak several languages, this won't be a problem.

Buen Camino, Ultreia & Good luck!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
#3
Hi Suz - I walked over the middle of March, started from Moissac, and it had only just been opened. Remains of some deep snow up there and some poles hidden, went from warm sunshine to seriously cold strong winds and then it stormed and snowed for an hour or so - bit worrying really, for a while.
But that was back in the year 5 and they are much more controlling of the pass now. If it is going to be rough up there it will be closed. They really do keep an eye on conditions now.
The thing is, Spring weather cannot be predicted until you get there. I have seen March like balmy spring, and have also seen it on one bad year with snow from the Pyrenees to as far as Burgos!!

Suz, you cannot pre-plan this one, keep an eye on the forecasts before you leave and then you just have to deal with the situation when you arrive and 'normally' it is lovely at that time of the year. The Valcarlos route will be open whatever as it is a highway and they plough and salt it. Of which, the pilgrim route drops off that road and back onto it many times. If weather is snow up there stay on the cleared road.

By the way, you may be arriving alone but you won't be walking alone! When you step out you will find yourself with other pilgrims, most of them first-timers and as nervous as you, is ok - all will be well.

Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#4
Hi Suz - I walked over the middle of March, started from Moissac, and it had only just been opened. Remains of some deep snow up there and some poles hidden, went from warm sunshine to seriously cold strong winds and then it stormed and snowed for an hour or so - bit worrying really, for a while.
But that was back in the year 5 and they are much more controlling of the pass now. If it is going to be rough up there it will be closed. They really do keep an eye on conditions now.
The thing is, Spring weather cannot be predicted until you get there. I have seen March like balmy spring, and have also seen it on one bad year with snow from the Pyrenees to as far as Burgos!!

Suz, you cannot pre-plan this one, keep an eye on the forecasts before you leave and then you just have to deal with the situation when you arrive and 'normally' it is lovely at that time of the year. The Valcarlos route will be open whatever as it is a highway and they plough and salt it. Of which, the pilgrim route drops off that road and back onto it many times. If weather is snow up there stay on the cleared road.

By the way, you may be arriving alone but you won't be walking alone! When you step out you will find yourself with other pilgrims, most of them first-timers and as nervous as you, is ok - all will be well.

Buen Camino!
thank you David - so much appreciated. Suz
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#5
Hi Suz,
You will be walking the Valcarlos route because the Napoleon route will be closed until at least 1 April and then it will only be opened depending on the weather. My understanding is the road route via Valcarlos will remain open in all except extreme conditions. If there is a lot of snow then stick to the road and don’t take the off road paths. The pilgrim office in SJPdP will be your best friend and they will advise you about what to do. I walked a little later than you. I started 2 April and the Napoleon was still closed. I enjoyed walking the Valcarlos route but do expect some road walking on the edge of the road right beside the guard rail because there is no path. The Pilgrim Office was a wonderful resource. Seriously, if the weather sets in, just stay an extra night in SJPdP and/or Valcarlos. Before I walked I watched a great video blog about a Mum and her two young daughters who walked the Valcarlos through snow. I’m going to have to hunt for it. Hopefully I’ll get back to you with the link.
Just be sensible and you will be fine.
Buen camino
 
Last edited:

Advertisment

Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles (Nov 2018)
#6
Hi Suz,
You will be walking the Valcarlos route because the Napoleon route will be closed until at least 1 April and then it will only be opened depending on the weather. My understanding is the road route via Valcarlos will remain open in all except extreme conditions. If there is a lot of snow then stick to the road and don’t take the off road paths. The pilgrim office in SJPdP will be your best friend and they will advise you about what to do. I walked a little later than you. I started 2 April and the Napoleon was still closed. I enjoyed walking the Valcarlos route but do expect some road walking on the edge of the road right beside the guard rail because there is no path. The Pilgrim Office was a wonderful resource. Seriously, if the weather sets in, just stay an extra night in SJPdP and/or Valcarlos. Before I walked I watched a great video blog about a Mum and her two young daughters who walked the Valcarlos through snow. I’m going to have to hunt for it. Hopefully I’ll get back to you with the link.
Just be sensible and you will be fine.
Buen camino
Hi everyone - i commence from SJPDP on 2 March - has anyone walked in conditions that mean the way markers may be covered? - I am walking alone and I must admit a little nervous of the weather!
You’ll walk the Valcarlos route. If the SJPP office says the forest route is not safe you will walk the road (I walked lastbyear start March 19th very wet but I did walk only forest both to Valcarlos and then Roncevalles) BUT if you have to,walk the road please wear bright coloured jacket and if you have a yellow pack rain cover put it on......last March a Korean was hit by a car in that area. Be safe, listen to the locals. Buen camino.....I’ll be walking El Norte the exact same time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future
#7
Elsewhere on this site is a link which helps you download onto your phone an app that connects you to the Spanish police. You should have this on your phone when you're walking in case you need to call for help.
Buen camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
St Olav/Francés ('16)
Baztanés/Francés ('17)
Ingles ('18)
#8
Hi everyone - i commence from SJPDP on 2 March - has anyone walked in conditions that mean the way markers may be covered?
I walked in early March in 2015, and on the Valcarlos route there was snow for the last couple of kms before Ibaneta. But there was no mystery about which way to go - both because of other footprints, and because there was really only one possible route up, at that point. And then I walked on the road into Roncesvalles.

The next morning was a more challenging as I should have had the sense to take the road again, but didn't - and the waymarking was buried and there were all sorts of tracks leading all sorts of places. So definitely - if you're in doubt and the road is an option, take it.

A bit further along, before San Juan de Ortega, there was snow falling, and I was worried about taking a wrong turn and ending up goodness knows where. Even though nothing went awry, it's the only time I've seriously wanted a GPS. So you might consider downloading one onto your smartphone, if you want a 'safety net.'

Bottom line is to take reasonable precautions about heeding advice about the weather, and do take a map - making sure you have the basic ability to use it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aug-Sept(2016) SJPDP-Finisterre, July-Aug(2017) SJPDP-Muxia-Finisterre, July-Aug(2018) El Norte
#12
Elsewhere on this site is a link which helps you download onto your phone an app that connects you to the Spanish police. You should have this on your phone when you're walking in case you need to call for help.
Buen camino!
The app is called AlertCops
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#13
Those who are downloading the AlertCops app - make sure you program it properly before you start walking, and I think it has to be done once you are in Spain, possibly with a local sim. It sends an SMS with a validation code, and I'm not sure if that works with a non-EU number. I always buy a local sim, so it was no problem for me. Once done it is a great comfort to know that should anything happen you can summon help quickly, as your GPS co-ordinates are automatically sent to the police.
 
Camino(s) past & future
March - April 2018! (Flights booked, gear being acquired, excitement building!)
#15
No advice, but we'll be right behind you! Leaving SJPP on the 3rd. Leave us some footprints to follow!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#16
Hi Firewood - well you may find me still in SJPDP if the weather is as bad as it seems to be at the moment ;)
- or you will probably catch up with me - either way I am very happy there will be others around the Way - I am sure just that knowledge provides some confidence!
 
Camino(s) past & future
March - April 2018! (Flights booked, gear being acquired, excitement building!)
#17
I'm not sure if we'll catch you or not, but you're right, it is comforting knowing someone else will be out in the cold with us!
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles (Nov 2018)
#18
I successfully downloaded AlertCops and registered all my details from Slovakia. Of note is that the number 112 is a pan European emergency number so will work on all (at least) European phones. Somehow I believe emergency numbers work whatever the origin of your phone because if you are using a provider from “home” ie non EU, once in Spain the signal,will be via a Spanish telephone provider (when I’m in Spain my slovak phone shows Telefónico de Espana as the provider even though I use a Slovak TMobile account.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
#19
Get boots or trails shoes with excellent traction for mud and snow navigation. I walked Feb/Mar 2014. I slipped in fell in mud because my shoes lacked traction.

Keep eyes posted for markers. You'll be okay.

Stay warm, dry, and safe.

Buen camino.

Ultreya!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF-Finisterra-Muxia 2017; SK Camino Kosiče-Levoča Oct 2017; El Norte March 2018; Ingles (Nov 2018)
#20
Get boots or trails shoes with excellent traction for mud and snow navigation. I walked Feb/Mar 2014. I slipped in fell in mud because my shoes lacked traction.

Keep eyes posted for markers. You'll be okay.

Stay warm, dry, and safe.

Buen camino.

Ultreya!
I’ve switched to Trail runners with an agressive tread plus gaiters for El,Norte and yes good poles. My strategy is not to push too hard the first week and take it slow over the more mountainous part. Plus since my Caminos totalled 1073km last year I have no need to prove anything to myself. My goal is to stay safe, relax and enjoy the spiritual journey.
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances [08 ]Portuguese [09 ]Le Puy[10] Norte[ 11] Madrid [12] Figeac - Pamplona [13] Mont Saint Michel - Bordeaux / St Palais - Pamplona [14] Moissac -Burgos [15] , Norte to Oviedo and then Primitivo [16]
Le Puy to Moissac and Dax to Santo Domingo
#21
Hi Firewood - well you may find me still in SJPDP if the weather is as bad as it seems to be at the moment ;)
- or you will probably catch up with me - either way I am very happy there will be others around the Way - I am sure just that knowledge provides some confidence!
You can always leave latish from STJPP and stay in Valcarlos , its a very friendly village for pilgrims , you will be looked after.
The cafe around the bend on the way out has wonderful food,
The next day if the weather is iffy , keep away from the forrest floor / water and stay on road until the water fountain [ will be on map available in Valcarlos or pilgrims office ] then the wooded part to Roncesvalles.
If you stay in Valcarlos , Burgette is very doable where the accommodation is great.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
#22
I'm living at about the same latitude, and my impression is that the winter won't be a lengthy one -- though just now it's been rather cold, and wet, and snowy away from the Mediterranean. But glorious sunshine outside right now ...

Of course the weather at the Pyrenees specifically will by definition be unpredictable, and you could always have a few bad weather days in March, but I'd guess overall that once you get past that first mountain, you should not have too many serious problems this year.

But what do I know ? My crystal ball is still broken ...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 will be Camino #14.
#23
I would simply keep an eye on the weather and LISTEN to the advice of the Pilgrim Office if they tell you to walk the Valcarlos route. Also, there's nothing wrong with taking transportation and beginning in Roncesvalles or even Pamplona. There's no law that says the Camino begins in SJPP. It begins when you walk out of your front door!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
#24
You can always leave latish from STJPP and stay in Valcarlos , its a very friendly village for pilgrims , you will be looked after.
The cafe around the bend on the way out has wonderful food,
The next day if the weather is iffy , keep away from the forrest floor / water and stay on road until the water fountain [ will be on map available in Valcarlos or pilgrims office ] then the wooded part to Roncesvalles.
If you stay in Valcarlos , Burgette is very doable where the accommodation is great.
Thank you - good advice S
 

OLDER threads on this topic



A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Pilgrims here right now

Advertisement

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 32 4.6%
  • April

    Votes: 106 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 172 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 51 7.3%
  • July

    Votes: 14 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 203 29.0%
  • October

    Votes: 85 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top