From today until March 31 2018, the east path of the French Way between St. Jean-Pied-de-Port and Roncesvalles will be closed for safety reasons. Pilgrims will not be able to use this way due to the severe weather conditions during these winter months.
Hiking this path during winter would require a really good physical condition, due to the more than 3,900 feet of altitude that must be reached starting from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port until the Lepoeder Peak. This challenge gets really complicated when bad weather and snow are present.
Despite the good signaling of the path to Roncesvalles, the operations of the rescue teams are frequently delayed due to the inexperience of many pilgrims. Those rescues are much more complicated during the winter.
During the next months, hikers who want to begin their pilgrimage in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port must use the western path through Valcarlos, to reach Roncesvalles