Some clouds threatened to move in, and at one point it looked like we might not have a view, but it opened up again and gimpilator, Ryan and I got great views from the summit.
The short story is that this beautiful mountain required no prior experience (as long as you have a local guide), but I found it both physically very demanding and quite scary on the final ridge.
I have done a fair bit of Alpine hiking, but this was only the second mountain that I have climbed after the Breithorn main summit. I had spent about 10 days doing hikes and getting acclimatised before doing Castor. Castor definitely was much more demanding than the Breithorn main summit.
I climbed Castor with just me and a local guide. We set off on a wonderful blue sky day with no wind and temperatures at about zero degrees. There had been some fresh snow the night before. The cable car was however delayed by about 1 hour which put us under some time pressure as the last cable car down was at 4pm. If you miss the cable car you either have to stay the night at the cable car station or walk to a mountain hut.
The initial walk from the Klein Matterhorn cable car station to the base of the mountain I found quite easy and very pleasant. There were a couple of very short, icy sections where you could have taken a tumble if you were not careful.
However, I found the walk up the face of the mountain on the normal route really physically demanding. I certainly am not as fit as I thought! I was pretty tired by the time I got to the summit ridge. In addition the summit ridge was more scary than I had thought from photographs beforehand. It took me a lot of concentration to avoid making any stumbles on the ridge. The local guide was totally essential for someone of my prior experience level.
We had a quick sandwich on the summit and the walked back along the summit ridge and back down the face. Due to tiredness I found the first 50 feet or so of the face below the ridge quite difficult as it was icy.
The final walk back to Klein Matterhorn felt long and tiring to me and I was very glad to reach the cable car station. In addition a lot of low cloud came in and the area was quite deserted so I was again very glad to have a local guide.
Ski ascent in a group of 6, perfect conditions. The final ridge was interesting! Descend to Rif. Quintino Sella
Climbed it from the Ayas hut on a windy but clear day - after summit did we traverse to Lisskamm West
Climbed it from the Ayas hut, after Pollux on a beautifull day and we went to the Quintino Sella
Climbed the italian normal route form Rifugio Quintino Sella.
We met very high winds on the ridge winch made many teams turn back. Visibility was low at moments.
Overall a very nice easy climb with beautiful views...when the clouds allow..
2011: After traverse of the Pollux, we continued from the Zwillingsjoch over the NW Ridge. Fairly steep in places, no track, but in good snow conditions definitely better climbing than the highway of the normal route. Descent to the Felikjoch and then again over the Castor back to the bivouac Rossi e Volante.
2015: Castor lies on the way from Klein Matterhorn to the Rifugio Quintino Sella, hence I traversed the summit a second time. Perfect conditions, clear weather but windy.
Clmibed it after Pollux with group of 8. Non-technical climb to the top, only bergschrund to cross near the ridge and then summit ridge. Final climb on the summit ridge and then descent via the other side is good fun though! Amazing weather and views as well!
Fresh powder snow and arctic temperature like in january, but unbeatable view over the whole of Pennine Alps and down to Pianura Padana and to the Appennine. Good conditions on the south side / ascent from Rif. Guide della Val d´Ayas.
with WouterB. The climb was very enjoyable but too windy/cold to allow any proper eating break.
Climbed from Testa Grigia, leaving very early (2am) in very windy weather. Made almost no stops due to the cold and summited shortly after 6am. Wanted to 'quickly' do Pollux afterwards, but my climbing partner decided otherwise.
Nice and pretty easy snow ridge. Not too crowded for an easy 4000 meter peak.
Brother, Dad and I climbed Castor to acclimatize for both the Dom and Mont Blanc. Great fun, not so much for my brother who got sick from drinking to much chicken broth the night before but he still managed to summit with us.
Solo ascent from Rossi and Volante bivouac hut. Continued to Liskamm, and thus had to do the Castor traverse again by return. Good conditions though it had been snowing all day long the day before.
Great views, not too much of a queue. A Swiss guide even smiled at us!!!
Unfortunately, the weather had deteriorated later that day and from the summit we had no views. Nevertheless, it was the end of day 1 on our 3 day traverse over to Nordend.
Summitted in two hours from Klein Matterhorn station. Mostly easy glacier travel. Snow climb to the summit was easy. The gaping, icy bergschrund we had to climb over was the most serious hole I've ever had to negotiate. The short knife-edge ridge to the summit was exhilarating. This peak surprised me - I thought it was a beautiful climb. A nice introduction to snow routes in in Alps. Afterwards we continued over both summits of Lyskamm and descended the Grenz Glacier to catch the Gornergrat back down to Zermatt. An exhausting but incredible day!
Took first lift up to Klein Matterhorn. An easy trek across the glacier and an easy climb to the summit. Snow conditions and weather were good for the ascent, but the return trip was difficult since we bagged Pollux and did not begin our return across the glacier until far too late.
Walked from Klein Matterhorn station
Left Guide d'Ayaas Hut in the morning, summitted via the WNW flank and descended the SE ridge, continuing on to Liskamm West. Great day out.