Just a little too crowded, especially on the summit ridge...
From Quintino Sella hut
Traversed it W to E solo.
After a good night up in the Matterhorn Lodge at Klein Matterhorn we stepped out on the Breithorn plateau and made our way towards Castor. The snow was rather slushy but improved during the second part of the approach.
The trail up along the SE ridge normal route was in very good condition. After the easy bergschrund it became steeper (45°-50°) where I belayed my partner Åsa from above in two pitches. Some small patches of ice. The summit ridge we climbed with high concentration and then enjoyed the splendid weather from the top. The descent back to the Klein Matterhorn was a long walk as expected.
I spent the night at the Gandegghütte. Met the mountain guide and other companion climber in the morning at the Trockner Steg lift. We took the lift to Klein Matterhorn to start our journey.
The travel across the Monte Rosa plateau went good. Our guide told us crampons were not necessary which made the trip a bit faster. The ascent was straightforward until a steep section where we used hand and footholds in the ice with our iaxes to assist through this short section. At the top of this section is a small plateau before the final summit ridge. My companion decided to wait here, I think due to some dizziness. So the mountain guide and I made the last section to the top. It was very narrow and I had to concentrate with each step. The return to Klein Matterhorn was really tiring back over the Monte Rosa plateau.
In spite of the good feeling from summiting, the weekend was tragic in that 3 climbs were killed approaching Castor from the other side in the afternoon. News reports state that a snow cornice gave way. Then 3 more climbers were killed on Pollux (which is close to Castor) when a slip happened. It is thought that the warm temperatures are melting the permafrost and resulting in instability of the snow/rocks. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/mountaineering-accident_three-swiss-climbers-die-on-monte-rosa-massif/42404016
The ridge to the sky...is as awesome as it looks on all the photos here on SP. Climbed with Roeland, Pieter and Werner from the Ayaz hut (after Climbing Pollux first) over the WNW-flank. Crevasses on the WNW-Flank and the last part to reach the summit ridge was quite steep:45-50 degrees. We traversed Castor, passed Felikhorn and went down to the Quintino Sella Hut. Clear blue skies all day and great views, a perfect day.
We enjoyed a lot the ridge of Castor in a perfect day without a cloud... it was an amazing place!!!!!
We begun in rifugio Mezzalama (guide d'ayas was full) reaching the summit in 5h descending to Quintino sella.
The route of west face had changed a lot because we needed to cross 4 crevasses without bridges and some sections over it had 40-45º, specially the last section to reach the summit North with 45-50º (but with a fixed rope and good steps)
Perfect weather the whole week. We ascended the Breithorn, Castor, Pollux, Parrotspitze and Signalkuppe. Slept at the Monta Rosa Hut.
Clear day and good ice and snow conditions
With my son Keith, climbed both Pollux and Castor from Rossi e Volante Bivvy Hut. We did furthest away, Castor via WNW Flank - and then did Pollux via SW ridge, 'on the way back'.
All in all, this was a fantastic day out, in near perfect conditions - a real stroke of luck after all the uncertain weather recently.
Castor W flank a bit of a slog - and quite cold in the morning out of the sun (we made it minus 10 C with a 40km/hour wind to cool things further). But the summit ridge was a total delight - really airy - and with sensational views all round.
Traversed from Klein Matterhorn w/Scott, descending to Quintino Sella Hut. Waited out a storm day then climbed Liskamm.
With Steve, Rog and Andy.
Normal Route from Quintino Sella Hut on a perfect sunny day!
With my father Beppe, my brother Marco and our friends Dario, Bruno and Massimo.
Nice day trip from the Kl Matterhorn. Afterwords we climbed the Pollux. Great conditions and beautiful views.
Started at Testa Grigia. A rather long (18-19km in total), but very beautiful climb, specially at the end with stunning views from a superb snowridge towards the summit!
I summit the Castor together with my good friend Pol, carrying a 20Kg++ load worth of baackpacking... crazy stuff!
But it was just great! probably one of the most spectacular thing I've done in my life... so far.
From Quintino Sella Hut.
Fun climb, beautiful views, and less crowded then it's neighbor Pollux.
After the Pollux we did the Castor traverse
Camping on the flat part of the glacier between Klein Matterhorn and Breithorn. We were first going for Pollux, but turned around in the beginning of the scramble, and decided to go for Castor instead. Climbed the breathtakingly steep snow slope and reached summit early afternoon,then "rushed" down, probably as the last climbers that day. Stunning view from the summit and absolutely amazing (almost too amazing) weather! On the way back towards Kl. Matterhorn, a small avalanche had totally covered part of the the path. Too close! Castor was my highest mountain so far.