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Monte Rosa Massif

Climb of Castor 4226 mt.

Technical lev. : 4 / 5

Technical lev. : 4 / 5

MOUNTAINEERING INITIATION
Maximum 3 depending on the course and mountain conditions.
You should be comfortable in mountain walking and varied terrain. Easy crampons walking on glacier.
If you have already done a glacier hike it is better but it is not mandatory: if you have good shape and good mental handling, you should have no problem.
Learning of hiking progression in High Mountain, for rather easy races and easy rescue techniques.
Example of level: an easy 4000, such as Gran Paradiso (4061 mt) - Gran Paradiso National Park

Physical lev. : 4 / 5

Physical lev. : 4 / 5

For trained sporty people. Effort corresponding to approximately 1200 - 1700m of elevation gain in trekking.
For mountaineering: even if the vertical drop is less significant, staying at high altitude for several days will have a significant effect on your usual physical performance.

  • 2 days
  • Participants : max 3
  • Mid June mid September
  • All included in hut

You will admire the whole Breithorn group, the Matterhorn, the Gran Combin, the Mont Blanc chain, the Gran Paradiso and the nearest Western and Eastern Lyskamm as well as the main peaks of Monte Rosa with Punta Dufour and Nordend, Punta Gnifetti, Punta Parrot and Pyramide Vincent: in short, an incomparable show!

From 610

Dates & Prices

Arrival

End

Price *

Status

Du 15/06/2024 au 16/06/2024

au 16/06/2024

610

Bookings in progress

Du 29/06/2024 au 30/06/2024

au 30/06/2024

610

FULL

Du 08/07/2024 au 09/07/2024

au 09/07/2024

610

Confirmed in 2 signup/s

Du 27/07/2024 au 28/07/2024

au 28/07/2024

610

Bookings in progress

Du 05/08/2024 au 06/08/2024

au 06/08/2024

610

Bookings in progress

Du 17/08/2024 au 18/08/2024

au 18/08/2024

610

Bookings in progress

Du 02/09/2024 au 03/09/2024

au 03/09/2024

610

Bookings in progress

* Price per person (without insurance)

Dates available on demand.

The price for the ascent of Castor:

  • 610 € per person, if the group is composed of 3 people;
  • 720 € per person, if the group is composed of 2 people;
  • 1120 € if one person on the group.

 

Trip

Ascent to Castor 4226 mt

One of the twin names coming from the classic mythology symbolizing friendship: Castor&Pollux are two beautiful twin peaks bounded by their eternal closeness. The climb to the Castor peak will allow you to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps, between Italy and Switzerland.
The climb do not present any special technical difficulties and the small ridges to be crossed along the route are funny and the summit will reward you with a great the panorama: you will admire the whole Breithorn group, the Matterhorn, the Gran Combin, the Mont Blanc chain, the Gran Paradiso and the nearest Western and Eastern Lyskamm as well as the main peaks of Monte Rosa with Punta Dufour and Nordend, Punta Gnifetti, Punta Parrot and Pyramide Vincent: in short, an incomparable show that will reward all your efforts! To the north, the panorama opens on the Swiss mountains of Valais, while on the south you can see Monviso (Piedmont).

Castor (4,226 mt) and Pollux (4084) together form the Twin Massif. They can be reached either from the west side or from the southeast side, starting respectively from Cervinia or Gressoney.
 

Program

The Program for climbing Castor

Day 1 Gressoney - Colle di Bettaforca (2727 mt) - Rifugio Quintino Sella (3585 mt)

Vertical drop and length: + 850 metres and about 3 to 4 hours of climbing.

Meeting with the mountain guide at 9:00 am in Staffal, Gressoney. After a short material check, you will take the cable car to reach the Colle di Bettaforca. It will then take you about three hours walk to reach Rifugio Quintino Sella, where you will dine and sleep.

Day 2 Rifugio Quintino Sella - Castor (4226 mt) - Gressoney

Vertical drop and length of time: +640 m; -1500 m and about 2.5 hours uphill; 4/5 hours downhill

After a good breakfast, you will begin your climb up the Felik Glacier, heading north towards Punta Perazzi, reaching therefore Felik Pass. After that, the climb to the top of Punta Felik begins and from there on you will follow the route going up and down on a funny ridge ,to finally get to the top of Castor. The descent will be along the same ascent route.
You will get back at Rifugio Quintino Sella around lunch time: you can rest for a moment and have a pasta and then start your descent to Bettaforca Pass, where you will take the cable car again to go back to Staffal, Gressoney.

Materiel

Mountaineering Technical Equipment

  • Hiking Goretex shoes suitable to crampons
  • crampons
  • walking poles
  • iceaxe
  • helmet.

How to dress for Mountaineering

First layer on the skin:

  • (merino wool) thermal/breathable long sleeve
  • (merino wool) long thermal/breathable underwear
  • woolen warm socks

Second layer:

  • warm technical sweater
  • waterproof & windproof hiking pants

Third layer:

  • thin but warm duvet (to wear just in case of cold temperatures)

Last layer:

  • waterproof & windproof Goretex jacket

Important Additionals:

  • sleeping sheet for the hut
  • warm winter hat
  • buff/head-neckband
  • warm winter gloves
  • headlamp
  • suncream (protection factor 50+)
  • sunglasses
  • camera

If you have any doubts or simply need clarification on what gear to take for your climb, you can take a look at our Blog page "What gear for mountaineering?"

N.B. Consider a change for when you are back to the hut (you can leave some stuff at the hut).

IMPORTANT: if a person is not properly equipped and dressed, the mountain guide may decide not to allow him/her to take part in the climb. We ask you to read carefully the equipment list provided in the programme PDF and to call us if you have any doubts.

Level

Level needed for climbing Castor

Well-trained mountaineers of an average level, in search of new perspectives. You will need to have a good level of fitness, good sense of balance and the ability to walk on rough terrain. 
It is necessary to have a resistance to about 5/8 hours of walking a day and a good acclimatization to the high altitude as you will be staying at above 3500 mt. It would be advisable for you to properly train and to climb a 4000 peak at least once before leaving for this Tour.
 

Useful Info

Useful information to prepare your mountain trip:

Meeting on the first day

Meeting with the mountain guide in Staffal (Gressoney) at the departure of the Gabiet cable car at 9:00 a.m. 


End of the trip

The programme ends on the second day between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm in Staffal (Gressoney).

Organisation:

The week before your departure, you will receive a reminder by email with all the information concerning the meeting and the guide in charge of your group.

Esprit Montagne / Esprit des Guides SA takes care of the hut reservation, you do not need to think about it.


Guiding

French and English speaking local UIAGM mountain guide from our team.


How to reach Aosta Valley

  • Via Chamonix Mont Blanc – you can reach Chamonix by train from the main French airports or from Geneva airport – then you can reach Courmayeur – Aosta Valley through the Mont Blanc Tunnel (there are buses connections from Chamonix to Aosta Valley, but if you would like to be free to move it is advisable to rent a car).
  • Via Geneva or Martigny – you can easily reach Martigny by train from Geneva airport - then you reach Aosta city center via the tunnel of Grand Saint Bernard (there are buses connections from Martigny to Aosta Valley, but if you would like to be free to move it is advisable to rent a car).
  • Via Milan/Turin airport – rent a car directly to reach Aosta via the highway
  • Or via Bourg Saint Maurice (73700, France) - Col du Petit Saint Bernard - you can reach Bourg Saint Maurice by train from the main French airports. Once in Bourg Saint Maurice you will need to rent a car to reach the Aosta Valley via the Col du Petit Saint Bernard (2 hours drive). It's a slightly longer trip but you can save the toll at the Mont Blanc Tunnel.


Public transports Aosta Valley


Bus to the Gressoney Valley

The departure point of the bus for the Gressoney Valley is at the train station in the village of Pont Saint Martin.
For the bus timetable: https://www.vitagroup.it/wp-content/uploads/2022/06/estivo-gressoney-2022.pdf

If you are coming only for the climb, we can organize you a taxi to pick you up or the mountain guide can come to pick you up on the road nearby Aosta (organization upon booking).


Accommodation in Staffal:

For those who wish to sleep in Staffal in the evening before returning to the Guide we recommend the Walsertal Residence, a very nice and cozy hotel, two minutes from the cable car departure.


Sports shops for specific equipment rental:

You can rent equipment at Ermanno Sport in Staffal, directly at the departure of the cable car: remember to contact the shop in advance to book your equipment.
 

Advice for hiring mountaineering boots:

Regarding mountaineering boots, here is the type of boots you should have: Scarpa Triolet GTX
You can rent them at Gal Sport in Aosta or at Ravanel or Snell in Chamonix.


Insurance

Cancellation and repatriation insurance is mandatory, as is mountain search and rescue insurance (minimum cover of 10,000 Euros).

Esprit Montagne offers the following insurance: https://www.assurance-multi-sports.com.


Car sharing

When you register online, you can choose whether or not you wish to take part in the car-sharing scheme to get to the starting point of your course. Once you have made your booking, you can log back into your Esprit Montagne account to access a section dedicated to carpooling. Here you will find the contacts of the other participants who are interested in car-sharing, so that you can contact them directly.

Your budget for the ascent of Castor

THE PRICE INCLUDES

. The guiding of an experienced UIAGM mountain guide of our team, plus his/her accommodation and meal expenses;

. The use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners);

. Cable car tickets from Gressoney to Col di Bettaforca for yourself;

. Half board to the hut for yourself and the guide.

 

THE PRICE DOES NOT INCLUDE

 . Personal technical equipment: crampons, harness and ice axe rental in case of need (it can be organized upon booking);

. Lunches, snacks and drinks for your self and the guide, in order to allow you to eat what you prefer;

. All what is not explicitly mentioned in "The price includes".

Photo gallery

Any question?

Contact us

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The Punta Gnifetti and the Punta Giordani which are in the Gressoney valley like the Castor.

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The Gnifetti Refuge, the base for the most difficult climbs:

The Giuseppe Gnifetti Refuge is an ideal starting point for ascents of Monte Rosa. Located at 4554 m above sea level, it offers easy access to the most difficult routes to reach the summit of Monte Rosa. It is well equipped and can accommodate up to 80 people. Once inside, hikers can enjoy drinks and hot meals, rest and most importantly, prepare for the climb!