Castor traverse, 4223m

Gressoney La Trinité

Monte Rosa

A classic high traverse of a major 4000m peak

Also in Valais, Switzerland

Alpine Climbing Moderate

Distance
5.3 km
Ascent
823 m
Descent
605 m
Low Point
3.4 km
High Point
4.2 km
Gradient
27˚
VIEW ON MAP
Castor traverse, 4223m Map

Description

This is a big mountain day traversing Castor, 4223m, the 17th highest major 4000m peak in the Alps. From the Ayas Hut reverse your descent of yesterday, heading upwards, N, onto the broad shelf of the glacier then E, passing under Pollux. You are now heading for the WNW flank of Castor, which you follow, becoming increasingly steep, to the top. Aim for the L end of the summit ridge, just to the right of some rocks, as you reach the summit ridge. Turn R and follow the knife edge ridge to the summit of Castor, 4223m. This is memorable, never too hard but with an amazing sense of exposure. The view from the top is stunning, with Pollux and the Breithorn now below you, and the huge bulks of Lyskamm and the Monte Rosa summits dominant in the immediate horizon. From here there is an easy snowy ridge extending to the SE. This crosses a subsidiary summit then over pt 4174m, before descending to the Felikjoch, 4061m, and skirting under the snowy top of the Felikhorn, 4087m. Now head down the ridge towards the hut, aiming for the broad sloping glacial shelf which takes you under the Punta Perazzi, heading to the Quintino Sella hut at 3585m.

Difficulty

Moderate

May involve slightly more complex glacier hikes, easy but possibly long rock ridges and steep snow up to 45 degrees. Equivalent to PD, PD+

High Exposure

3 out of 4

Much of the route is difficult to protect and a fall could be disastrous at certain points.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

May, June, July, August, September

Equipment required

  • Ice axe
  • Crampons
  • Glacier kit

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area