Ascent to Castore: a waltz through my best thoughts

Between Myth and Reality: My Adventure at the Quintino Sella Refuge and the Ascent to Castore Castore is a 4000 accessible to many but not for the inexperienced. To conquer its peak, I decided to book a Monte Rosa guide to gain my goal and of being able to look at it from a different perspective
ascent to castor
I’m not a mountaineer

I enjoy walking, but only when the sun is shining, the temperature is mild, and the effort is moderate. However, I am curious, I love stories, and I read the newspaper every morning. When at the beginning of August a few summers ago, I saw the news about the inauguration of the renovated Quintino Sella refuge in an environmentally friendly and sustainable version, I delved into it to understand, and I decided that I would have gone there. Whether the choice came out of boredom, curiosity, or an eco-friendly spirit doesn’t matter; the result was unforeseen, and the expectation far exceeded.
Reading about the wonders of the Quintino Sella refuge, I learned that it is the base for the ascent to Castore, one of the most accessible 4000-meter peaks of Monte Rosa. To me, who only knew Castore as the mortal son of Leda, offspring of Tyndareus born with the immortal Pollux in a whirlwind of mythological gossip, the Castore peak was just a mountain name among others. But I wasn’t aware of what an ascent to Castor entails.

Ascent to castor peak: a climb for many with guides from Alagna or Gressoney

Being a 4000 accessible to many but not for the inexperienced, I decided to book a Monte Rosa guide to look at Castore from a different perspective. The myth has always flattered me but that summer I needed a reality check! Getting to the Quintino Sella refuge was easy, a 3-hour trail with a final equipped route. I had a few thrills but which I faced chatting extensively with the guide, who tolerated me with patience.

The night in the refuge was easy

Quintino Sella at Felik is just as I had read in the newspaper: welcoming, warm, innovative, with a magnificent hall. I experienced it without worries, with a few beers and lots of chatter, as one can imagine an evening in a refuge. I didn’t realize I was at 3585 m.

Climbing Castore is not improvised

The next morning, Andrea, the guide who took care of my unsuspecting enthusiasm, made me get up at 4 am! In 3 hours, we were at the top of Castore, and those were hours I won’t forget. I learned not to get tangled in gaiters, to hold the ice axe the right way, and I let my best thoughts flow. Can’t say I didn’t make an effort, but it was a balanced commitment, rewarded by strong emotions. I peeked down at a sleeping Gressoney from above, breathed in the orange dawn in front of the Lyskamm, squinting to see the lights of Capanna Gnifetti. And finally, I emerged on a sharp ridge that scared me a bit, but Andrea taught me to handle it with the lightness of acquired professionalism.

And when I reached the summit, I had around me the Matterhorn, Gran Paradiso, Mont Blanc, Monviso, and I realize of how small but lucky I am.

Want information on prices and the program for a climb to Castore?

Share:

More Posts

ski touring on Monte Rosa

Mountain caresses: the touch of ski touring on Monte Rosa

If ski mountaineering and freeriding are your passions, if you find yourself falling asleep while searching for ski touring tips on your phone, and if you start your day by calculating the vertical drop between the summit and the valley, then Monte Rosa is the destination for you!

group hikes monte rosa

Group Hikes: Advantages and Challenges

Group hikes on monte rosa are collective excursions that offer a unique opportunity for solo mountaineers to share the experience of climbing a mountain. How do they work and why should you choose to join a gruop hike

Send Us A Message