Esprit Montagne
Esprit Montagne

Ascent of Castor and Pollux

  • Max. 4 people
  • 2 days
  • From mid June to mid September
Characteristics
Two names coming from the classic mythology symbolizing friendship: these two beautiful twin peaks are bounded by their eternal closeness. The climb to these two peaks will allow you to enjoy some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Alps, between Italy and Switzerland.
Both climbs 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.


Castor - Departure from Gressoney

Program - Itinerary
1st day. Meeting with the mountain guide around mid-morning 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.
2nd day. 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.

Ascent length
3 hours to go - about 2 hours to get back to the hut.

Price
Prices available on demand

The price includes
• the assistance of an experienced mountain guide of our Team;
• use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners).

Not included in the price
• Half-board treatment at the hut for yourself and the guide;
• Transport to Gressoney;
• Cable car tickets for yourself (Beccaforca);
• Crampons, harness and ice axe rental, in case of need (it can be organized upon booking);
• All what is not explicitly mentioned in the "price includes".

Technical equipment
• hiking Goretex shoes suitable to crampons
• crampons
• walking poles
• iceaxe
• helmet.

Clothes and more
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:
• warm winter hat
• buff/head-neckband
• warm winter gloves
• headlamp
• suncream (protection factor 50+)
• sunglasses
• camera

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

Useful information

• Difficulty and level required:
Well-trained hikers or trekkers looking for new perspectives: the traverse of the Liskam Nose requires being able to walk with crampons, it is necessary to have resistance to about 8 hours of walk and a good acclimation to altitude, given the stay to above 3500 mt. It is recommended to train yourself appropriately and climb at altitude at least once before this climb.

• Group size
Maximum 3 people per Mountain Guide

• Period
June, July, August, September.

• Insurance
We recommend to have your own personal travel insurance, covering accident abroad and repatriation.

• 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.

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).

Pollux - Departure from Cervinia

Characteristics
Pollux (4084 mt) is the second of the two Twins in the massif of Monte Rosa.
Compared to "Castor", which has an higher altitude (mt 4.221), the ascension is certainly more demanding.
We propose the departure from Cervinia as this is less exhausting than the classic route from Val d'Ayas, the panorama along the route is better and finally some delicate and technical passages can be avoided.

Program - Itinerary
1st day. Meeting with the mountain guide in the early afternoon in Cervinia. After a short material check, you will take the cable car to reach Plateau Rosa and the Matterhorn Lodge Refuge where you will eat and drink.
Day 2. Wake up early in the morning and after a good breakfast you will start your crossing of Verra Glacier, direction Breithorn. You will then head towards Breithorn Pass, to cross the glacier below the Black Gate (Schwarztor) and you will then reach the last passage on the southwest ridge.
The descent will be along the same ascent route.
You will get back at Rifugio Guide del Cervino around lunch time: you can rest for a moment and have a pasta and then take the cable car from Plateau Rosa back to Cervinia again.

Ascent length
4 hours to go - 3.30 hours back to get to the shelter.

Price
Prices available on demand

The price includes
• the assistance of an experienced mountain guide of our Team;
• use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners).

The price does not include
• half-board treatment at the different huts for yourself and the guide;
• transport to Gressoney (possibility of collective transport by minibus if required);
• cable car tickets for yourself (Beccaforca);
• crampons, harness and ice axe rental, in case of need (it can be organized upon booking).

Technical equipment
• hiking Goretex shoes suitable to crampons
• crampons
• walking poles
• iceaxe
• helmet.

Clothes and more
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:
• warm winter hat
• buff/head-neckband
• warm winter gloves
• headlamp
• suncream (protection factor 50+)
• sunglasses
• camera

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

Useful information

• Difficulty and level required
Well-trained hikers or trekkers looking for new perspectives: the traverse of the Liskam Nose requires being able to walk with crampons, it is necessary to have resistance to about 8 hours of walk and a good acclimation to altitude, given the stay to above 3500 mt. It is recommended to train yourself appropriately and climb at altitude at least once before this climb.

• Group size
Maximum 3 people per Mountain Guide

• Period

June, July, August, September.

• Insurance
We recommend to have your own personal travel insurance, covering accident abroad and repatriation.

• 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.

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).