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Castor (4,223 m a.s.l.)

Castor (Italian: Punta Castore) is one of the two peaks known as the “Twins”, and is situated to the south-east of the similar-looking, but smaller, Pollux to the north-north-west. Castor lies between the Breithorn and the Monte Rosa, and its rocky summit is slightly to the south of the national frontier, and is thereby in Italy. The twin summits of Castor and Pollux are separated by the Zwillingsjoch (English: Twin col: Italian: Passo di Verra, 3,845 m a.s.l.). 

Origin of the name 
Castor is named after one of the Greek twins Kastor and Polydeuces, sons of Zeus. Castor is the Latin version of the name. 

History / legend 
The Ancient Greeks disagreed about Castor’s origin. For some, he was the son of Leda and her husband Tyndareos. As he was conceived in the same night as Polydeuces, they were twins, although, as the son of Zeus, Polydeuces was a half-god, while Castor was merely a mortal. Others believed that, like his brother, Castor was also a son of Zeus. The end of the Dioscouroi (sons of Zeus) Castor und Polydeuces was initiated by a quarrel started by Castor with his cousin Idas. Idas slew the mortal Castor, following which Polydeuces killed Idas’ brother Lynceus. Zeus then intervened in the quarrel by destroying Idas with a bolt of lightning. The immortal Polydeuces mourned his brother so much that he asked his father Zeus to take away his immortality so that he could join his brother in the Land of the Dead. Moved by so much love, Zeus allowed his son to choose to either remain forever young and to live among the Gods, or to stay with Castor alternately one day in the underworld of Hades (the Land of the Dead) and one day in Olympus with the Gods, and to thereby become older, and to finally die. Without any hesitation, Polydeuces chose the second variant and, from then on, travelled between Olympus and Hades with his brother.


4,223 m a.s.l.

First climbed

23rd August 1861

First climbed by

F.W. Jacomb, William Mathews, Michel Croz

Information for hikers

Different hiking tips with a view of the mountain

Gletschergartenweg (Riffelberg - Gletschergarten - Furi - Moos - Zermatt)
Aussichtsweg (Gornergrat - Rotenboden)

Mountain railway offers


Information for excursions

Information about the various peaks

You have the best view of Castor from the Gornergrat
With the Gornergrat-Bahn Zermatt – Gornergrat-Zermatt

Short, easy walks or hikes

Rotenboden - Riffelberg

Information for mountaineers / alpinists

Valley location

San Giacomo (1,689 m a.s.l.)
Gressoney-la-Trinité (1,635 m a.s.l.)
Zermatt (1,620 m a.s.l.)

Starting point

Rifugio Guide della Val d'Ayas (3,394 m a.s.l.)
Capanna Quintino Sella (3,585 m a.s.l.)
Klein Matterhorn (3,883 m a.s.l.)

Various routes

The ascent is generally made form the Italian Capanna Quintino Sella over the Felikjoch (Felik col) and the long and narrow south-east ridge (normal route, WS). If coming from Switzerland, you can start from the Klein Matterhorn and cross the Italian Mezzalama glacier and the West flank.

Refreshment areas / mountain cabins

Rifugio Guide della Val d'Ayas (3,394 m a.s.l.)
Capanna Quintino Sella (3,585 m a.s.l.)
Klein Matterhorn (3,883 m a.s.l.)

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