29 July 2021, Castor 4223m Great Snow Conditions Around The Monte Rosa Massif

Despite yesterday’s downpours and 5-10cms of fresh snow in the high mountains, this morning was a perfect mid summer alpine dawn with near perfect snow conditions along the beautiful high alpine border between Italy and Switzerland along the magnificent chain of mountains between the Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn.

Dawn departure from Rifugio Quintino Sella

We left Rifugio Quintino Sella, 3585m at dawn, around 0520 this morning and were back, having climbed Castor, 4223m, less than 3 hours later, testifying both to the excellent snow conditions…and Paul’s strong and swift legs!

Many teams were enjoying the relatively high snow volume, great snow conditions and perfect weather around the Monte Rosa Massif with full or busy Rifugios Quintino Sella, Ayas, Mantova and Gnifetti.

Perfect mid summer alpine morning on the summit of Castor on the Swiss Italian high alpine border

There was a great track leading up the Felikgletscher and along the fine snow ridge from the Felikjoch to Castor along it’s SE ridge, which is slightly wider than the NW ridge climbed from Ayas hut, which a team were also coming up.

Dawn on the ascent of Castor from Rifugio Quintino Sella

The quite snowy mid summer conditions are giving some very enjoyable ascents of these classic 4000m peaks and there were teams on the traverse of Lyskamm today with many others heading towards the Nasso and onward bound to Gniffeti and Margherita huts via the various big satellite peaks of the Monte Rosa Massif.

The South side of the Monte Rosa Massif above the Gressoney Valley with Rifugios Mantova & Gnifetti and Pyramide Vincent.

Conditions also looked good for Pollux and the Breithorn although the Matterhorn looked pretty snowy again with plenty of fresh plastered on to the rocks higher up on the Hornli Ridge from yesterdays storms.

Lots of 4000ers on the Zermatt skyline including Pollux in the nearground, then Breithorn and Matterhorn on the left.

We had two teams climb the Matterhorn last week with an enjoyable summit day but with snowier than usual conditions for mid summer.

Due to a cancellation we have a place available on a 3 day Matterhorn preparation course 14-16 Aug, with some Chamonix rock climbing and mountaineering with the option to also extend to the Matterhorn summit climb after a rest day.

The South side of the Monte Rosa Massif from Gressoney

We also still have some availability for private guiding in Chamonix in August and for the rest of the summer and autumn seasons, so please get in touch if you would like to do some alpine or rock climbing in Chamonix.

For group courses – there is a regularly evolving situation with both regular bookings and cancellations – please check the details on our main mountaineering courses page and get in touch if you would like to join one of teams training and climbing in the Alps.

Likewise in Snowdonia and Scottish Highlands for our late summer and autumn Mont Blanc and Matterhorn training programmes please check for details here or get in touch for private guiding & training.

Perfect mid summer alpine morning on the summit of Castor on the Swiss Italian high alpine border, with the Matterhorn behind