American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Alfred Lowry Castle, 1884-1972

  • In Memoriam
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1973


Alfred Castle was born in Honolulu on March 18, 1884, went to Hotchkiss School and received his LL.B. from Harvard in 1906. He began the practice of law in his father’s firm, Castle and Withington, and later with Robertson, Castle and Anthony. In 1918 he became deputy commissioner in Siberia for the American Red Cross, field director for Hawaii and special representative for Japan, Hawaii, China and the Philippines. He represented the territorial legislature, 1911, and served as senator, 1915-17. He became president of the Honolulu Rapid Transit Co. and also of the Honolulu Gas Co., as well as manager of his father’s estate. He married Ethelinda Schaefer in 1908.

He was an ex-president of the Hawaiian Tennis Association, winning the championship eleven times in the period 1908-24. During college days he had been pitcher on the Harvard baseball team. It was natural for such an athlete to have ascended the major Hawaiian volcanoes, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa and Haleakala. He had had four seasons in the Canadian Rockies, 1921-30, and was elected to the American Alpine Club in the latter year, through his close friendship with our original member, Walter D. Wilcox. Together they discovered the “Valley of the Hidden Lakes” (CAJ xiii, 179), Wilcox naming the lakes after Castle’s children, Alfred, Gwendolyn and Donald. Castle and his son, Alfred, Jr., made the first ascent of Mount Cline in 1927, Jim Simpson being of the party which was guided by Rudolph Aemmer. Castle also climbed Mount Columbia in that season. Beyond this his record was a small one, peaks of the Lake Louise area, which could be done from the Chateau, where he and his wife were frequent visitors until the time of her death in 1970. He died at his home in Honolulu on October 22, 1972.

J. Monroe Thorington

This AAJ article has been reformatted into HTML. Please contact us if you spot an error.