A beautiful summit day on tthe 'Aiguille du Plan'!
September 26, 2014
The Midi-Plan Traverse is a fairly long and involved route, with much belayed climbing, both on rock, snow and ice and with a lot of exposure. The crest of the ridge between the Aiguille du Midi and the Aiguille du Plan is challenging and complex, but beautiful mixed climbing with some of the best views in the Mont Blanc massif!
After the route began at the Aiguille du Midi, it initially followed a scenic snow ice ridge. There was a fair bit of snow on the route with no tracks, so we ended up trailbreaking the entire route, which made for a slower going. After the ice ridge, we were straight into a steep snow and ice descent which brought us to the Col du Plan. We then continued to pass alternately on snow and rock, sometimes on the Chamonix side, sometimes on the Envers side, but mostly on the crest. Then we encountered a steep rock and ice gulley where we had to make several rappels.
After this steep chimney section, we finally ascended a steep snow slope bringing us to the final peak of the Aiguille du Plan. The last rock tower of the Plan we climbed in a few short pitches on a mix of granite and snow. The sharp summit gave us phenomenal views all around and we even had a sightseeing helicopter buzzing us, as we waved from the summit! The route back was the same, but with so much snow on the ridge and in the chimney, which had been warmed by the afternoon sun, it made for a lot of sliding and balling under the crampons and thus a longer return, back to the Cosmiques refuge for the night.