III, 700m, 4 - 5 hours. A classic of this area, Fil à Plomb is (by the standards of winter alpine routes) a reliable option and often in condition.Begin by climbing the straightforward snow gully before branching left to the foot of a steep wall.Approach - From the Plan de l'Aiguille, walk beneath the west faces of the Aiguille du Peigne and Pélerins onto the Glacier des Pélerins. Stay well left to avoid exposure to the huge hanging serac to the right of the Col du Plan North Couloir. With a track in place, and/or with firm snow, the bergschrund is a 90 minute walk from the Plan de l'Aiguille. It is common to approach on skis if there is enough snow. 1) The wall can be climbed without much ice at around Scottish 4 but is easier when fat. Continue up 70m of 50 degree snow to reach the crux pitches. 2) There is a fixed belay tucked under an overhang on the right. The crux is climbed in two pitches but the trickiest section is usually the short traverse left at the very start of the first crux pitch. The rest of the first steep pitch is up to 85 degrees and can be well protected with ice screws. There is another fixed belay on the right after the first pitch (40m), where the ice mellows in angle slightly. The second crux section is easier but still kicks up to 70 degrees in places (50m).3) Belay on the right after the final steep section and then climb the remaining snow gully, and the occasional steeper ice step, to reach the ridge-line between the Rognon du Plan and Col du Plan.Descent - From the top of Fil à Plomb, follow the snow ridge towards the Col du Plan and go onto the Chamonix side where it steepens and solidifies. Make a descending traverse to the Col du Plan. From there, follow the easy but beautiful snow ridge back to the Aiguille du Midi cable car and take the lift down. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Mostly easy ground with two pitches of WI3/4 at half height.
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