III, 200m, 3 - 5 hours. A classic traverse, with magnificent views, which is usually climbed as a there-and-back outing. 1) From the Aiguille du Midi, descend the east ridge to flatter ground and continue eastwards towards the Aiguille du Plan. 2) Pass over two small snowy summits before dropping down steeply to the Col du Plan. This descent can be icy and it will feel steep and exposed in these conditions - take your time.3) Pass onto the north side of the ridge and traverse the exposed slope, climbing gradually up and leftwards (easier and safer with good snow cover) to regain the ridge at a saddle.4) Climb the ridge easily via a gentle snow slope to the rocks of the Rognon du Plan. Where this narrows to a metre or so wide, drop off to the right via 2 x 25m abseils down chimneys and ledges (numerous routes possible and huge amounts of abseil tat everywhere) to reach a snow traverse or (in poor conditions) smooth slabs above the Envers Glacier. Cross these to reach gentle snow slopes on the ridge crest which lead to the foot of the rocky summit tower of the Aiguille du Plan.5) 4b. Go to the north of the tower and climb a series of ledges on the north side. Where the rock steepens, step right and climb a corner (4b) to reach large ledges. A final couple of mantelshelves lead to the stunningly-exposed summit, which is a wonderful viewpoint.Descent - Either reverse the route or descend the Glacier d'Envers du Plan to the Refuge du Requin. This requires good snow coverage, is usually only possible in early Summer and always has crevasse danger. Check on conditions before attempting to descend this way.If reversing the route back to the Aiguille du Midi, reclimbing the Rognon du Plan will involve some climbing up to 4b. The Rognon can be climbed anywhere on its east face at this grade. Although the Rognon's north ridge looks quite easy, it proves not to be, so resist the temptation to go up it (it is much tougher than reclimbing the east face) and instead reverse the abseil line. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
Follow the snow ridge NE from the Midi station to the Col du Plan. Turn rock sections by snow couloirs on the Chamonix face to the Rognon du Plan. From here follow the rock arete a short way before abseiling on the Envers side to the Col sup du Plan. On the return journey there is a short pitch of IV to reascend the Rognon du Plan.
Note, most French books rate this AD for the return journey to the midi, PD if you descend the Envers du Plan glacier.
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