III, 550m, 6 - 8 hours. A great ridge up the east side of the Aiguille du Plan.
1) 4a. Cross the bergschrund (usually easier said than done) and scramble up a series of slabs and ledges for 100m to reach the long ledge system. Follow this rightwards, across the crest of the ridge, to reach the Plan-Crocodile Couloir. The ledge system has a huge detached flake near the start and is little more than scrambling until a short chimney (4a) at the far end.
2) Climb the couloir for 150m, usually on the left, to reach a shoulder coming into the couloir from the main ridge. In early season this will be snowy but otherwise it is broken, slabby rock. There is often rockfall danger here so keep moving and get this section done as quickly as possible. There is some fixed gear on the left of the couloir, but don't be tempted out left and stay in the couloir as far as the shoulder.
3) 4c. Follow the shoulder onto the crest of the main ridge and go up this to a steep step. The step consists of several (depending on how you break up the pitches) chimneys and cracks (4c) which lead to the famous 'Grandmother Crack'.
4) 4c. The Grand-Mère Crack is the climbing crux of the route and is a wide, left-facing corner above a stone-covered ledge. At a grade of 4c, it is distinctly old fashioned and has been the scene of many a humbling!
5) 4c. Continue up the crest via cracks (4c) and then, upon reaching a Y-shaped overhanging crack, move left and stay left of the ridge crest from here on.
6) 4c. A system of grooves and chimneys (still sustained at old-fashioned 4c) lead out left to easier ground to the southwest of the summit. Follow ledges and short corners to the top. © Rockfax
UKC Logbook Description
A classic alpine rock route to the summit of the Aig. du Plan
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