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Aiguille du Plan
Mountain/Rock

Aiguille du Plan

 
Aiguille du Plan

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Haute Savoie, France, Europe

Lat/Lon: 45.89070°N / 6.90770°E

Object Title: Aiguille du Plan

Activities: Mountaineering, Ice Climbing, Mixed

Elevation: 12050 ft / 3673 m

 

Page By: ben jammin

Created/Edited: Jan 23, 2002 / Feb 22, 2006

Object ID: 150810

Hits: 20532 

Page Score: 89.39%  - 30 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote

 

Overview

When standing in Chamonix town and looking up at towards Mont Blanc one of the most striking features is the ridge of jagged Aiguilles that make up the skyline to the left of Mont Blanc itself. Right in the center, and bracketed by the Aiguille de L’M on the far left and the Aiguille du Midi on the far right, stands the Aiguille du Plan.

The Aiguille du Plan is probably most well known as the destination of the classic Midi-Plan traverse. The route and the summit of the Aiguille du Plan offer spectacular views over the surrounding mountains, the Vallée Blanche and the Chamonix valley itself.

Getting There

The Aiguille du Plan is part of the Mont Blanc MASSIF. See the excellent SummitPost page on the massif for more context and details of how to get there.

Routes

Some of the more well known routes on/to the Aiguille du Plan are:

1. Midi-Plan traverse,PD/PD+.
2. Ryan-Lochmatter Ridge D/D+

Alternatively, some north face horrors for the hard men and women:

1.North Face Direct,ED2
2.North-West Ridge Integral,TD+
3.Lagarde-Segogne Couloir,TD+

Maps

Institut Géographique National (IGN), map number: 3630 OT Chamonix (1:25000)

Red Tape

None.

When To Climb

Climbing is possible all year round – weather permitting – but the main summer climbing season runs June to August.

Mountain Conditions

Météo France:
(phone) +33 8 36 68 02 74 for weather
(phone) +33 8 36 68 10 20 for snow conditions
(web) http://www.meteo.fr/meteonet/temps/activite/mont/mont.htm

Office de Haute Montagnes (OHM), Chamonix:
(phone) +33 4 50 53 22 08
(web) http://www.ohm-chamonix.com/

Office de Tourisme, Chamonix:
(phone) +33 4 50 53 00 24
(web) www.chamonix.com

Webcams:
http://chamonix.org/webcam.php
http://www.webcam-montblanc.com/
http://www.chamonix.net/francais/webcam/chamcam.htm

Camping

There are campsites in Chamonix and surrounding villages. Also many refuges in the mountains are situated for easy access to climbing routes. The most obvious ones relevant to the Aiguille du Plan being:

1. Refuge du Requin

2. Refuge Les Cosmiques

3. Not really Refuge status, but close to the Cosmiques, is the Abri Simond Bivouac.

Camping is not strictly speaking allowed on the mountain, but overnight bivouacking is. The somewhat ambiguous grey area inbetween these definitions means that the Col du Midi boasts a sea of tents through the summer climbing season. Some people report getting into difficulties with the police, but I have also seen 30+ tents up at a time. YMMV. See also the "More Info" comments...


External Links

Additions and Corrections

[ Post an Addition or Correction ]
Viewing: 1-6 of 6    
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi ben jammin,





I better should have written that you MIGHT get into trouble with the police by camping on the Géant Glacier in summer. I actually do not know how OFTEN the people from the Ref. Cosmiques and the Aig. du Midi call the police, but I know THAT they do it. And I also think that the prohibition is justified during summer since the renovation of the huge Ref. Cosmiques (after it was closed because of danger of fall) has costs some millions of Euros if I remember correctly. And it is great that such a nice hut exists now again in this high height. So I think it is justified if the people for whom different institutions have payed so much help a little bit to reduce this investement...





During winter, it is a totally different situation (when the Ref. Cosmiques is closed) since in this case, the old, dirty and dilapidated Abri Simond Bivouac is the only place where one could stay over there (I tried to give an impression of it on my Mont Maudit-page ...;o)) - and if you do not count the earth closet of the Aig. du Midi where you can also stay overnight in case of emergency ... (you can read this thread Reservations cable car Aiguille du Midi and Abri Simond ...;o))) . But this bivouac hut does not exist anymore "officially", i.e. no current guide book, as far as I know, names this bivouac hut anymore. In an old edition of Eberlein, one could read already about 15 years ago, that this bivouac hut is NOT useable anymore .... so it is only insider-knowledge, that this bivuoac hut is open in winter when the Ref. Cosmiques is closed. The true reason (according to insider knowledge) why this bivouac hut still exists and is open in winter (and even the garbage cans of which are removed "officially" by the order of Chamonix or the Ref. Cosmiques) is that mountain guides use this bivouac hut in winter when they bring up their clients for winter ice climbing. Obviously, it is more comfortable for them to stay in the bivouac hut than to camp (although I am myself not totally convinced that the stuffy hut is better than a tent with fresh air if you stay only one or two nights overthere). So if you do not have this insider knowledge that the Abri Simond bivouac is still useable during some weeks in winter, you do not have any other possibility either to camp (illegally) or to dig a snow cave in order to stay there overnight. I personally cannot find neither any economic nor any ecological reason why staying in snow caves is allowed but camping not or rather what the economic or ecological advantage of snow caves is ....except that it probably makes more fun ...;o)





Regards, Rahel
Posted Jan 24, 2002 8:55 am
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Hi Rahel,





Personally I never got into trouble on the midi, and I haven't


seen anyone who got into trouble either. Then again, I was never


up there in the main season when the herds of tourist trample


over your tent.





I'm sorry that I don't agree with your argument that the high price


of a luxurious hut somewhere automatically gives anybody around


the duty to stay there so the owner can pay for his costs.


I know a lot of people who would be happy if there was no hut


at all, certainly not such an expensive one that invites the


more 'fancy' tourist-mountaineers. A bivouac would be sufficient


for emergencies if you are concerned about that.





Also I don't agree with you that it is *morally* OK if the people from the


refuge call the police in the main season, when the Refuge is completely


booked for many weeks and there is no chance to get a place there.





On the other hand, in this very spot, I do see the problem that


is caused by too many people camping on the Glacier there, dropping


their human waste everywhere around, where it all thaws out of the


snow in summer.





So this might really be an exception in the Alps, where I could


understand that some limitation is necessary.





Just some very personal thoughts,


no reply necessary,





Ulli Prinz


Posted Feb 13, 2002 1:55 am
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi ben jammin,





I am copying the description of the approach to the Ref. Cosmiques from my Mont Maudit-page:





To the Ref. Cosmiques and the Biv. Abri Simond:





In order to reach the hut, you need about 1/2 h from the Aig. du Midi. If you leave the cable car station via the bridge, you go to the Southsummit. On the firn ridge, you go down with SE-direction to an even ridgeplatform; then turn right to the S and SW-direction below the S-face of the Aig. du Midi. Pay attention to crevasses!





You reach the Aig. du Midi with cable car from Chamonix
Posted Jan 23, 2002 4:26 pm
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi benjammin,





the thing with the camping on the Géant Glacier is really difficult. Officially it is strictly prohibited during summer as well as during winter. But when the Ref. Cosmiques is closed (some weeks in winter), people do not care if you stay in the Abri Simond Bivouac near the Ref. Cosmiques or whether you camp on the glacier. One time during winter, I also camped on the glacier (although it was really cold with -30°C .... ;o)). There were other people as well who camped on the glacier. And some other people were staying in snow holes ....;o)) But when the Ref. Cosmiques is open, i.e. especially during summer, you will probably get into trouble with the police ....





Regards, Rahel
Posted Jan 23, 2002 4:44 pm
Rahel Maria LiuUntitled Comment

Rahel Maria Liu

Voted 10/10

Hi ben jammin,





I better should have written that you MIGHT get into trouble with the police by camping on the Géant Glacier in summer. I actually do not know how OFTEN the people from the Ref. Cosmiques and the Aig. du Midi call the police, but I know THAT they do it. And I also think that the prohibition is justified during summer since the renovation of the huge Ref. Cosmiques (after it was closed because of danger of fall) has costs some millions of Euros if I remember correctly. And it is great that such a nice hut exists now again in this high height. So I think it is justified if the people for whom different institutions have payed so much help a little bit to reduce this investement...





During winter, it is a totally different situation (when the Ref. Cosmiques is closed) since in this case, the old, dirty and dilapidated Abri Simond Bivouac is the only place where one could stay over there (I tried to give an impression of it on my Mont Maudit-page ...;o)) - and if you do not count the earth closet of the Aig. du Midi where you can also stay overnight in case of emergency ... (you can read this thread Reservations cable car Aiguille du Midi and Abri Simond ...;o))) . But this bivouac hut does not exist anymore "officially", i.e. no current guide book, as far as I know, names this bivouac hut anymore. In an old edition of Eberlein, one could read already about 15 years ago, that this bivouac hut is NOT useable anymore .... so it is only insider-knowledge, that this bivuoac hut is open in winter when the Ref. Cosmiques is closed. The true reason (according to insider knowledge) why this bivouac hut still exists and is open in winter (and even the garbage cans of which are removed "officially" by the order of Chamonix or the Ref. Cosmiques) is that mountain guides use this bivouac hut in winter when they bring up their clients for winter ice climbing. Obviously, it is more comfortable for them to stay in the bivouac hut than to camp (although I am myself not totally convinced that the stuffy hut is better than a tent with fresh air if you stay only one or two nights overthere). So if you do not have this insider knowledge that the Abri Simond bivouac is still useable during some weeks in winter, you do not have any other possibility either to camp (illegally) or to dig a snow cave in order to stay there overnight. I personally cannot find neither any economic nor any ecological reason why staying in snow caves is allowed but camping not or rather what the economic or ecological advantage of snow caves is ....except that it probably makes more fun ...;o)





Regards, Rahel
Posted Jan 24, 2002 8:55 am
UlrichPrinzUntitled Comment

UlrichPrinz

Hasn't voted

Hi Rahel,





Personally I never got into trouble on the midi, and I haven't


seen anyone who got into trouble either. Then again, I was never


up there in the main season when the herds of tourist trample


over your tent.





I'm sorry that I don't agree with your argument that the high price


of a luxurious hut somewhere automatically gives anybody around


the duty to stay there so the owner can pay for his costs.


I know a lot of people who would be happy if there was no hut


at all, certainly not such an expensive one that invites the


more 'fancy' tourist-mountaineers. A bivouac would be sufficient


for emergencies if you are concerned about that.





Also I don't agree with you that it is *morally* OK if the people from the


refuge call the police in the main season, when the Refuge is completely


booked for many weeks and there is no chance to get a place there.





On the other hand, in this very spot, I do see the problem that


is caused by too many people camping on the Glacier there, dropping


their human waste everywhere around, where it all thaws out of the


snow in summer.





So this might really be an exception in the Alps, where I could


understand that some limitation is necessary.





Just some very personal thoughts,


no reply necessary,





Ulli Prinz


Posted Feb 13, 2002 1:55 am

Viewing: 1-6 of 6    

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