Why not use them and do another classic - Fil a Plomb, a reputed goulotte finishing on Col du Plan in Cham? It actually prooves to be very worthwhile with interesting climbing and challenging ice. First 500m go through the snow, and than 7 pitches of ice follow. One thin crux, and everything else around 3+ - just get the tools in and go! My only problem being acclimatisation and totally screwed up breathing - oh well, my partner, Christian, is strong and willing, so following becomes more and more comfortable for me. The scenery is awesome and we are almost alone on this N face.
We are slow too, and are ready to start the Midi-Plan traverse at 8, with sun going down and disappearing tracks in the snow. After some rappels and a good scare about being off-route we manage to get to the arete and finish at Cosmiques this long long day.
Afterwards it's my first time in Aosta valley, than some rain in Orco where we do the sightseeing of the famous Disperanza Fissura, and than a route in Boursin valley to finish the stay with a train back from Briancon. Thanks chtur for this short-notice outing!