I don't know what "sorocco" paper is, but there are plenty of papers that give bad results. Luckily there are quite a few that work just fine with no special treatment. Watch for an article in PT next spring, but as a sneak preview, Lenox 100 and Folio, both available mail order from Stephen Kinsella paper dealers, are a pair of white and off-white sheets that print beautifully with no oxalic treatment or other extra steps. Cost is just over a dollar a sheet--22x30"--so they're also very reasonable in price. Masa is a "Japan tissue" that is much easier to handle than Bienfang and again prints fine with no extra treatments in either develop out or POP (zia) platinum/palladium.

When a paper has a tendency to give gritty high values, most often seen in skies, but snow scenes can do it too, the situation gets worse when you add contrasting agents. With *any* paper it's best to get your contrast in the negative. I never use contrast agents, like, haven't used one on a print in years, and the reward is extradinary smooth tones throughout a long scale. Getting negatives with sufficient scale is no problem with either ordinary developers like D-76 or HC110, or with PMK pyro, though the latter is my usual choice.

On the other topic, I'll agree with Clay that getting a first good print--even a good first print is much easier in Pt/Pd than silver, once you are making appropriate negatives. I expect to get a good "artist's proof" on the first or second sheet, usually the first. BTW, doing this is much easier if your negatives don't require contrast agents in the print...