Brette Harrington and Quentin Roberts Pay Tribute to Marc-André Leclerc with New Line in Patagonia
The pair climbed a line first envisioned by Leclerc.
In 2016, while soloing Torre Egger in Patagonia, Marc-André Leclerc saw a line that piqued his interest. The accomplished Canadian alpinist was infamous among friends and family for quietly setting off to do mind-blowing solos that would make anyone’s palms sweat and eyes widen in horror just to hear about second-hand, and globally known for putting up numerous first ascents with his loving partner, Brette Harrington. Leclerc was hoping they could put up this new line together.
Tragically, his life was cut short in March of last year. Leclerc died in an accident on the descent after a first ascent on the north face of the main Mendenhall tower outside of Juneau, Alaska, with alpinist Ryan Johnson.
[Also Watch VIDEO: Baffin – Leclerc And Harrington In Baffin]
Now, a year later, Harrington is turning Leclerc’s vision into reality by climbing the Patagonian line her late partner originally espied. Along with her and Leclerc’s friend Quentin Roberts, Harrington began the process of freeing the line, which begins on the East Pillar of Torre Egger and links into Titanic (5.12b WI 4 M5).
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MA’s Visión (Marc-André’s Vision) is a line which curves delicately up the lower East Pillar of Torre Egger, connecting into Titanic. Marc had seen this line while soloing Torre Egger in 2016 and together we were hoping to return and climb it. This was a line I couldn’t do alone, so I called up my friend @quentinlroberts and he joined me in establishing the lower pillar this season which connects into Titanic. We are motivated to return and complete the line to the summit. Here are some photos to share some inspiration for the route . P1: Quentin climbing up to me on pitch 6, 11c. P2: i’m about to embark on the crux pitch 7, 12c. P3: Quentin climbing up to me on the upper headwall in new terrain. P4: Me at the mini bivy. P5: Quentin working on an artistic topo. P7: the east pillar of Torre Egger. I’m sad to be leaving my Patagonian summer home. I will miss all of my marvelous friends and family. @arcteryx @lasportivana @julbo_eyewear @dmm_wales #arcteryx #Torreegger #patagoniargentina #alpineclimbing
In early February, Harrington and Roberts freed the line to the top of the East Pillar in a single push. They encountered difficulties up to 5.12c in 13 pitches of brand new terrain.
The team has named the line MA’s Vision, and will be back for the full line to the summit as soon as possible.
While establishing the new route, Harrington found gear left by Leclerc from when he soloed the mountain. “As I found his rappel [cordelette],” she wrote on Instagram, “I imagined him there with me, like he was part of the climb.”
In the year since Leclerc’s death, Harrington has put up a number of stunning first ascents from Alaska to Patagonia to Alberta, Canada. In April 2018, she opened a new 950-meter line, Life Compass (IV 5.10a M4+), on the west face of Mount Blane, in Alberta, along with New Zealand’s Rose Pearson. In June, with Swiss climber Caro North, Harrington put up several new routes in the Taku Towers, on the Juneau Ice Field, including a 500-meter 5.10b M5+ on Southern Duke Tower.
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And so we say goodbye to the mountain monkeys ??? and raise the chalice to a smashing good time??? So thankful to @mdre92 for his vision on Egger and to @bretteharrington for letting me in on their plan ?❤️. The alpine sessioning never ends… Brette and I will be back as soon as conditions allow!!! – Big love to you all in the wonderful town of Chalten. Hasta la próxima!! Thanks everyone for the team photos @jgriffler @bretteharrington – @arcteryx @lasportivana @petzl_official – #ClimbOnMA #getyourfeetwet #hiking #patagonia #trek #trekk #trekkk #elchalten #escalada #hemheru #fresco #primoscoffeebar #patagonia #celebratewild #session #eastface #climbing
This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 220 news outlets to strengthen coverage of the climate story. Follow along for more climate-related coverage from Rock and Ice, September 16-23.read more