Marc-Andre Leclerc is back in the Canadian Rockies after spending his winter skiing on the West Coast. And over the past few weeks, he has climbed new routes and soloed some big rock lines.
In the Ghost River Valley, he and a crew established a number of new routes over three weeks up to 5.13+. A complete trip report will be out later this month. One route of note is Leclerc’s Moroccan Hash, a first-ascent ground-up free-solo that climbs four pitches to 5.10.
He returned and added anchors and bolts. It climbs an open dihedral to a flake to a steep top-out and is found in the Hydrophobia cirque. Leclerc and Brette Harrington also climbed the classic Cowboy Poetry, a long 5.12c on the Wild West Wall.
In the South Ghost, Leclerc free-soloed Southern Exposure and Mantissa, two 300-metre 5.10/11 routes. To descend, he down-climbed Bonanza 5.8.
Closer to Canmore, he made the likely first free-solo of the Cheesmond Express on the north face of Ha Ling. The 600-metre 5.10 has steep climbing up corners and faces and the rock is quite loose.
At the top, the exit cracks were muddy, so Leclerc traversed right and went up a 5.10+ slab.
In the Valley of the 10 Peaks near Lake Louise, Leclerc made the likely first solo of Flying Buttress to the East Ridge and to the summit of Deltaform.
Flying Buttress is an 800-metre 5.7 mixed-line that goes up the north buttress and was first climbed in 1983 by Don Vockeroth and Albi Sole.
It took Leclerc six hours to reach the summit from his car and five to return. From the Deltaform summit, he went down the west ridge, completing a traverse of Deltaform, and up Neptuak and then down its Northwest Ridge.