Canadian Marc-Andre Leclerc has made one of the most wild solos ever in Patagonia. During his multi-month trip, he’s turned from a Patagonia rookie to a veteran of the South American destination.
Leclerc has made the seventh solo ascent of Cerro Torre and the first solo of the route called Corkscrew 5.10, A1.
As Pataclimb.com writes, “This is by far the hardest route ever soloed on Cerro Torre and only the seventh solo ascent overall (three via the Compressor Route and three via the Via dei Ragni.) He climbed the route in a day and descended the southeast ridge. The conditions were quite bad, with fresh snow covering some of the rock and quite a lot of verglas. Apparently he only belayed by back-looping, without properly belaying a single pitch. A solo of this magnitude is probably only second to Renato Casarotto’s (God with a mustache) first ascent of Fitz Roy’s north pillar.”
Leclerc told Gripped’s Brandon Pullan, “I was scraping verglas off the holds with my fingernails while soloing by headlamp. Nothing too hard, 5.10+ rock, grade six ice, daisy soloing thin aid. The issue was mainly wet rock and that verglas in the lower section.”
Meanwhile, Leclerc’s partner Brette Harrington made the first free solo ascent of Chiaro di Luna 5.10 750 metres on Aguja Saint Exubery. She is the first woman to free solo any of the peaks in the massif. Pataclimb.com wrote, “Harrington dispatched the route in three hours. When you consider that the previous solo ascent had taken more than a day you realize how impressive her ascent was.”
Leclerc and Harrington have one more week in Patagonia.