Squamish’s Marc-André Leclerc soloed the Grand Wall on the Chief recently, breaking the old speed record set by Alex Honnold and Mason Earle. He climbed the route in 57 minutes.
Leclerc told us: “I swam up the perfect hand-jams of the split pillar, pulled the technical crux of the Sword and laybacked the thin finger locks to the beginning of the long bolt ladder. I used my daisy chains on the bolt ladder as well on Perry’s Layback, then cruised along the Flats and up the excellent juggy ‘Sail Flake’ soon finding myself running along bellygood ledge to the start of the Roman Chimneys.
“I checked the time, I had 18 minutes to solo the chimneys in order to match the current speed record (59 minutes held by Alex Honnold and Mason Earle) This is where I actually committed to an attempt to break the record. I had never soloed the Chimneys before, so I climbed cautiously, particularly through the initial 5.11a slab crux. As I power laybacked a slightly damp 11a offwidth I thought to myself, ‘even if I don’t break the record I won’t be trying this again’, but soon enough I was racing through the gritty face climbing that avoids an 11+ roof crack and up the final 5.10 corner to the top. “I checked the time as soon as I reached the ledge that marks the end of the Roman Chimneys, it was 11:30 bang on. I had taken somewhere between 57 and 58 minutes, juuuuust shaving a minute or two off the previous record!”
It will be a record to beat for some time.