Solo Times 3 on the Chief

Marc-Andre Leclerc on his new route Labyrinth (5.12c) on the Chief, Squamish, B.C. Photo by Paul Bride, courtesy of Marc-Andre Leclerc

8/8/13 - Twenty-year-old Squamish local Marc-Andre Leclerc soloed three full-length routes on the Chief, the biggest cliff in this British Columbia climbing mecca, in one of the most impressive one-day link-ups ever at Squamish.

Using a mix of free and aid techniques, Leclerc began climbing at 5 a.m. on the Grand Wall (5.11a A0), starting with The Flake (5.10), and finishing on the Upper Black Dyke (5.10c). He carried no rope and free-soloed most of the line, using daisy chains for protection on the route's two bolt ladders and on Perry's Lieback (bolt-protected 11a). After a total of 16 guidebook pitches, he topped out around 7 a.m.

After running down the steep trail and wooden steps to the base of the wall, Leclerc grabbed a rope and rack and  headed up Uncle Ben's, a classic Squamish aid line (5.10 C2+, 10 pitches). Here he used "an array of sometimes questionable techniques, such as unroped aid climbing on three daisy chains, making [rope] loops off belays to avoid having to clean, and free-soloing a few pitches. He belayed only three pitches and topped out at 2 p.m. after six hours on the climb, "beating my previous time by three hours and possibly setting a new speed record."

Next up, after a lunch break in the boulders at the base of the Chief, was University Wall (C2 or 5.12-, 7 pitches). Leclerc rope-soloed the entire route, mostly aid climbing but freeing easier sections on most pitches. He finished just before 10 p.m., having spent six hours on the route. Together, the three-route link-up—a total of 34 guidebook pitches—required 17 hours, with about 14 hours of climbing time.

"It was such a good day!" Leclerc said in an email. "I nicknamed my link-up the 'OG Classic' after the old boys who did the FAs of these three routes. They were definitely the original gangstas of Squamish Wall climbing."

Leclerc made headlines in July by soloing two massive routes on British Columbia's famed Slesse Mountain in a single day.

Date of ascents: August 5, 2013

Source: Marc-Andre Leclerc


Previous Comments

And you guys haven't seen him hula-hooping :) You're legend, Marc

andy camino - 08/28/2013 4:04:15

Who cares what other people would do on these same routes? Why take away from this amazing accomplishment? Incredible job Marc, I am more than impressed!!!!

Brian W - 08/12/2013 11:38:49

Good job.

John Rothwell - 08/11/2013 8:27:25

Who is Colin Haley??????? DILLIGAF

John Rothwell - 08/11/2013 8:22:04

DAMN! Nice work Marc, big props on yet another big day out there. Rowdy!

Sonnie Trotter - 08/10/2013 11:30:11

Its amazing what you learn on the internet. For example, today I learned Doug Byerly is a giant douchebag.

Pete H - 08/10/2013 10:09:34

Doug, try not to be an inappropriate jerk. Just sayin'.

Brent Edens - 08/10/2013 9:19:53

Marc Andre ROCKS !!! Fabulous work there youth. Thanks for taking up the torch of the OG; you have done them proud.

Tami Knight - 08/09/2013 5:56:00

Mountain bikes are a lot of fun!

Tim - 08/09/2013 9:46:11

Oh shoot, I should've been fact-checking myself... I should've wrote "Despite being by far the best free soloist of the twenty-first century." It's not really reasonable to compare Alex Honnold to Hermann Buhl, or even lots of badass soloists from the '80's, like Marco Pedrini or Christophe Profit.

Colin Haley - 08/09/2013 7:22:44

'Despite being by far the best free-soloist of all time...' Who really gives a shit, Colin? Good, better best, bestest? Strange comment you make, as though there's a competetive aspect. What's your point, to tell us how to process and rank free-soloists? Small mind you have.

R Smith - 08/09/2013 7:20:32

Despite being by far the best free-soloist of all time, free-soloing either University Wall OR Uncle Ben's (which has never been free-climbed) would be a significant step up, even for Alex Honnold. Also, the portions of The Grand Wall that Alex aided (while soloing) were exactly the same ones as Marc. Honnold's free-solo ascents of Freeway and Northern Lights are super badass though! And, of course, Honnold's solo linkup of Half Dome, Watkins and The Nose is more impressive than this one in Squamish, although perhaps not by as much as you might think. P.S. I don't mean any offense, just fact-checking! Nice work on the first alpine-style ascent of the north face of Fitz! :)

Colin Haley - 08/09/2013 12:40:23

Awesome job! Crazy to think Honnold could probably free solo most of this stuff in half the time...just sayin'

dougbyerly - 08/08/2013 10:33:40