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