Brette Harrington and Quentin Roberts Pay Tribute to Marc-André Leclerc with New Line in Patagonia
The pair climbed a line first envisioned by Leclerc.
In 2016, while soloing Torre Egger in Patagonia, Marc-André Leclerc saw a line that piqued his interest. The accomplished Canadian alpinist was infamous among friends and family for quietly setting off to do mind-blowing solos that would make anyone’s palms sweat and eyes widen in horror just to hear about second-hand, and globally known for putting up numerous first ascents with his loving partner, Brette Harrington. Leclerc was hoping they could put up this new line together.
Tragically, his life was cut short in March of last year. Leclerc died in an accident on the descent after a first ascent on the north face of the main Mendenhall tower outside of Juneau, Alaska, with alpinist Ryan Johnson.
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Now, a year later, Harrington is turning Leclerc’s vision into reality by climbing the Patagonian line her late partner originally espied. Along with her and Leclerc’s friend Quentin Roberts, Harrington began the process of freeing the line, which begins on the East Pillar of Torre Egger and links into Titanic (5.12b WI 4 M5).
In early February, Harrington and Roberts freed the line to the top of the East Pillar in a single push. They encountered difficulties up to 5.12c in 13 pitches of brand new terrain.
The team has named the line MA’s Vision, and will be back for the full line to the summit as soon as possible.
While establishing the new route, Harrington found gear left by Leclerc from when he soloed the mountain. “As I found his rappel [cordelette],” she wrote on Instagram, “I imagined him there with me, like he was part of the climb.”
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In the year since Leclerc’s death, Harrington has put up a number of stunning first ascents from Alaska to Patagonia to Alberta, Canada. In April 2018, she opened a new 950-meter line, Life Compass (IV 5.10a M4+), on the west face of Mount Blane, in Alberta, along with New Zealand’s Rose Pearson. In June, with Swiss climber Caro North, Harrington put up several new routes in the Taku Towers, on the Juneau Ice Field, including a 500-meter 5.10b M5+ on Southern Duke Tower.