Brette Harrington, Quentin Roberts and Horacio Gratton Realize “Marc-André’s Visión” on Torre Egger
Together with Quentin Roberts and Horacio Gratton, Brette Harrington has realized Marc-André’s Visión, a new climb on Torre Egger, Patagonia, first conceived by the late Marc-André Leclerc.
Harrington shared the the team’s success yesterday, February 11, on Instagram: “This is what I was up to for the past 5 days. Along with [Quentin] and [Horacio] we finished our line called Marc-Andrés Visión on the East Pillar of Torre Egger by linking it into the upper Titanic Headwall, to the summit. Cold and icy conditions made the climbing quite challenging, often by use of one crampon on the left foot and one rock shoe on the right foot, one ice axe, and bare hands. 4 days on the wall has left me feeling so very content with our effort and patience as we waited for the wall to clean itself of ice. This would not have been possible without the endless inspiration from [Marc-André]. I did not stop thinking of him up there soloing this mountain alone in winter of 2016. #ClimbOnMA , you amaze me more and more as I retrace your steps through the mountains. I will love you forever.”
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The story behind Marc-André’s Visión—which the team has also variously called MA’s Visión—really starts in 2016. That September, while completing the first winter solo of Torre Egger via Titanic (5.12b WI 4 M5), Marc-André Leclerc noticed a potential line on the East Pillar that would be an adventure in its own right, and could link into Titanic to form a continuous rock route to the summit. He and his partner Harrington made plans to climb it together, in some future season when they were both in El Chaltén and conditions were right.
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Leclerc died in March 2018 in an accident on the north face of the main Mendenhall tower outside of Juneau, Alaska, with alpinist Ryan Johnson.
A year after his death, Harrington pioneered the unclimbed portion of the line her late partner had imagined on Torre Egger’s East Pillar. She and Quentin Roberts climbed 13 pitches of rock, up to 5.12c, to top out the pillar.
As they worked on the new route in March 2019, Harrington and Roberts encountered echos of Leclerc’s presence on the mountain. At one point, Harrington found some weather-worn cordelette that Leclerc had rigged for a rappel. “I imagined him there with me, like he was part of the climb,” she wrote on Instagram afterward.
Roberts and Harrington didn’t have time to link the new climbing into the top of Titanic to complete the vision in 2019, but vowed to return this year.
With the addition of Horacio Gratton this February, Harrington and Roberts were able to tie up the loose ends and forge their route to the summit. Due to iced-up cracks, as Harrington’s post alludes to, the trio had to rethink some of the pitches they opened last year and find new alternatives. In an Instagram post of his own, Roberts shared a rough topo of the route, with a short orange line partway up. “The orange color is the ‘Gratton Variación’ that we climbed this year to avoid the ice in the corner,” he wrote.
Roberts concluded,”It’s been a wonderful week out there with wonderful friends.”
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The line of MA’s Visión as we climbed it last week! It goes into Titanic after the snowfield. The orange color is the ‘Gratton Variación’ that we climbed this year to avoid the ice in the corner. It’s been a wonderful week out there with wonderful friends. ?❤️ – @bretteharrington @horaciogratton @arcteryx @petzl_official – #newroute #ClimbOnMA #masvision #patagonia #argentina #torreegger #egger #pillar #granite #spires #climbing #alpineclimbing
A post shared by Quentin L. Roberts (@quentinclimbing) on