Marc-André Leclerc

Marc-André Leclerc (October 10, 1992 – March 5, 2018) was a Canadian rock climber and alpinist. Known for his solo ascents of numerous mountains in several parts of the world, he completed the first winter solo ascents of the Torre Egger in Patagonia and the Emperor Face of Mount Robson.

Marc-André Leclerc
Born(1992-10-10)October 10, 1992
DiedMarch 5, 2018(2018-03-05) (aged 25)
Mendenhall Glacier, Alaska, U.S.
Occupation(s)Rock climber and alpinist
Years active2005–2018

In 2021, a documentary called The Alpinist was released about Leclerc's life and climbs.[1]

Early lifeEdit

Marc-André Leclerc was born on October 10, 1992, in Nanaimo, British Columbia, to Michelle Kuipers and Serge Leclerc. When Marc was eight years old, he was introduced to climbing when his grandfather bought him Chris Bonington's book, Quest for Adventure.[2] At age nine, Marc had his first climbing experience in Coquitlam, on an indoor climbing wall inside a shopping mall. Later that year, he joined a gym in Abbotsford called Project Climbing.[3] In 2005 his family moved to Agassiz, near the Cascade Range peaks, and Leclerc began teaching himself how to mountain climb. Leclerc would ride his bike out to Harrison Bluffs, a rock climbing area in British Columbia, to climb and spend the night there alone. When he was 15 years old, his mother bought him a copy of Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. The book inspired him to join the British Columbia Mountaineering Club, through which he quickly made a name for himself in the mountaineering community.[4] He started competing and quickly began winning age-group competitions and later went on to win the Canadian Nationals in 2005.[4]

Climbing careerEdit

In 2015, Leclerc spent a lot of time in southern Argentine Patagonia. On February 21, he completed his first solo ascent of The Corkscrew (5.10d A1) on Cerro Torre.[5] Leclerc wrote on his blog that soloing The Corkscrew "felt like a brief 'step into the future' so to speak…" in his efforts to fulfill his lifelong dream of becoming an explorer.[6] Argentinian climber and mountain guide Rolando Garibotti wrote that Leclerc's ascent of The Corkscrew was one of "earth-shifting proportions, by far the hardest route ever soloed on Cerro Torre and only the seventh solo overall."[3] Later that year, Leclerc completed the second known free solo ascent of the Tomahawk / Exocet Link Up on Aguja Standhardt in Patagonia[7] and then proceeded to conquer the Torre Egger, completing his Torres solo trifecta.[8]

In 2016, Leclerc completed the first solo ascent of the Infinite Patience route on Mt. Robson's Emperor Face.[9] After completing this climb, he wrote on his blog that he "was intimidated by (the Emperor's) strong aura, but in the end, we became friends, and the King generously shared his wealth, leaving me a much richer person indeed."[6]


On March 5, 2018, Marc-André Leclerc and his climbing partner, Ryan Johnson, reached the narrow summit via a new route on the North Face of the Mendenhall Towers (North of Juneau, Alaska).[10] The duo were expected to make it back to base camp by March 7 but never arrived, prompting Juneau Mountain Rescue to search for the missing climbers. The search was delayed for four days due to poor weather conditions, and when the storm had finally passed, the search team discovered ropes at the bottom of the climbers' descent route. This suggests that the climbers were struck by an avalanche, falling rock, or cornice from above.[2] Their bodies were never recovered.[4]

Personal lifeEdit

Leclerc had one older sister, Bridgid-Anne Dunning, and a younger sibling, Kellyn Kavanagh. He was raised in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, Canada, and resided in Squamish with his girlfriend Brette Harrington, also a rock climber, and alpinist.[3] The pair met in Squamish in 2012, and in 2016, they established Hidden Dragon (5.12b) on the Chinese Puzzle Wall across from Mount Slesse.[3]

Notable ascentsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Wollaston, Sam (23 September 2021). "On thin ice: how The Alpinist captured the terrifying climbs of Marc-André Leclerc". the Guardian. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b Skenazy, Matt (19 June 2018). "The Last Days of Marc-André Leclerc". Outside Online. Outside Online. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  3. ^ a b c d Copeland, Drew. "The Calculated Madness of Marc-Andre Leclerc". Climbing. Climbing. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  4. ^ a b c Threndyle, Steven (April 2018). "Canadian alpinist Marc-André Leclerc was among the world's best". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  5. ^ Van Leuven, Chris. "Marc-Andre Leclerc Solos Cerro Torre's Corkscrew Route". Alpinist. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  6. ^ a b Leclerc, Marc. "Marc-Andre Leclerc". Marc-Andre Leclerc. Blogspot. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  7. ^ Carpenter, Hayden (7 October 2015). "Marc-André Leclerc Free Solos Aguja Standhardt in Patagonia". Rock and Ice. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  8. ^ Carpenter, Hayden (28 September 2016). "Marc-André Leclerc Solos Patagonia's Torre Egger in Winter". Rock and Ice. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  9. ^ a b Ives, Katie "Off Route and Out of Time − The Sharp End, Alpinist 56" The Alpinist. Retrieved February 2020
  10. ^ Van Leuven, Chris. "Remembering Alpinists Marc-André Leclerc and Ryan Johnson". Climbing. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  11. ^ McDonald, Bernadette (17 July 2018). "MARC-ANDRÉ LECLERC 1992 – 2018". Arc'Teryx. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  12. ^ a b c Pullan, Brandon (15 March 2018). "Canadian Marc-Andre Leclerc has Passed Away in Alaska". Gripped. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b Franz, Derek "Good conditions result in new winter ascents of Slesse's Navigator Wall and satellite peaks" The Alpinist. Retrieved February 2020
  14. ^ a b Carpenter, Hayden "Colin Haley and Marc-André Leclerc Put Up New Routes in Patagonia" Rock and Ice. Retrieved February 2020
  15. ^ Carpenter, Hayden "Marc-André Leclerc Solos Corkscrew on Cerro Torre" Rock and Ice. Retrieved February 2020
  16. ^ a b Franz, Derek "Marc-Andre Leclerc Remembered" The Alpinist. Retrieved February 2020
  17. ^ "New Hard Big Alpine Rockies Climb by Marc-Andre Leclerc and Luka Lindic" Gripped: The Climbing Magazine. Retrieved February 2020
  18. ^ Carpenter, Hayden "Marc-André Leclerc Solos Patagonia's Torre Egger in Winter" Rock and Ice. Retrieved February 2020
  19. ^ "Leclerc Quickly Free-Solos Big Rockies Routes" Gripped: The Climbing Magazine. Retrieved February 11th, 2020
  20. ^ "Hard B.C. Mixed Route "The Theft" Gets Second Ascent" Gripped: The Climbing Magazine. Retrieved February 2020
  21. ^ "Jupiter Shift is New West Coast Alpine Mixed" Gripped: The Climbing Magazine. Retrieved February 2020.
  22. ^ Helander, Clint "North Face of Main Tower: Tracing the Steps of a Final Climb in the Mendenhalls" The American Alpine Club. Retrieved February 2020.

External linksEdit