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BLOG | NEWS | 04 October 2016

Marc-Andre Leclerc; 1st winter solo ascent of Torre Egger, Patagonia

Second winter ascent of Torre Egger and the first winter solo, in a 21 hour round trip.

Torre Egger, solo winter ascent. Photo: Rolando Garibotti, pataclimb.com
According to Patagonia mountain guide, Rolando Garibotti at pataclimb.com and Patagonia-Vertical, Marc-Andre Leclerc has achieved the second winter ascent of Torre Egger and the first ever solo. The round trip took just 21 hours which is also an incredible achievement, and as Garibotti affirms “Want the definition of “bad-ass”? There you have it.”

Marc began the first 300 metres of the climb on an alternative line, to the right of the Italian route, then half way up joined the Titanic.

Traverse on the headwall
Marc free solo climbed several sections and used anchors on the more complex pitches. Most of the headwall was also climbed without a rope, except for a fragile ice column, where he placed a screw and resorted to aid climbing to avoid knocking it down.

After swapping his boots for rock shoes Marc climbed the cracks on the headwall, with the help of an ice-axe, before changing back into his boots and crampons for the traverse to the right.

Marc was forced to aid climb when he reached the upper mushrooms, “I resorted to aiding off my tools placed in ice in the back of an overhanging off width. This felt quite serious although short lived”.

Marc-Andre Leclerc, on the summit
Mark reached the summit at 6pm but did not stay long due to the strong winds. “I downclimbed the last pitch then rappelled straight down and directly off the edge of the headwall from v-threads which allowed me to avoid the traversing section of the route itself. One stuck rappel cost me time, but after that things went smoothly and I arrived at my tent at 11pm.”

The first winter ascent of the Torre Egger was accomplished by Dani Arnold, Thomas Senf and Stefan Siegrist, in 2010. Until then, only one solo ascent had been made, but not in winter (Colin Haley, 2016). This makes Leclerc’s ascent the second in winter and the first solo.

Torre Egger, 1st solo winter ascent

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