Canadian alpinist Marc-Andre Leclerc has made the second winter ascent of Torre Egger - the first solo ascent in winter and only the second solo ascent ever - in a 21-hour push. With this ascent, Marc-Andre has completed his project of soloing the three main summits in the Cerro Torre group.
The first winter ascent was achieved by Dani Arnold, Thomas Senf and Stefan Siegrist in 2010 and the first solo was completed by Colin Haley in early 2016 (UKC News Report).
An initial attempt by Marc-Andre to onsight solo the East Pillar of Torre Egger one week ago was thwarted by thick snow, thin ice and heavy snowfall. On this latest successful attempt, Marc-Andre began by climbing 300 metres of new terrain to the right of the Italian De Doná-Giongo line, before following the Winter link-up line to join Titanic at half height (topo here).
Marc-Andre adds his solo ascent of Torre Egger to his solo of The Corkscrew link-up in early 2015 and the Tomahawk to Exocet link on Aguja Standhardt, which he completed 12 months ago - just one day too late to be classed as a winter solo ascent.
Marc-Andre told UKC:
'It was a very wild climb. I'm really just pleased to have finished my project to solo the three main summits of the Torres. Now I can focus on some other things like new routes in the area and free-climbing projects. I would also love to explore the icecap on skis and I think a beer is in order!'
Describing the experience, he added:
'In the upper part of the route things became really wild. There was a lot of wind blowing rime crystals everywhere and I had to pass an overhanging section by aiding from slings clipped to my ice tools. This is probably the wildest moment in my whole career as a climber. I like to imagine that the bass line from 'Bulls on Parade' was emanating down from the heavens in that moment as it's a fitting theme song. But yes, I'm quite pleased with this climb, I think it will always be really special to me along with the 'corkscrew' ascent in 2015. The Tomahawk to Exocet solo last year was also very good, but more or less a 'pleasureful cruise' when compared with the other two.'
Read a full account of Marc's climb on Patagonia Vertical's Facebook page.
Read a UKC interview with Marc-Andre about his Scottish Winter climbing exploits last season.