The life of Canadian climber Marc-André Leclerc is celebrated in a major film release this September called ‘The Alpinist’. Marc-André died in an avalanche in Alaska in 2018 at the age of just 26, but not before he’d completed some awe-inspiring free solo climbs in Patagonia and the Canadian Rockies, and being hailed as the best alpinist of his generation.
‘The Alpinist’, which goes on general release in the UK on 24th September, was mostly filmed before Marc-André’s death, and includes mind-blowing footage of his free solo climbs on routes such as Infinite Patience on Mt. Robson’s Emperor Face in which he uses only his hands and axes to climb highly technical ice and mixed ground.
Although Marc-André went under the radar in his early climbing years, preferring not to use social media or publicise his climbs in any way, eventually word got around about his incredible exploits, catching the attention of the likes of Alex Honnold who after his death said: “Marc was a huge inspiration to me personally despite being such a young alpinist – he embodied the perfect blend of talent, psyche and humility. A true climber’s climber who had a deep love of adventuring in the mountains.”
British climber and Trek & Mountain contributor Tom Livingstone (himself no slouch, having received a Piolet d’Or for his team’s ascent of Latok 1 via the north ridge in 2018), said of his friend:
“Marc-André had so much in reserve when he climbed, and I was impressed when we tied in together. He was able to deal with anything the mountains threw at us, from bad weather to loose rock. During one attempt on an alpine route, with heavy snow beginning to fall and climbing only by the light of our headtorches, Marc calmly announced, ‘I’m going to have to make a point of aid…’ and stood in a sling attached to a tiny birdbeak. I’m sure I gripped the ropes harder than he held the rock.”
We’ll be publishing Tom’s review of ‘The Alpinist’ on 12th September, but in the meantime see if you can watch the trailer for the film below without your palms getting sweaty! For full info on the film and to buy tickets, go to www.thealpinistfilm.com