Another possibility is that ice or rock fell, causing one or both of them to fall. Another very likely situation is an avalanche, where a weak patch of snow slips and triggers a larger wave of snow to cascade down a mountain. This could have overcome the two causing them and their rope and anchor to come down with them. Two teams of helicopters located what looked like the orange climbing rope the pair had been using.
“I camped on the Icefields and tried to solo Andromeda Strain then hitch-hiked here,” he said. He then met Joshua Lavigne for a 30-hour car-to-car ascent of The Wild Thing V M7 1,200m on Mount Chephren. Since the completion of “Free Solo,” Honnold and his girlfriend from the film, Sanni McCandless, got married and are expecting a child in February. Even so, McCandless has been open about how difficult it was to see her relationship depicted on screen — opening herself up to the judgment of viewers who criticized her personal decisions. Honnold surmises the release of “The Alpinist” may be even more challenging for Harrington. Alex Honnold was preparing for the biggest climb of his life when he started to fall for her.
I’ve never seen someone so at ease soloing hard mixed terrain, yet at the same time so quiet and unassuming about it. He was a role model for the modern narcissistic climber; a real dirt bag who lived for the adventure but would never boast about it because it just wasn’t in his nature to even think about boasting about climbing. He was a dreamer, a man who had a smile for every occasion and a passion for people as much as he did for climbing. I didn’t know Marc as well as many people on this planet but from my time shooting him and capturing part of his life’s story I was really struck by his character. I really enjoyed hanging out with Marc and our endless drives through the Canadian highways talking about everything under the sun. I remember telling him after driving out of The Ghost, that I was glad I’d spent all this time in a car with him talking otherwise I would have thought he was actually crazy having watched him solo the stuff he does.
Dangerous avalanche conditions prevent a recovery at this time. A look back on the lives of Marc-André Leclerc and Ryan Johnson, who disappeared in Alaska’s Mendenhall Towers after summiting a new route. The information is indicative and subject to change due to the nature of the mountain environment.
An ambulance met them at the Lake Louise helipad, where an EMT helped Kadatz onto a stretcher and administered oxygen and warm saline fluid. Kadatz felt like she couldn’t take in enough oxygen through her nose, so she asked for a facemask instead of a nasal cannula. After about ten minutes, her pulse, temperature and breathing rate returned to normal. KADATZ WOKE to an avalanche rescue shovel, or perhaps it was a probe, clipping the back of her skull.
In 2016 he took things one stage further and made the first winter solo of Torre Egger. In recent times he had spent time climbing some impressive lines in the Slesse Cirque, both with Tom Livingstone and with his partner Brette Harrington. Marc was without a doubt the most humble and one of the most talented climbers I ever met.
The avalanche swallowed everything it touched, swelling to millions of pounds of snow, ice and rock. At the top of a gulley near what’s called the Fourth Tower, according to Alaska State Troopers, JMR personnel saw an anchor in the ice, where the climbers had attached a rope. Despite that, she continues to ‘free solo’ – take on mountains without a rope, harness or even a helmet. HANGING thousands of feet up a mountain without a rope is dangerous enough – but it’s even more perilous when you’re gripping ice that could crack or melt at any moment. In a separate helicopter, Harrington and Samuel Johnson monitored the AStar’s progress with Emily Nauman, a member of JMR.
He also talked about Brette Harrington’s free ascent of The Shadow 5.13 in Squamish. He always made a point to tell me about her climbs before mentioning his. He sent me the below photo of Harrington on the steep corner. He would eventually move to Squamish and either rent a cheap room or live under boulders in the forest.
Two Climbers Are Attempting The Dawn Wall
The seven-peak granite massif lies ten miles north of Juneau. Over the years, Johnson had put up countless routes on all the towers. But the proudest and most obvious line was the unclimbed 2,500-foot north face. He’d attempted it once, in 2015, but turned back when the ice got thin halfway up. The route, Johnson explained when he contacted Leclerc about climbing it together, wasn’t technically difficult, but it was extremely challenging to protect against a fall—even a small slip could be fatal. The granite would be heavily rimed, like climbing Styrofoam, and though they’d be roped up, they’d need to climb as if they were soloing the face.
Two days after our conversation, Leclerc left for Patagonia. Over the next few months, we spoke intermittently by e-mail and made plans to meet in December. Eventually, I learned that Guy Edwards, who’d cut his teeth climbing near Leclerc’s home before disappearing in Alaska, was one of the young Canadian’s heroes. What I couldn’t have known was that before long, on a peak not far from the one that had taken Edwards’s life, Leclerc would succumb to a similar fate. ‘Our cinematographers are also skilled alpine climbers, the best in the business’ … a shot being set up. ‘The things Marc-André was climbing often fall down at the end of the day’ … the Canadian takes the ice route up.
The images that open the documentary or those of him climbing at Stanley Headwall are as beautiful as they are terrifying. Lacking cash to travel, he started to fill the voids between one climb and another with cheap drugs, becoming lost until he was rescued by another climber, Brette Harrington, whom he met in Squamish in 2012. Harrington, herself an accomplished alpinist, helped Leclerc to rediscover what he loved and they traveled the world together, hand in hand, from wall to wall. He soloed the 150-metre Screams from the Balcony 5.11b at Saddleback crag above Lake Louise.
If you like awe-inspiring free of charge solo climbing footage on rock and ice, The Alpinist is your future desired destination. Marc wasn’t a careless climber, quite the opposite, but he rolled the dice and won a lot, so much so his risk tolerance only increased. It’s a winning formula, like that of all great art, and the film treads this line with acuity, veteran savvy, and complexity.
Before long he had ticked 5.14 and done some impressive rock solos, such as the first free solo of High Plains Drifter, a 5.11c at the top of the Chief. At age 20, he soloed three routes—the Grand Wall, Uncle Ben’s and University Wall—on the Squamish Chief in a 17-hour push. Later that same summer he soloed the Grand Wall in just 57 minutes. He was able to pop open a small window with his ice axe and extract the sleeping bag locked inside.
After six days of searching, a search and rescue crew spotted their gear above and inside a crevasse; they were presumed dead. Leclerc, another of Kadatz’s longtime friends, had been gym climbing since he was ten years old and began visiting Skaha Bluffs as a teenager. Like those of Kadatz, Leclerc’s interests would expand far beyond sport climbing into bigger, wilder mountains in places like Patagonia and Canada’s Valley of the Ten Peaks. I think that may have been my favourite route with Marc, but we also soloed mountains together, which was extremely special. We did this climb in Patagonia, this is so cool, so the film talks about him soloing Cerro Torre but it didn’t mention that in that same day I soloed another mountain just across the valley on Saint Exupery. We soloed them on the same day, he helped me with that because the mountain I climbed was a pretty difficult grade and I wanted to be sure that I was comfortable soloing at that level.
World-class alpinists Marc-Andre Leclerc and Ryan Johnson have passed away while on a climb in Alaska.A GoFundMe page was started to assist family and friends here. An update on the page reads, “It is with great sadness we update this page tonight. There were times when that uncertainty would overwhelm Harrington.