Photos by Reuben Krabbe
Guy Lacelle was a world-renowned ice climber who was tragically killed in an avalanche in Montana in 2009. Shortly after the accident Arc’teryx, La Sportiva, and Petzl came together to establishe the Guy Lacelle Pure Spirit Award. An annual award given to a climber who embodies the spirit of integrity, humility and joy that Guy brought to climbing.
This year’s recipient of the award is Marc-Andre Leclerc! The judging panel of Barry Blanchard, Will Gadd, Sarah Heuniken and Geoff Powter chose the 22 year old who has been climbing notable accomplishments for years– from solo records on his home granite in Squamish, B.C. to ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies and most recently his solo of the Corkscrew on Cerro Torre, Marc-Andre embodies the true spirit of Guy Lacelle.
“Marc-Andre fits the criteria for this award perfectly,” said Laura Fergusson, North American athlete and event manager for Arc’teryx. “He is to big wall climbing what Guy was to ice: a master of the medium, completely committed to the climbing life, with ascents of the world’s hardest lines, each completed in immaculate style.”
Leclerc has been climbing hard for over a decade and has grown into a well-deserved role as a mentor for countless aspiring climbers.
“His record in Squamish (of solos, especially), his fall/early winter ice climbing binge in the Rockies, and, of course, his two major new routes in Patagonia have made for a stellar year, but this is laid on top of the spirit of commitment and joy that his partners and his climbs testify to. He seems to have boundless energy, fabulous talent, and a really strong commitment to “real” climbing: hard, visionary and clean — just like Guy.” – Geoff Powter
“Receiving this award comes as a total surprise to me, and it’s a real honor to receive an award in Guy’s name as well. I never knew Guy personally, but his legacy has been an inspiration to me since I began climbing ice years ago. His attributes of being a psyched and bold climber, but a humble and kind person are characteristics I hope to embody myself. Thanks so much to everybody involved in creating this award, and most of all to Guy himself for all of the inspiration.” Marc-Andre Leclerc.
Leclerc successfully climbed the first solo (sometimes using a self belay) ascent of Cerro Torre’s Corkscrew route (5.10d A1 90 degrees, 4,000′). The Corkscrew is a linkup that contains 200 meters of independent climbing out of 1200 meters total to reach Cerro Torre’s summit.
Congratulations Marc-Andre, Climb On!
About Guy Lacelle
Guy Lacelle was a world-renowned ice climber having received the prestigious Summit of Excellence Award from the Banff Centre for Mountain Culture. He also won the Festiglace Competition in Quebec in 2004, as well as the Pure Ice Competition in Ouray in 2000 and 2001.
During his career, Guy achieved numerous historical ascents including: the first solo link of the Terminator/Sea of Vapors and the Replicant in 5 hours, Weeping Pillar and Polar Circus in a day, French Maid, Curtain Call, La Pomme D’or in Quebec, and Hydnefossen in Norway.
Guy Lacelle died on December 10, 2009 while competing at the Bozeman Ice Festival.