Marc was born on October 10, 1992 in the Fraser Valley, located on the mountain-rimmed eastern outskirts of Vancouver, BC. Growing up in the shadow of mighty Mt. Cheam, the most prominent peak in the valley, Marc was constantly in awe of the peaks above him and was inspired to start hiking and climbing at a very young age. Starting at the age of eight his imagination was sparked by reading the classic Chris Bonnington book "Quest for Adventure". His first taste of climbing was a year later at nine when his mom Michelle pointed him to a climbing wall setup in the local mall. Quickly transitioning to a legitimate indoor climbing gym, Project Climbing in Abbotsford, he got so good, so fast, that by the time he turned into a teenager he quickly started dominating sport climbing competitions.
Indoor climbing was obviously not going to satisfy Marc's thirst for adventure so started scrambling in the local mountains with friends and family at about the age of 13. Even then he managed to climb many of the 7,000-8,000 foot high peaks around his home, despite lacking proper equipment or formal training. Climbing was just in his blood and he became unstoppable. At that time he also continually honed his rock climbing skills on the granite crags at Harrison Bluffs which were only a short bike ride away from his home in Agassiz, BC.
In 2008 at the age of only 15, fueled by climbing guidebooks, he started to venture out of his home climbing zone, making his first trips to climb in Squamish and also his first trip to the core of the Coast Mountains in the Pantheon Range near Mt. Waddington, the highest peak in BC. On that trip he tried to solo climb the ragged spire of 9,500 Siva Mountain. Although unsuccessful it further fueled his passion for climbing in the mountains. In the next two years Marc split his time climbing both ice and rock in the valley, making frequent trips to Squamish. That year he also climbed the infamous NE Buttress on 8,000 foot Mt. Slesse after two previous attempts. Slesse is considered one of the biggest, baddest peaks in Canada, and fortunately for Marc it lied just around the corner from his home. That could be considered his first notable alpine climbing accomplishment.
His life as a professional climber began in late 2010 after he moved to Squamish to live and climb almost full time. Splitting his time between couch surfing and bivying for weeks at a time under overhanging rocks in the Grand Wall boulders, Marc lived and breathed the quintessential dirtbag climber lifestyle. Nobody in Squamish was more stoked to rack up every day and go climbing than Marc. By then he was already on the radar of the climbing industry and started out his career as a sponsored climber with Outdoor Research followed by Westcomb. Later on he was supported by SMM, Maxim Ropes and La Sportiva.
2013, at the ago of 20, was the year that Marc began to catch the attention of the world's climbing community. That summer he soloed two long rock routes in a single summer day (NE Buttress, North Rib) on Mt. Slesse and then followed that feat up with an even more impressive triple link-up on the Squamish Chief - Grand Wall, Uncle Ben's, University Wall - soloing all three in a single day. Lesser known is the fact that Marc's passion in his first few years was to free climb an aid line on the north walls of the Chief called "The Temptation of St. Anthony". That climb, one of the hardest by far on the Chief, fell to his mastery in late 2013.
2014 started off with Marc's first trip to South America, a place he would come to know well in the following years. In January he climbed a wilderness big wall on Cerro Meriposa in northern Patagonia with a team of Arc'teryx climbers including Paul McSorely and Will Stanhope. He also teamed up with Jason Kruk to do his first climbing in the Torres Valley, home to some of the most technical peaks on earth.
Later in 2014 Marc topped his astounding Slesse effort the year before by soloing three routes on the same peak in a day, at the same time his girlfriend Brette was soloing a different line on the same peak. From this year forward Marc and Brette were nearly inseparable on and off the rock. To cap off an already remarkable year he and Brette flew into the heart of the mega rugged Waddington Range to alpine climb on BC's highest peaks. On that trip Marc made solo ascents of two of the highest peaks in BC - Mt. Asperity and Serra V - both over 12,000 feet high. Serra V is considered by many to be the hardest peak in BC to climb, harder even than the nearby Mt. Waddington. By this time Marc was a sponsored Arc'teryx athlete and was one of the team's shining stars.
2015 was the year that Marc-Andre rose to the ranks of the elite of the elite with a string of mind-blowing ascents. His year started with the first solo winter ascent of the NE butress of Slesse, a peak that he was so familiar with that at this point in his career it was if he was doing laps at his local climbing gym. This was also the year he summited Cerro Torre in Patagonia three times. With Colin Haley he climbed the first "reverse" Torre traverse and also first ascent of the north face of Cerro Torre. Not satisfied with that he soloed the Corkscrew route on Cerro Torre which was judged by many to be the boldest solo climb ever on this iconic spire. This may have been Marc's proudest line and most noteworthy accomplishment. One by one Marc picked off the remaining Torres completing only the 2nd solo ever of Aguja Standhardt.
In the spring of 2016 Marc took his alpine soloing prowess to the high peaks and frozen waterfalls of the Canadian Rockies, culminating in the awe-inspiring first solo of the Emperor Face on Mt. Robson by the route "Infinite Patience". Running out of time to descend, Marc was forced to spend the night on the summit with nothing more than a rope to lie on to fight the cold. Later than summer Marc travelled to Baffin Island above the Arctic Circle to climb big walls in one of the most remote places on earth. On the six week expedition, on which they started by boat, with Josh Lavigne and Brette Harrington Marc climbed a new route on the West Buttress of Great Sail Peak (VI, 5.12a, C1).
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