Search continues for accomplished B.C. climber missing in Alaskan range

Marc-Andre Leclerc, 24, of Squamish, B.C., has been missing for close to a week

An accomplished B.C. alpinist spent 10 years training for the Alaskan mountain range where he disappeared last week, a family friend said.

Marc-Andre Leclerc, 24, of Squamish, B.C., and his climbing partner Ryan Johnson, 34, of Juneau, Alaska, have been missing for nearly a week.

Treya Klassen, a close friend of Leclerc’s father, said the young man has had his eye on climbing Mendenhall Towers for years.

“He’s seasoned to do this. He’s trained to be able to survive a lot. He trained, so hopefully he’s holed up in a cave, waiting out a storm,” she said.

On Wednesday morning Alaska State Troopers were alerted that Leclerc and Johnson had not returned from climbing the mountains, which are located in the Mendenhall Ice Field north of Juneau.

They had been dropped off near the moutain ridge on March 4. Leclerc posted an Instagram photo from near the summit of th 2,100-metre main tower the following day, but officials said he hasn’t been heard from since, even though they were supposed to hike and ski back to Juneau by Wednesday evening.

There was a significant snow storm in the region on Wednesday and neither of the men were equipped with a satellite phone or emergency beacon.

Some of the men’s gear has been found, but the search for the men is ongoing.

Klassen said helicopters scoured the area Sunday, but had to call off the search later in the day because there was too much cloud cover. She said a K-9 unit will hit the ground Monday.

A chartered Coastal Helicopter with Juneau Mountain Rescue personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard are assisting in the search.

Outside magazine has called Leclerc “one of the best young alpinists in the world,” and his biography on sponsor Arc’Teryx’s website said Leclerc completed several ascents in Canada and Patagonia.

“He’s a powerful human being. It takes something to do these endeavours,” said Klassen, who set up a fundraising page in his name to help the family travel to Alaska to participate in the search.

“He’s an amazing human being and he comes from an amazing family.”

Amy Smart, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Summer fun has just begun

Ice cream sales are expected to peak today as residents savour the longest day of the year.

Medicinal cannabis clinic opens in Fernie

A new cannabis clinic is open in Fernie, with plans to transition to a dispensary, come legalization

Columbia River Treaty meetings hear farmers’ plea

Ranchers say this is Canada’s last chance to restore their agricultural industry

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

High school presents Alice In Wonderland

Since January the students, costume designers, set designers and musicians worked on this performance.

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Reports of explosion in Okanagan turn out to be squirrel vs. power line

The noise was described as ‘similar to a shotgun blast’ that shook the Earth

A look at what Canadian teams might do in the 1st round of the NHL draft

Montreal, Ottawa, Vancouver and Edmonton in top 10 of upcoming draft

Koko, the gorilla who knew sign language, dies at 46

Western lowland gorilla, 46, died in her sleep in California

California court hears tales of shackled, starved children

David and Louise Turpin have pleaded not guilty to torture, child abuse of their 12 children

Trudeau in nothern B.C. to announce pledge to protect oceans

Prime minister announces conservation agreement with 14 First Nations

New seniors care facility officially announced

Golden Life Management will operate Kootenay Street Village, which features 97 units.

FIFA World Cup weekly roundup

Host nation Russia remains unbeaten in Group A, tied with Uruguay

Trudeau says he can’t imagine Trump damaging U.S. by imposing auto tariffs

New tariffs on Canadian autos entering the U.S. would amount to a self-inflicted wound on the U.S. economy

Most Read