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

Langford mayor says City threatened during meeting over speculation tax

Stew Young says he wants Langford exempt from tax

Strong winds up to 100 km/h for parts of Vancouver Island

Wind warning in effect for north, east and west Vancouver Island into Saturday morning

Victoria invited to get a closer look at Sunday’s lunar eclipse

Special event allows public to view the moon through UVic telescopes

Unruly passenger forces Victoria-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Vancouver Island dog walker accosted by man with bear spray

Woman figures man is afraid of dogs after latest in string of Comox Valley incidents

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Parents in this B.C. city can no longer opt kids out of class for personal beliefs

Change comes as part of ‘big overhaul’ of school district’s learning resources policy approved by board

BC Hydro scammers bilked customers out of nearly $45,000 in 2018

Nearly 2,000 people reported scams to the utility, as they continue to be more common

Good news: Peak flu season over in B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says that while peak season is over, rates remain high this time of year

Vancouver Island conservancy group calls for government to shut down Georgia Strait herring roe fishery

DFO says extensive research is done annually before setting a maximum harvest rate

B.C. woman posts to Facebook after she and nephew reported missing for days

Roseanne Supernault says both she and her six-year-old nephew are fine and she has contacted police

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Most Read