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

Central Okanagan firefighters are battling wildfires across B.C.

Lake Country, Kelowna and Peachland crews are assisting the BC Wildfire Service

Oktopus to headline Music in the Park

The West Kelowna night of music will happen once again this Friday

Long-awaited John Hindle Drive in Kelowna just weeks away from completion

Ministry of Transportation says it plans to have the road open before the start of the school year

Blasting begins at Beachview Drive in West Kelowna

Blasting begins as part of residential development

Updated: RCMP no longer suspect death of Vernon woman is suspicious

West Kelowna RCMP continue to investigate the woman’s sudden death

A first-hand look at hazards facing scooter users

A Salmon Arm reporter tags along on a mobility scooter tour of the city to learn about safety hazards

RCMP to search for body after man drowns in B.C.’s Buntzen Lake

Officers and fire crews responded but the man from the Lower Mainland is believed to have drowned.

Man found not guilty in 2011 drug-related shooting in Shuswap

Judge rules Jeremy Davis couldn’t foresee his companion would kill 24-year-old Nick Larsen.

Police chiefs call for stricter controls on pill presses to fight opioids

Canada’s police chiefs are urging Ottawa to beef up its fight against the opioid scourge by closely vetting people who import pill presses

Hot, dry conditions forces drought rating to highest level on Vancouver Island

The province says Vancouver Island is under Stage 4 drought conditions

Victoria police say explicit calls continue to target women

Over 50 reports of unwanted, sexually explicit calls have come in

Parks Canada has ‘general concept’ in mind for South Okanagan-Similkameen

Minister Catherine McKenna will be providing a further update to representatives in Penticton Friday, August 17

‘It’s like a party in your mouth’

B.C. creator’s Milkshake Burger makes its debut at the PNE

Most Read