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

The District of Kitimat issues a water advisory

Three fires over the weekend underscore the need to conserve water

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

LNG Canada to build two salt marshes

Offsets will mitigate the effect of construction

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Kitimat opens its arms, and its hearts, to wildfire evacuees

Emergency Social Services invites volunteers to apply

Social media, digital photography allow millennials to flock to birdwatching

More young people are flocking to birdwatching than ever, aided by social media, digital photography

Case of truck driver charged in Humboldt Broncos crash adjourned until October

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu is charged with 16 counts of dangerous driving causing death, other charges

REVIEW: MTV VMAs was a shocking event, for the wrong reasons

MTV Video Music Awards lacked star power and felt flat and some of the winners turned heads

4.6 quake detected off coast of Vancouver Island

The small earthquake happened early Tuesday morning

Quesnel RCMP seize gun, drugs after stopping man cycling without a helmet

The man had a warrant out for his arrest and was carrying illegal items in a backpack

Puppies picked up by BC Wildfire crew to be returned to family

They were just leaving the Monashee Complex of fires when they found the cutest creatures.

At least 14 illegal fires set in Fraser Valley this month

Conservation officers are fed up with people not listening to the province-wide fire ban

B.C. woman promoting ‘orange glow’ campaign to support firefighters

A Penticton woman is hoping an orange ribbon campaign will catch on throughout B.C.

Air Canada-led consortium signs deal to buy Aeroplan program

The deal would acquire the Aeroplan loyalty program from Aimia Inc

Most Read