Search efforts for Agassiz climber Marc-Andre Leclerc and Ryan Johnson of Alaska have ended as reports come in that the pair died on the Mendenhall Towers in Juneau, Alaska. (@mdre92/Instragram)

UPDATED: Alaska State Troopers say recovery of B.C. climber too dangerous

Young B.C. climber and partner presumed dead

The search for two missing climbers in Alaska, including one man from Agassiz, B.C. has ended in tragedy.

Serge Leclerc reported on Facebook Tuesday night that his son Marc-André and his climbing companion died whileclimbing the Mendenhall Towers in Juneau, Alaska.

“Sadly we have lost 2 really great [climbers] and I lost a son I am very proud of. Thank you for the support during thisdifficult time. My heart is so broken…Part of me is gone with him…”

On March 7 Alaska State Troopers were notified that Leclerc, 25, and Ryan Johnson, 34, of Juneau, Alaska failed to returnfrom a climbing excursion up the Mendenhall Towers. The men were dropped off near the towers March 4 and made it tothe top, posting a picture of the view to Instagram March 5.

Rare live update here… that is Mt Fairweather in the distance.

A post shared by Marc-Andre Leclerc (@mdre92) on

The pair were expected to return to Juneau no later than Wednesday but state troopers reported a significant snow storm inthe area that day. Attempted search efforts by Juneau Mountain Rescue personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) wereunderway immediately, but poor weather conditions delayed efforts.

According to state troopers it appeared that neither man was equipped with a SAT phone or emergency beacon.

On Tuesday Juneau Mountain Rescue located an intact anchor rope at the top of an ice shoot and two climbing ropes in acrevasse that matched descriptions of gear carried by Leclerc and Johnson. Current risks of avalanche and other safetyhazards prevented recovery efforts, but the pair is presumed dead.

The climbers were reported to be experienced outdoorsmen – Leclerc was profiled by Climbing Magazine in September andhis resume included everything from a 7,000-foot climb of Mt. Slesse to a solo climb up “The Corkscrew linkup” on CerroTorre, a route in South America that involves crossing ice fields and navigating ice towers.

Chilliwack city councillor Sam Waddington knew Leclerc well and posted online about his adventurous friend, writing thatLeclerc will leave behind a generation of climbers in awe of what he could do in the mountains.

“…I smile when I think of Marc in all of this because for him it was so simple, he loved climbing, he loved the freedoms thatcome from a life lived in the alpine, on the sharp end of the rope, pushing the limits of what has ever been done before. Welove you Marc, you have left an indelible mark on us all.”

READ: Overdue Agassiz climber missing in Alaska after ‘significant’ snow storm

Leclerc’s family requested privacy as they come to grips with the devastating loss.

“Marc-André was an amazing, loving man and he has touched many lives in so many ways,” wrote his father. “He will beremembered and loved forever…”

Updated: A previous version of this story stated Leclerc was 24. He was 25.

Just Posted

Teamwork and rotating 12 hour shifts helped Island Health weather the storm in Cowichan

“At one time we had 11 hospital sites on generator power”

Cowichan’s private seniors care facilities used generators to get through outage

Like so many places, the power went out at 11:30 a.m. Thursday,… Continue reading

Fences destroyed, power out but Cowichan’s animals were safe after epic Dec. 20 storm

“It was a wake up call for being prepared for emergencies.”

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

North Cowichan will host new permanent rowing centre starting October 2020

Saanich’s bid for national rowing centre at Elk Lake sunk

VIDEO: Cowichan Secondary starts two-week run of ‘The Addams Family’ Jan. 16

The Cow High cast is ready, the stage is set: all they need is you so make tracks to see this show

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read