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

Community Sport Heroes recognized in Penticton

Three Okanagan residents who dedicated their lives to sport were recognized

City of Penticton working to develop pot sales regulations

Penticton looking to public for input on marijuana sales

West Bench Elementary makes shortlist for $20,000 prize

Penticton elementary school in the runnings for the Staples Superpower your School contest

Counting down to craft beer

Okanagan Fest-of-ale in Penticton is fast approaching

Osoyoos border gun smuggler sentenced

Alex Louie, who prefers the name Senk’lip, was sentenced to the mandatory minimum

Wilkie returns home with three medals in tow

Paralympic champion returns home with a gold, silver and bronze from the 2018 PyeongChang games

Golden Knights win 4-1, remain undefeated against Canucks

Vegas gets points from 12 players in dominating effort versus Vancouver

Alberta budget plans for Trans Mountain expansion

Finance Minister Joe Ceci says expected revenues will be factored into budget forecasts

Parents respond to suicide alertness workshops

SafeTalk session discusses recognition and intervention awareness

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Proposed gun bill attacked by gun owners and shooting victims

The federal government tabled the bill today in order to tighten the sale and tracking of firearms

New anti-radicalization centre in the works for B.C.

Centre aims to help ‘vulnerable individuals on the path to radicalization’ before they turn to crime

Most Read