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

Saanich recognizes residents for their environmental efforts

Shelagh Levey won the Long-Term Achievement award for her leadership in environmental protection.

Officials worry of fire risk at homeless camp

Regina Park camp has grown to 77 tents

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of Victoria couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

BC Supreme Court rules in favour of Victoria’s plastic bag ban

Court dismisses a challenge by the Canadian Plastic Bag Association

More than 150 tremors hit Vancouver Island in last 24 hours

Seismologists monitor to see if pressure will be added to major fault

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Busy Borden better, but still dangerous for cyclists

Cycling lane eases Lochside transfer but drivers still confused

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of June 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Most Read