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UPDATE: Father says both climbers have died

(UPDATE: Wednesday, March 14, @ 9 a.m.) - Father of climber posts a message saying his son passed away.

Serge Leclerc, father of one of the two missing climbers, posted a message online late last night saying his son, 24-year-old Marc Leclerc of B.C., and climbing partner, 34-year-old Ryan Johnson of Juneau, Alaska have passed away.

"Sadly we have lost two really great climbers and I lost a son I am very proud of," said Leclerc.

<who> Photo Credit: GoFundMe </who> Marc Leclerc.

He went on to thank everyone for their prayers and support during this difficult time.

"My heart is so broken...Part of me is gone with him," he said.

The family is asking for privacy during this time of grieving.

"Marc-Andrew was an amazing, loving man and he has touched many lives in so many ways. He will be remembered and loved forever."

<who> Photo Credit: GoFundMe </who> Ryan Johnson of Juneau, Alaska.

Climbers, Leclerc and 34-year-old Ryan Johnson of Juneau, were expected back from climbing the Mendenhall Towers March 7.

Juneau Moutain Rescue (JMR) headed out on their final search about 18 hours ago over peaks with elevations of more than 7,000 feet. A spokesperson is expected to release an update later today.

Two GoFundMe pages, one for Leclerc and one for Johnson, have managed to raise more than $60,000 in total.

(Original Story: Tuesday, March 13 @ 4 p.m.) - Family and friends start GoFundMe page for missing climbers.

Family and friends of missing climbers, Marc Leclerc and Ryan Johnson have started a GoFundMe page to aid in ongoing search efforts.

Leclerc, 24, of British Columbia and Johnson, 34, of Juneau, Alaska have been missing in the mountains of Alaska since Monday, March 5.

The two alpinists were expected back in Juneau, Alaska on Wednesday, March 7.

Alaska State Troopers initiated a search party, on Thursday, March 8, but as the days continue, friends and family are asking for donations to pay for travel expenses and search efforts.

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

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

Leclerc posted a picture on March 5 showing they'd reached the top of the climb.

Johnson and Leclerc were initially dropped off near the Mendenhall Towers on Juneau's Mendenhall Ice Field on Sunday, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The two climbers communicated with family members on Monday after reaching the top of the towers. However, they were expected back in Juneau by Wednesday evening via the West Mendenhall Glacier Trail and never made it.

Juneau Mountain Rescue (JMR) is collaborating with the Alaska State Troopers on the search and since last Thursday, search crews have made several passes of the climbers' planned Mendenhall Glacier exit route.

<who> Photo Credit: Facebook Juneau Mountain Rescue </who> The search group heads up for another pass on March 11, 2018.

"The climber’s cache of gear that was not needed for the climb, which included skis, poles and a backpack, was located during those efforts, but deteriorating weather conditions limited further access," stated a spokesperson for JMR. "The United States Coast Guard and JMR attempted to access the area again Friday, March 9 but were turned around by foul weather."

On Saturday, March 10, JMR crews were put on hold at the Alaska Army National Guard aviation operations facility due to poor weather.

Weather continues to be an issue for the search parties, but on Monday, March 12, the JMR crew was able to fly over Mendenhall Towers before visibility worsened and they were forced to land again.

Leclerc is an experienced alpine climber and has soloed well-known climbs in B.C., and has climbed around the world. Both climbers have spent previous time in the Mendenhall Towers.

So far, the GoFundMe page has raised $35,248 to aid in rescue efforts, with a goal of $40,000.

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