Climbers Missing on Mendenhall Towers, AK Sadly Declared Dead Yesterday

Steven Agar | | Industry NewsIndustry News
mendenhall towers, alaska, climbers missing
Mendenhall Towers, AK

According to a social media post from the father of one of the two climbers gone missing on the Mendenhall Towers, the two men were declared dead Tuesday, reports

Juneau resident George “Ryan” Johnson, 34, and British Columbia climber Marc-André Leclerc, 25, were due back March 7 from climbing the Mendenhall Towers but did not return. According to a post on Leclerc’s father Serge’s public Facebook account, the two men were pronounced dead Tuesday.

“Sadly we have lost two really great climbers and I lost a son I am very proud of,” the post read.

mendenhall towers, alaska, climbers missing
Marc-Andre Leclerc, 24, of Squamish, BC

Alaska State Troopers and Juneau Mountain Rescue did not confirm the news Tuesday night. JMR Operations Section Chief Jackie Ebert said to expect news releases first thing Wednesday morning.

Responders from the Troopers, JMR, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Army National Guard spent six days searching for the two men.

Weather greatly hindered search efforts, keeping search helicopters grounded for most of the time for the first five days. On the sixth day, Tuesday, responders spent much of the day up around the Towers, peaks that rise nearly 7,000 feet over the Juneau Ice Field, looking for signs of the two experienced climbers.

There’s been a large outpouring of support for the search. Two GoFundMe pages (entitled “Marc Leclerc, Ryan Johnson search” and “Ryan Johnson Assist/Milo Fund”) have popped up, raising a total of more than $50,000 for a variety of costs. The money, according to the descriptions of the pages, is being used to help Leclerc’s friends and family travel to Juneau and assist with the search. One of the accounts says that in a worst-case scenario, some of the money can be used to create a fund for Johnson’s 2 and a half-year-old son Milo.

Both Johnson and Leclerc are extremely experienced climbers. Johnson has scaled the Towers, which rise nearly 7,000 feet over the Juneau Ice Field, multiple times. ANd Leclerc has quickly become an international name in the climbing community. John Irvine, Manager of Global Community Marketing at Arc’teryx (an outdoor equipment company that sponsors Leclerc), referred to Leclerc as a “prodigy.” Despite the attention and the attention, Irvine said Leclerc is humble and enjoys sharing his passion for climbing with others.

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7 thoughts on “Climbers Missing on Mendenhall Towers, AK Sadly Declared Dead Yesterday

  1. Who pays for all of those govt search and rescue services?
    Those who regularly press their luck should be required to post a bond.

  2. It is a shame that these two climbers have not been located. My sympathies to the families. However, they were blessed that they went doing something they loved rather than some dreadful disease or other accident where they were just random victims.

    1. Driving is life threatening so if people die in cars –OH WELL. Drinking alcohol is life threatening so if someone dies drinking– OH WELL. Swimming is dangerous so if someone drowns– OH WELL. Doug, you are an asshole– If you die, OH WELL

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