Leclerc and his partner Brette Harrington are both experienced climbers. Leclerc’s family has started a GoFundMe campaign to help with search efforts in Juneau since he and his Alaskan partner Ryan Johnson failed to return from a climb Wednesday. (GoFundMe)

UPDATE: Break in weather allows rescuers to resume Alaska search for B.C. climber

A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help with search efforts in Juneau

  • Mar. 13, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Rescuers in southwestern Alaska resumed their search of a mountain peak Tuesday for a missing B.C. man and his climbing companion.

Megan Peters with the Alaska State Troopers says crews took advantage of favourable weather conditions and got back into the air to search for 24-year-old Marc-Andre Leclerc and 34-year-old Ryan Johnson.

Related: Search continues for B.C. climber in Alaska

The pair were scaling the Mendenhall Towers north of Juneau last week but have not been heard from since they reached the summit of the 2,100-metre main tower.

The search began when they didn’t return by Wednesday, the same day a snowstorm hit the area.

Peters says a snow assessment team was going to assess the risk of having searchers on the ground in the area before sending rescue crews out on foot.

Related: Overdue B.C. climber missing in Alaska after ‘significant’ snow storm

Members of Juneau Mountain Rescue are helping with the search and say they were hoping a break in the weather would let them get a better look at the north face of the main tower.

Leclerc, who is from Squamish, is considered a gifted climber. Outside magazine has called Leclerc “one of the best young alpinists in the world,” and his biography on sponsor Arc’Teryx’s website says he completed several ascents in Canada and Patagonia.

Treya Klassen, a close friend of Leclerc’s father, said on the weekend the young man has had his eye on climbing Mendenhall Towers for years.

“He’s seasoned to do this. He’s trained to be able to survive a lot,” she said.

The climbers posted a photo and several social media messages from the top of the main tower last week. They were then supposed to hike and ski out of the area, returning last Wednesday.

Foul weather has hampered ongoing search efforts.

Brief breaks in the weather have allowed crews to fly over the area, and searchers have found some of the climbers’ gear but the search for the men continues.

Search and rescue officials say neither man is equipped with a satellite phone or emergency beacon.

The Canadian Press

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