2 men missing on ice field amid heavy Juneau snow
Alaska State Troopers and other Juneau search agencies are looking for a pair of men overdue from a trip to an ice field near the state capital.
Troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters said the search for Juneau resident George “Ryan” Johnson, 34, and Marc-Andre Leclerc of British Columbia was continuing Friday, as a storm bringing heavy snow passes through northern parts of Southeast Alaska.
“Weather is not necessarily cooperating,” Peters wrote in an email.
U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Brian Dykens, with the Coast Guard’s 17th District in Juneau, said the conditions may prevent air searches for the men Friday.
“The weather here is pretty poor with snow and heavy winds, so that'll hamper any search with a helicopter,” Dykens said.
According to a trooper dispatch, Johnson and Leclerc had been scheduled to return by Wednesday evening from a Sunday trip to climb the Mendenhall Towers, a formation in the Mendenhall Ice Field.
Both men are experienced climbers, and had been in touch with family after climbing the Towers on Monday. They were expected to hike and ski their way back to Juneau via the West Mendenhall Glacier Trail.
“There was a significant snow storm in the Juneau area on [Wednesday] and neither individual is reportedly equipped with [a satellite] phone or emergency beacon,” troopers wrote Thursday. “A chartered Coastal Helicopter with Juneau Mountain Rescue personnel and the U.S. Coast Guard are assisting with the search. Some of the men's gear has been located.”
The missing men’s next of kin have been informed of the situation, troopers said.
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