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Troopers are reporting that an Army National Guard helicopter is standing by to launch if a favorable weather window develops affording them the chance to conduct a further search of the Mendenhall Towers area for two missing climbers.
George “Ryan” Johnson, of Juneau, and Marc-Andre Leclerc of British Columbia remain missing since last heard from on Monday, March 5th when they reported in that they had gained summit on the towers.
They were reported missing on Wednesday when they failed to return from their climb. A winter snowstorm moved through the area on the day that the two were reported overdue.
On Thursday, Juneau Mountain Rescue went up in a chartered helicopter. While up on the ice field, they located some of the men’s gear but no sign of the men.
On Friday, a brief break in the weather allowed a USCG helicopter to launch, but the weather closed in quickly, forcing the chopper to return before reaching the search area. Saturday, foul weather grounded all search aircraft.
On Sunday, a weather break allowed a National Guard helicopter to launch and access the search area. The chopper, with Juneau Mountain Rescue aboard, did a search of the south face of the towers. As weather once again closed in, the helicopter returned with no positive results.
An Army National Guard helicopter is watching Monday for a weather window in order to search the north face of the Towers.