Weather hampers ongoing search for missing Mendenhall climbers

The search continues for two missing climbers who did not return from their ascent last week of the Mendenhall Towers.

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Winter weather has made it difficult for rescuers to search for Ryan Johnson of Juneau and Marc-Andre Leclerc of British Columbia on the Mendenhall Ice Field. They were due back last Wednesday, the same day a snow storm hit Juneau.

Johnson and Leclerc were dropped off March 4 near the towers and were due to return three days later via the West Glacier Trail.

Both are experienced climbers but neither carried a satellite phone or emergency beacon with them for the trip.

Family and friends last heard from them March 5.

The Alaska State Troopers were notified Wednesday when the pair did not arrive.

Searchers located some of their gear on the ice field, but poor weather prevented search efforts Saturday.

Troopers reported that the Alaska Army National Guard was able to launch a helicopter Sunday from Juneau with members of Juneau Mountain Rescue on board during a weather window.

The helicopter searched the south face of the towers, but did not locate any additional clues.

Juneau Mountain Rescue posted on Facebook shortly after 11 a.m Monday that another helicopter team is headed out to search for the missing climbers.

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