Two experienced mountain climbers trying to tackle a new route in Alaska were presumed dead after climbing ropes that matched their gear were found in a crevasse, authorities said Wednesday. George “Ryan” Johnson, 34, of Juneau, and Marc-Andre Leclerc, 25, of Squamish, British Columbia, were reported missing after they failed to return from a climb March 7 on a seven-peaked mountain not far from Alaska’s capital city. Rescuers had to wait until Tuesday for the weather to clear to fly to Mendenhall Towers, a mountain that rises nearly 7,000 feet over the Juneau Ice Field, about 12 miles north of Juneau. They found an intact anchor rope at the top of an ice chute on one peak and saw two climbing ropes in a crevasse midway down the same peak.
Johnson and Leclerc had been flown to the mountain and planned to ski out to an area to be picked up. Leclerc was considered a gifted
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