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Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 14, 2018 - 08:57am PT
Every morning I would check this thread, thinking, please let there be good news, please.
I am so sorry.

This sums it up for me. I didn't know them, but I am so sorry for what their families and close friends are going through.

Peace and love to the grieving.
Big Mike

Trad climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 09:12am PT
All good Treez. We are all.hurting today.

Social climber
Lida Junction
Mar 14, 2018 - 09:40am PT
F*#k Alpinism. Donít go.

one has to ask themselves if it's worth the risk(been there, done that)especially if there are family responsibilities.

Condolences to the family, and friends.

Trad climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 09:51am PT
I still canít believe that thatís just it. Like it didnít seem possible a week ago and it just seems unrealistic now. Marc was supposed to be untouchable.
The first time I met him was a buildering meetup at UBC. It was before he had really started doing any big alpine things or solos, but after he had climbed some of the hard Squamish testpieces. I knew he was a hardman, but at that time he was relatively unknown outside Squamish. He crushed all the buildering problems.

This was also just after finishing up my first year climbing. I didnít really know anyone in the community yet, and had no one to share my stoke with. One evening, either late fall or early spring, he invited me over to hang out with him and his friend in North Van. I hadnít really been to the Shore before, but transitted over. We talked about climbing over a couple beers. Marc was the first person I met who had the same passion I felt, and it was awesome to be able to talk the ear off someone without them getting tired of hearing the same thing haha.

We shared the bus back downtown together, and came up with the wacky, slightly buzzed idea of climbing on top of Science World around two in the morning. We snuck around the odd security guard and managed to get up to where the sphere starts, only to find it was much bigger and more intense than it looked from the ground, so we bailed.

I think it was the year after that his climbing career really started to take off. That was when he did Slesse twice in a day. I didnít really hang out with him much one on one, and I never got to climb with him, but he always was quick to greet me with a high five and a smile. At the grand opening for the gym in Squamish, I ditched my girlfriend briefly so I could chat with Marc about Slesse. I had tried to onsight solo it myself a couple months earlier. I didnít summit, but I learned a lot and posted a TR about it here. Marc had read it. It meant a lot to me that he had taken the time to read something I wrote about something that he knew infinitely more about than me.
We werenít close, but Iím going to miss him.
SC seagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz, Moab, A sailboat, or some time zone
Mar 14, 2018 - 09:51am PT
Huge ache. Like many above, checking in daily for a ray of sunshine.

The older I get the bigger the sucker punch to the gut. I guess itís because Iím so old and have lived so much and I know what they and their family will miss out on.

I really donít know anymore about the ďcost/benefitĒ equation. I just donít know.



Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
Mar 14, 2018 - 10:38am PT
It is always more painful when a person has a spouse and a small child at home who will have to grow up without a Father. No having been in that position, I cannot judge; I had a friend who told me when she became a parent, her climbing, mountaineering, adventure perspective changed, and she would not take the risks she formerly took. Each one has to find his own way. I am not a mountaineer, only climbed a little in summers, but seems to me that doing a route like that in a place where the snow comes down heavily in winter is a high risk venture.

Sport climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 10:39am PT
I donít know where to go with this. I wouldnít trade a single hand of Uno with my boy for 10 seconds on any peak.

F*#k Alpinism. Donít go.

Another very sad bit of news - this sport is so beautiful and so tragic in ways. My activities are small-time compared to all of this, but I know when kids came along I REALLY had to be honest with my own willingness to risk their future with both parents living. I understand the draw of the mountains, so no judgment from me in any way. It's such a complicated decision that we all have to make for ourselves, but I know I'm making the right one for my family.

RIP gents, the pictures are killing me, especially with his son.

Trad climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 10:53am PT
Such a sad thing, for these guy's families and friends. I am sorry for your loss and the painfulness in your mourning.

A long way from where I started
Mar 14, 2018 - 10:55am PT
I've posted this before, but I believe it is worth reposting here...

I don't know if this will help you sort out your feelings, but for whatever it is worth, here are some thoughts from a climber who was a son of parents who would have been devastated to lose him, and also a father of a son who has grown into a man who also climbs.

Should I have launched into whitewater as a teenager, and then begun climbing when I moved to where there were rocks and mountains? Or was that a burden I should never have placed on my parents? Should my wife and I have continued climbing when our children were born? Should we have introduced our boys to the outdoors? To climbing? Should I now fear that any phone call might be the one that informs me of my son's death?

Like most of the long-time climbers here on ST, I have had more friends than I want to think about go into the mountains and not come home. Should they not have gone to the mountains?

Finding the answer to all these questions requires me to ask another: What is the alternative?

For me, and for many climbers I know, climbing was far more a way to survive than a way to die. If I hadn't gone paddling, and then climbing, I'd have been dead or in jail long ago. And I can't begin to count the number of friends who have said the same thing.

Some of us simply didn't fit in to the space we were allotted in the Betty Crocker world we were born into. Those of us who found a home in the climbing community were the lucky ones. Yes, some of us died in avalanches, rockfalls, rappelling accidents, whatever... But most of us survived, and when we look at our brothers and sisters who didn't find what we did, the ones who turned to alcohol, drugs, and crime... Well, the answer seems clear to me.

The best way I can sum it all up is to think back to when my children were very young, and remember that yes, when I went climbing for a day, a week, or a month, I took the chance that I would not come home, and they would grow up without a father...

...but to me, that seemed a far, far better outcome for them than to watch their father drink himself to death.

Jingus Newroutaineer
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:11am PT
Climbing is great.

Getting the axe Climbing is not worth it. There are many, many endeavors that better oneself and others around you far more and are as challenging as anything humans can imagine...just not as plain dumb risky as committing yourself to one of these nightmares.

Do it for fun and to experience the beauty of the mountains. You don't need to be "extreme" to climb the mountains and get the good tidings playing on the bones of this Earth.

My sincere condolences to those that knew these young men that had so much to live for and so much life ahead of them. We all feel the loss of those that climb.

It wasn't worth it, I don't care what some may say, unless you return to those who hold you dear. There is more to life, far more, than climbing.

Conquistadors of the Useless.

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:24am PT
Deepest condolences to all.

Social climber
The internet
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:32am PT
I wouldnít trade a single hand of Uno with my boy for 10 seconds on any peak.
I would take 10 seconds on a peak with family over Uno any day, risk of death included.

These risks don't have to be so polarized.

I don't know what happened here, but young climbers living the life described in that Gripped article generally don't make it to 30.

Better to die a tiger than live like a pussy, or something like that.

In any case, it was his choice, and his life, while short, seemed a happy one. His family seemed to support him as well, their choice too.

Mountain climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:32am PT
Recall when John Millar and Guy Edwards disappeared on the north face of the Devils Thumb, 2003? How many more names can be added to this list...Copp,Dash, Lowe, Dempster, ... the list goes on and on and the names are slowly forgotten. But, there are tragedies left behind: children and partners and parents. Sure, if you are alone and without a family, go ahead and take the risks. However, with kids at home and a partner, is this a good idea? Its an addiction. A selfish delusion.


Ice climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:42am PT
I'm so very sorry. For them, but mostly for their families and friends. Their grief will never end, although in time the load will become easier to bear. The question, "is it worth it?" is such a difficult, impossible an Escher drawing, with no beginning, and no end. As the widow of a prolific climber, and a climber myself, believe me, I have spent a great deal of time on this question since Jack's death. Climbing gave me/has given me much of what is dear, memorable, and vital in my life. Would I want to change that? Never. But it has also taken away what was most important to me, what gave my heart and soul real Would I want to change that? Just about every minute of every day. In the end, all we can do is live our lives as we see fit. Try to do right by our loved ones, while feeding our hearts. For now, even though I didn't know either of them personally, my heart is heavy with their loss. My love goes out to their families and friends........I hope they can find their way.

Social climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:45am PT
Condolences. I really hoped this one would turn out, such special people. Huge bummer.


Trad climber
Mar 14, 2018 - 11:54am PT
Updated story from the Anchorage Daily News:

Bad weather complicated search efforts for days, but members of Juneau Mountain Rescue on Tuesday were finally able to get a good look at the north face of the Towers from a chartered Coastal helicopter.

They glimpsed an anchor rope at the top of an ice chute on the fourth tower and two climbing ropes in a crevasse midway down the tower, according to troopers spokeswoman Megan Peters. The ropes match the description of Johnson and Leclerc's gear.

"Everything tells us they are down in that crevasse and they are presumed deceased," Peters said.

It's not clear whether Johnson and Leclerc fell into the crevasse or an avalanche carried them into it, she said. "We do know they ascended, took pictures at the top. Ö We know they hiked a ridge over to the ice chute near the fourth tower."

ďThey were able to see some climbing ropes that matched the description of what the climbers used,Ē Peters said.

Peters said they donít plan on a recovery operation because of the avalanche danger and other safety hazards.

Peters said searchers were able to home in on the pairís location after a getting a signal back from a RECCO reflector. Different from avalanche beacons, RECCO reflectors are sometimes built inside helmets, boots or outdoor clothing and can reflect a signal that is transmitted by searchers ó even when covered by snow.

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
Mar 14, 2018 - 12:07pm PT
Those of us who found a home in the climbing community were the lucky ones.

I agree. It's an old saw now, but still true: "Every man dies; not every man really lives."

You live a life of "risk avoidance," and then you die of cancer or a car wreck. Or some madman shoots up a crowd, you included, in Las Vegas. There IS no "risk avoidance." Even living within the confines of your bed just shortens your life, while not giving you much quality of it! The supposed "odds game" is a chimera.

LIVE... and then you die. But at least: LIVE.

It's always profoundly painful to lose a loved one! I hope that the friends and families can be comforted by imagining the feelings these climbers felt on the tops of big mountains and then hearing the stories they shared when back at home.

There's no "clock" that is "supposed" to tick down in predictable fashion for any of us. There is no such thing as "cut short." There is only LIVING to the best of one's ability. And it's quite apparent from this thread that these gentlemen did that!

I honor them.

Trad climber
portland, or
Mar 14, 2018 - 12:21pm PT
I think Bruce Lee said something like "I'd rather die a broken piece of jade than live a life of clay". Truly these men lived a life of jade, until it broke. Condolences to all.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 14, 2018 - 12:22pm PT
Sending love to the grieving from the desert.

Everyoneís life story is different.
Some shine long,
some burn hot and fast.

And another thing-
Many of us grow up without fathers, for a multitude of reasons-
Alcoholism, divorce, etc. We live, often with pain but also with lessons.
These men died for what gave them life, and their children will know this,
as sad, tragic, and difficult as it may be.

Again, so sorry for families, friends, and the community.

Mountain climber
Vancouver BC
Mar 14, 2018 - 12:28pm PT
here is a thorough and insightful piece by Brandon Pullan out of Gripped magazine, which gives a nice insight into what it was like to be touched by the flame of Marc Andre. he will not soon be forgotten.
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