Below is our annual tribute to Climbers We Lost, here honoring those who left us in 2018. The climbers range in age from 20 to 96. Some people broke our hearts by leaving much too soon. Some lived long and at least died naturally. Climbers We Lost has in the six years since inception become an affirmation of how meaningful our endeavor is and how important our identities as climbers are to us. This year one young contributor, Danika Hill, in contacting us about her friend Haley Royko, 25, wrote, "Climbing was her life's joy, and she told me in 2015 that when she passed, she wanted to be included in your annual tribute. It is actually the only dying wish she made of me, and I want to make sure it happens." Each year we are concerned to think that we will inadvertently leave out some people. We encourage you to use the comments field to add photos and remembrances of others.
The American Harrington and the Swiss North put up a new 500-meter route on Southern Duke Tower, and a new five-pitch route on the Taku Towers on the Juneau Ice Field.
Below, Will Stanhope reflects on the incredible talent, compassion and thoughtfulness of his friend Marc-André Leclerc, and the myriad ways the late alpinist affected those around him. Leclerc, 25, died in the Mendenhall Towers, outside Juneau, Alaska, sometime in the days following March 5, 2018. He had just completed a first ascent on the North Face of the Main Tower with his partner, Ryan Johnson, who also died on the descent.
Ryan Johnson, 34, died in the Mendenhall Towers, outside Juneau, Alaska, sometime in the days following March 5, 2018. He had just completed a first ascent on the North Face of the Main Tower with his partner, Marc-André Leclerc, who also died on the descent. Below, Samuel Johnson (unrelated) remembers his close friend and partner Ryan—his achievements, his passion, his warmth, his kindness.
The two climbers are two days overdue after an ascent in the massif, located near Juneau. A search and rescue operation is underway.