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Family, friends continue search for missing hiker



Brian Faughnan has been missing for two weeks

For the past week and a half John Faughnan has set up a temporary command post in a Whistler condo to co-ordinate efforts to find his missing brother.

It’s been two weeks now since 35-year-old Brian Faughnan, a Montreal native who came to Whistler to hike, was last seen at the Shoestring Lodge. Police believe he was planning to hike near Rainbow Lake.

"I’m still in shock," said Faughnan, who is desperate for any clue of his brother’s whereabouts.

"I’m trying to keep very busy and keep moving. I have lists of things to do and I try not to think too much."

On the lists of things to do is handing out posters, updating a family Web site and talking to people around town.

"It’s all designed to jog people’s memory," he said, hoping any clue will make that magic connection and lead him to his brother.

Whistler RCMP and Search and Rescue called off the search last Friday, July 19 after spending several days intensively combing Rainbow Mountain on ground and via helicopter.

Now it’s up to Brian’s friends and family.

Members from the McGill Outdoors Club have made the journey west to help out.

Brian was a member of the club, which takes people rock climbing, scrambling, hiking, canoeing and kayaking, among other adventures.

"I would just be going crazy if I wasn’t here helping," said Marta Cooper, the 28-year-old vice president of the club.

She met Brian on her first trip out with the club. It was a scrambling trip.

"He was the kind of person that you would want to do a trip with," she said, describing her friend as helpful and enthusiastic and someone who never complained about having to wake up early or help with the cooking.

The past week in Whistler has been an emotional roller coaster, she said.

With every possible lead comes raised hopes, which so far have been dashed each time.

Brian came to Whistler on Thursday July 11 on a tour organized by Bigfoot Adventure Tours of New Westminster.

That night he was playing volleyball and mentioned doing a hike on the Rainbow trail the following day.

An avid hiker, police believe Brian had a yellow daypack on his back when he left the Shoestring. He may have also had an ice axe with him.

The day he set out, July 12, was a beautiful, sunny summer’s day, said Faughnan, so he thinks there may have been others on the Rainbow hike who may have seen his brother, who may even have exchanged a few words with him.