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Search party leaves Whistler without missing hiker



Family and friends call for trailhead registers

A friend of missing hiker Brian Faughnan is appealing to the Whistler community to established registers at trailheads in the area.

Registers could have led searchers to her missing friend and may have saved his life, said Marta Cooper, who travelled from Montreal to join in the search for Faughnan.

She returned home this week without any word of where her friend has been for the past three weeks.

"It would mean that the next family that goes through this would potentially have more solid information to go on," said Cooper.

Brian Faughnan, an avid hiker, came to Whistler on Thursday, July 11. He stayed at the Shoestring Lodge and was last seen the following morning around 10:30 a.m.

"We know exactly what he did in Whistler and then he fell off the face of the earth," said Cooper.

People who spoke to him during that time said he had been asking questions about a hike near Rainbow Lake.

To date, there is no conclusive evidence that puts Faughnan in any area after leaving the Shoestring.

A trailhead register would have narrowed the search, said Cooper.

"If we had definitive information that Brian had gone (there), the search may have gone on longer," she said.

The RCMP called off the search on Friday, July 19; one week after Faughnan went missing.

A private search continued with family and friends, including some members of the McGill Outdoors Club, of which Faughnan was a member.

The family is now asking locals and visitors to write in to the Web site if they were hiking anywhere in the Whistler area on Friday, July 12 or Saturday, July 13.

They are hoping to narrow the search by eliminating trails where Faughnan was not seen.

They are also asking people to think back to any hitchhikers who may have been on the road that day, thinking Faughnan may have stuck out his thumb to try out a trail further afield.

Faughnan was last seen with a yellow backpack and he may have been carrying an ice axe.

He may also have been wearing a denim baseball cap, shorts and T-shirt, with a red jacket strapped onto his pack.

Faughnan is described as almost 6-feet tall and just under 200 pounds. He is clean-shaven, wears glasses and has a friendly looking face. He is in his early 30s.

He is a video editor and scriptwriter from Montreal with a love of the outdoors.

Cooper said Faughnan would have signed into a register if there had been one at the trail.

She is calling on a community group in Whistler or an outdoors club in B.C. to take the initiative to build and maintain trailhead and hut registers in the area.

It only takes a little maintenance work to refill the pages of the registers.

She said this could save the lives of future hikers who are reported missing.

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