Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance
Details of Disappearance
Brian Faughnan was last seen Friday July 12, 2002 in the vicinity of the The Shoestring Lodge, Whistler, BC Canada.Brian left Montreal for Vancouver on July 9th, and called home that evening. He last checked his email on July 10th. On Thursday July 11th he traveled from the Vancouver Youth Hostel to Whistler with Bigfoot Adventure Tours, on the Moose Run Tour. He left a large pack, a blue Lowe Alpine jacket, and his climbing gear at the Youth Hostel in storage. Thursday afternoon, near Brandywine creek, he discussed the Rainbow Trail with his tour bus driver. Brian showed him the Brandywine topo map, and based on the tour book he tried to imagine the trails overlaid on the topo map. The driver, based on past reports, described an ascent to Rainbow peak as a very enjoyable 9.5 hour day hike. Later that night Brian played volleyball with two women (roommates) from the tour group.
On Friday July 12th he told his roommates that he would go out seeking a peak and snow, and might not return for the next day's bus departure. A security video recorded him leaving the Shoestring Lodge at 9:57 AM PT with a full day pack. At 10:30AM he asked directions from the bus driver to the Valley Trail, not the Rainbow Trail.
He may have gone to "Wild Willy's" and obtained a photocopied portion of the central part of the Whistler Area Topographic and Street Map. He appears to have been carrying a yellow day pack with a climbing or ice-axe lashed to the back, he might have had a red jacket (seen in above photo) tied to it. He likely had crampons aalong with the ice-axe with him, but was not carrying a sleeping bag and maybe not a tent. Brian probably was carrying a 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia book, the Brandywine topographic map, and a photocopied portion of the Whistler Area Topographic and Street Map. The weather was sunny and pleasant that Friday, as it had been for a few days.
By 3AM Saturday July 12th the weather changed to rainy, cooler and overcast. It remained that way until July 18th. The tour group left for their next destination Saturday July 13th at 8am. Brian was not on board.
At lodge checkout, his gear was found in his room. He left behind his passport, his day planner, his sleeping bag, clothing, and a diskette with some of his film writing work on it. The hotel checked with BigFoot adventure tours, and when they learned he was not on the bus they contacted the RCMP at 3:16pm on July 15th. His family was notified Tuesday July 16th, 2002 that he was missing.
On Wed July 17th the RCMP activated the Whistler Search and Rescue team after Steven Faughnan traveled to Whistler to meet with the RCMP. A search and rescue effort began Wednesday, July 17th 2002. It was as intense as the weather allowed, but the helicopter flights were limited by a low ceiling. On Thursday, July 18th, the Search and Rescue team and Steven spent the day interviewing people, reviewing data, checking purchase records and planning.
On Friday July 19th, 2002, the most intense search began under improving conditions, focusing on the Rainbow/Sproat Peak area with no findings. The RCMP then placed the search on hold. On July 21, 2002, a limited search in the same region was triggered by reports of a footprint, but that was determined to be a false clue, and the RCMP terminated the search. They are asking that if you came in contact with Brian, especially if you have any ideas on where he would have traveled that day, please contact RCMP or his brother John, (see contacts, below).
Any information may be important. RCMP is seeking reports from anyone who traveled Whistler trails on the 12th of July, 2002 to identify areas he didn't visit. It is possible that he has been rock scrambling or doing some snow/ice climbing and was injured off-trail. He had a previous climbing accident resulting in the blindness of his right eye, but he is in overall excellent physical condition with some residual scarring of his left arm.
A large amount of circumstantial evidence suggests he was not suicidal in any way; he had many amiable ongoing social contacts and plans. There is no evidence that he intended to "disappear", and the articles he left behind in his room support that. He might have been coming up the mountain trail as other hikers were going down, since he started later in the day. Brian's passions have been mountains, the outdoors, and film.
Prior to moving into film he worked as an aerospace engineer. He might have spoken of living in Montreal, and having recently traveled to Vancouver to go exploring with a friend. He was on the first day of a BigFoot Tours bus outing that was going on to Banff.
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
Constable Tammy Keibel
Brian Douglas Faughnan Missing Person
Brian Faughnan - Summary