Thursday, July 25, 2002

A team of four went up the Wedgemount Lake trail today. Andre, Sebastian and Michael stayed up at the hut, Bruce brought up extra gear and came down today. They found the terrain quite beautiful, it is a place that might have attracted Brian. The area seems relatively easy to survey from the heights however, and no odd signs were seen. The snow on the glaciers is now quite soft and difficult to walk upon. They think by tomorrow that they will have given the accessible region a good review. Compared to Rainbow, where so much energy has been spent, Wedgemount is relatively easy to search. Steven and I also surveyed it by helicopter last week.

Michelle Sirois and Marc arrived today, as did Lea. Anton came back last night and Gambrelli arrived yesterday. So we have Nick, Kevin, Bruce, Lea, Michelle, Marc, Mad Max, Anton, Marta, Gambrelli and me down here, Andre, Sebastian and Michael on the mountain. The MOC has started a fund for the travelers and sent us a "group hug" photo.

We have had no new leads or contacts. It's hard to imagine, given what his friends know of Brian's preferences and behavior, how he could have gotten into trouble off trail yet be so hard to find. The main theories are a slip in a fast moving creek (they are common here), or into a hidden glacial crevasse covered by melting snow. Such signs as there are point to the vast Rainbow Lake area, but there are even larger domains not far from here.

There has been considerable local coverage. Today the Question, which is delivered to every household, put Brian's story on the front page. The Pique area magazine promises a story for tomorrow. I did an interview with local radio today (Mountain FM). The Messenger is circulated to the Whistler-Blackcomb employees, and all 1500 received an email about the story with links to the web page.

I did a 2 minute voice over with Channel 6, a local cable channel. It will be shown with the web address and phone numbers 12 times a day for two weeks. Michelle helped with advice on what to say; mostly things that might remind people of Brian if they met him briefly. (His face gets red like mine, maybe more so with his healed scars.)

Our team sat at many trailheads today and spoke with everyone going into the trails of the Whistler area. Anton distributed posters, including new variants, up as far north as Joffre park, Nick reinterviewed the driver Brian spoke with and filled in some details without fundamental changes. We've stationed ourselves at the local softball games, and we're distributing posters and maybe speaking at a local mountain bike race.

The Messenger story is a big plus, it includes the web site address and really did a good job of telling the story. It's published on Friday with a Wednesday deadline, so this was the earliest a story could have come out. The web site has been redone, with the summary page updated with the latest (minor) details that we have learned.

Darryl (Search and Rescue) tells us that he's rarely seen such a concentrated effort. He's particularly impressed by Brian's friends in the MOC; he feels that he understands Brian and his friends. He's lost friends himself over the years, doing the things they deeply loved. He tells us that the combination of The Pique and The Messenger, on top of what's been done, is a powerful tool. If there's any news that might guide us, it will come from this work and our one-on-one interviews.

Most of us will be here tomorrow, but many must leave by Sunday. It has been a tremendous privilege to work with this team. I feel in many ways that I know and understand Brian much better now than a week past.

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