Sunday, December 04, 2011

Brian's story, told a bit later ...

Came across this while looking for something else...

It was published in the Whistler question, perhaps in 2004. I found it here:

Man's disappearance still a mystery

By Nicole Davis

Brian Faughnan went for a hike in Whistler on July 12, 2002. Or, at least that is what is thought to have happened. No one quite knows what happened to Faughnan, because he disappeared and no one has seen him since.

Although Faughnan’s family had a memorial for him and speak of him in the past tense, his family is still looking for clues. They have posted announcements in Whistler’s newspapers and have a website dedicated to Faughnan and his disappearance.

Faughnan, a Montreal film editor and avid hiker, had come to Whistler on an tour organized by Bigfoot Adventure Tours of New Westminster. The tour left on July 13 without Faughnan. He was last seen asking for directions to the Rainbow Lake trailhead early that Saturday morning.

And then he was gone.

“It’s harder than having somebody just die,” Faughnan’s brother John Faughnan said in a telephone interview from his home in Minnesota. “It’s like having someone missing in action in a war.”

As soon as Faughnan was notified of his brother’s disappearance, he and some of Brian’s hiking friends came to Whistler to search for Brian. The search lasted two weeks. After Week 1, the Search and Rescue and local RCMP called off the search because of a lack of clues and bad weather. Brian’s friends and family continued for another week.

As details came out, although few and far between, John Faughnan learned that although his brother had asked for directions to the Rainbow trail, he may have wound up on the Valley Trail instead.

Fliers were sent out and questionnaires left at local stores, but nothing came up and John Faughnan went home to Montreal to prepare for a memorial service in September.

Faughnan says there was no reason for Brian to have disappeared on his own, nor any reason to suspect that his brother was killed. Faughnan believes that Brian wandered off the trail or decided to go bushwhacking, something Brian was known for doing, and got into trouble that he couldn’t get out of.

“It would be really eas y to hike that trail (Rainbow Trail) and see no one at all,” Faughnan said. “He was very good, very experienced but it doesn’t matter.”

The search crew also handed out fliers to hikers on the trail, and although some people did contact him saying they saw different things, nothing solid came out.

At the Shoestring Lodge, Brian Faughnan left behind his passport, day planner, sleeping bag and clothing. He was thought to only have taken a light rucksack with provisions for a day hike. He always used sign-in logs on trails when they were available, but most B.C. parks have removed their sign-in logs as a budget-cutting measure.

John Faughnan said his brother has experienced some past problems while hiking. Four years ago, he fell down a cliff and broke both legs, an arm in a few places and was blinded in one eye. He was hospitalized for six months and needed reconstructive surgery. The fall did not deter him from taking risks and he continued to make trails more challenging by not taking the preferred way down. Instead, he often cut through the brush and trees, John Faughnan said.

He wrote many trip reports for him and his friends, and those reports show a carefree man who loved the outdoors and had quite a sense of humour. He also had quite an imagination and wrote a science fiction screenplay called “Tempus Accelerare.”

Faughnan is still welcoming anyone who can help him find out what happened to Brian. For more information on Brian and his disappearance, visit John Faughnan’s website at or contact John Faughnan at, or phone 651-336-5548.