UPDATE: Search suspended for missing Vancouver Island hiker

Searchers scoured Strathcona Park near Gold River for experienced 65-year-old on 40-kilometre trek

UPDATE: Search suspended for missing Vancouver Island hiker

A search for a 65-year-old hiker missing in an isolated area of Strathcona Park was suspended Tuesday evening after four days of investigation and efforts by teams from across B.C., the man’s hiking companions and the RCMP.

Laurence Philippsen of Black Creek, described as an experienced solo hiker, embarked on a 40-kilometre trek Monday, June 29. He was expected to return Thursday.

“The decision to suspend a search is always the most deeply considered and difficult decision to make as family and search teams are left searching for answers with respect to Laurence’s disappearance,” states a post on the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue Facebook page. “All involved in the search for Laurence wish to extend their heart-felt condolences to his family at this difficult time.”

Five search and rescue teams from Vancouver Island and four from the Lower Mainland began searching Friday. On Monday, CVGSAR manager Paul Berry said seven provincial teams were still operating in the field.

“The search area within Strathcona Park is focused on Filberg Mountain (east of Gold River) today,” Berry said Monday. “Exhaustive ground and air search has been conducted since Friday, covering high alpine areas with complex class 3/4 mountain terrain in early summer conditions.”

The technical terrain is centred around five mountain peaks, each more than 6,000 feet high.

Philippsen’s car is still parked where he left it at the beginning of his hike.

He is described as Caucasian, five foot six, 160 pounds, with short silver hair and glasses. He has a large surgical scar on his back.

He was last seen wearing a blue T-shirt, blue fleece sweater, beige hiking pants and carrying a large beige hiking pack.

Philippsen also has a red tent for shelter.

RCMP asks if anyone had any conversations with Philippsen about this particular trip to contact Nootka Sound RCMP at 250-283-2227.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Search and rescue teams spent four days looking for a hiker from Black Creek who has gone missing in the backcountry of Strathcona Park. Photo supplied

Search and rescue teams spent four days looking for a hiker from Black Creek who has gone missing in the backcountry of Strathcona Park. Photo supplied

Just Posted

Michele Babchuk with Premier John Horgan and Clerk of the Legislature Katy Ryan-Lloyd. (BC Legislature)
Babchuk sworn in to B.C.’s 42nd Legislature

Oath ceremony held with MLAs connecting through video

Over 6,000 customers were affected by the power outage that started on Nov. 17. (BC Hydro photo)
BC Hydro crews worked 16 hour days to turn the North Island’s power back on

BC Hydro runs one transmission line to Northern Vancouver Island so there was no backup line.

U’mista Cultural Centre is closed to the public until further notice, as of Nov. 23, 2020. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
U’mista closed until further notice due to new restrictions

North Island on high alert against COVID-19

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

(File photo)
Alberta woman charged after allegedly hitting boy with watermelon at Okanagan campsite

Police say a disagreement among friends at an Adams Lake campsite turned ugly

Court of Appeal for British Columbia in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
B.C. woman loses appeal to have second child by using late husband’s sperm

Assisted Human Reproduction Act prohibits the removal of human reproductive material from a donor without consent

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Krista Macinnis displays the homework assignment that her Grade 6 daughter received on Tuesday. (Submitted photo)
B.C. mom angry that students asked to list positive stories about residential schools

Daughter’s Grade 6 class asked to write down 5 positive stories or facts

B.C. projects targeting the restoration of sockeye salmon stocks in the Fraser and Columbia Watersheds will share in $10.9 million of federal funding to protect species at risk. (Kenny Regan photo)
13 projects protecting B.C. aquatic species at risk receive $11 million in federal funding

Salmon and marine mammals expected to benefit from ecosystem-based approach

Picture of two swans leaving the Cowichan estuary moments before one was shot out of the sky. (Submitted photo)
Petition to stop hunting in Cowichan estuary after swan shot

Hunters blame shooting on illegal poachers

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Island man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

Most Read