The search continues for a hiker who went missing in the Cypress Mountain Resort area on Vancouver’s North Shore Thursday. Debbie Blair, 65, was last seen around midday Sept. 29. Blair fell behind the group she was hiking with, and failed to rejoin them later on.
As of Saturday afternoon, North Shore Rescue crews said they’re now focusing their efforts on the Dick Creek area.
Mike Danks, search coordinator for North Shore Rescue, said about 35 search and rescue volunteers from around the Lower Mainland are assisting with the search.
Danks said searchers are concerned because it was cool overnight and it rained Saturday morning. They want to locate her as soon as possible.
“It’s not a good situation,” Danks said.
Blair’s hiking party included a fast group and a slow group. Though she started with fast group, Danks said she decided to join the slow group instead, but ultimately failed to join up with them.
Showed symptoms of dementia
William Reeve, a friend of Blair’s for almost 30 years, is upset by the news, but was not totally surprised to hear Blair had gotten lost.
Reeve said Blair had begun to show symptoms of dementia in the last several years, which affected her sense of direction.
“As long as she had [her hiking party] in sight, it would’ve been fine,” Reeve said.
“But as soon as she lost sight of them, she would’ve had no idea which way to turn.”
Tim Sars is the musical director of the Carnival Band, of which Blair has been a member for six years.
Sars said Blair’s role as a dancer and clown with the band is a key element to its success — particularly the way in which she engages the audience.
“She just adds so much beauty and warmth to the event,” Sars said.
Sars said there has been an outpouring of support on social media among people who know Blair, and he remains hopeful that she will be found safe.
“If anybody could survive out there, it would be Debbie Blair.”