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Search continues for hikers missing near Pemberton

The search goes on for two hikers who were reported missing north of Pemberton on Sept. 8.

The search goes on for two hikers who were reported missing north of Pemberton on Sept. 8.

The RCMP said in a news release issued Tuesday afternoon that authorities are still searching for Rachael Bagnall and Jonathan Jette, Vancouver residents who are now eight days overdue from a planned hiking trip to Saxifrage and Cassiope Peaks.

The hikers left on Sept. 4, intending to hike some peaks. They were expected back on Sept. 6. The RCMP said they left with adequate food, water and clothing for a three-day trip.

A family member contacted the RCMP on Sept. 8 when they hadn't returned yet.

"Their vehicle was located on the Spetch Creek Forest Service Road," Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair said in an interview. "It's natural to park there to do scrambles, climbs up Saxifrage and Cassiope."

Pemberton Search and Rescue has been activated along with teams from Whistler, Squamish, North Shore, Comox, Cowichan Surrey, Ridge Meadows, Lions Bay and elsewhere.

All told, there are 24 search and rescue personnel on site, along with two commercial helicopters, a RCMP helicopter and a RCMP fixed-wing flying in additional searchers.

Searchers have thus far found little evidence aside from a pair of sunglasses that possibly belong to Bagnall. Investigators have been unable to confirm this.

Helicopter and ground search teams have scoured the entire alpine area including the Place Glacier, Saxifrage, Cassiope, Gardiner and Cirque Peaks. They're now concentrating their efforts on high probability areas below treeline in an effort to locate the couple. Searches are expected to continue with dog/handler teams, mountain rescue-trained SAR teams, commercial helicopters and an RCMP helicopter.

Police have stayed in close contact with the Bagnall and Jette families. They are asking anyone with information to contact the Pemberton RCMP at 604-894-6634.