UPDATE: Vancouver Police have confirmed that the body found in the North Shore Mountains is that of 21-year-old missing hiker Liang Jin.
A body was found Tuesday within the Hanes Valley area of the North Shore Mountains.
A multi-agency effort involving the North Vancouver RCMP, North Shore Rescue, Vancouver Police and the B.C. Coroner’s office contributed to yesterday’s retrieval process at the difficult hiking trail on Grouse Mountain. The body was lifted out of the area with a helicopter and a long line.
At this time, there is no information available on the identity of the deceased individual as officials need to identify the body and notify the next of kin.
The Vancouver Police is usually not involved with matters within the North Shore jurisdiction, which could be an indication that the body belongs to a missing Vancouver tourist or resident.
Twenty-two-year-old British tourist Tom Billings was last seen on November 25, 2013 in East Broadway and it is believed he went hiking on the Hanes Valley trail. His disappearance was reported ten days later and it sparked a major effort to search for him in the North Shore Mountains.
On December 31, 2014, 21-year-old downtown Vancouver resident Liang Jin was also reported missing. He sent a text message to his father informing that he was hiking, and it is believed he may have gone to the North Shore.
The hiking conditions on the North Shore Mountains were dangerous at the time of their disappearances.
The Hanes Valley trail is particularly difficult due to its extremely steep boulder field. It begins at Lynn Valley Road, goes through Crown and Goat mountains, and ends at the top of Grouse Mountain. In total, the trail has a distance of 16 kilometres, elevation gain of 1,320 metres and requires about 8.5 hours to complete in fair conditions.
Both men are known to be avid hikers.
Feature Image: North Shore Rescue