Search for man missing in Glacier Park scaled back

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Glacier National Park announced last week it would scale back the search for Mark Sinclair.

The 66-year-old man from Whitefish left the keys in his unlocked car and his dog in the vehicle, and then apparently went for a hike on Highline Trail on July 8 about 2:30 p.m.

Glacier staff started a search on July 9 and a full-scale effort utilizing a host of local and national resources, including the Two Bear Air helicopter, a search drone and people on the ground, but to no avail.

The terrain along the Highline Trail is rife with sheer cliffs, waterfalls, brush and rock chimneys. It also has grizzly bears — the trail was closed for awhile last week because a subadult grizzly kept approaching people and had to be sprayed with bear spray by a visitor.

It has since reopened.

The overall search area for Sinclair encompassed numerous drainages east and west of the Continental Divide including Upper McDonald Creek, Mineral Creek, Swiftcurrent, and Belly River drainages. Trails and off-trail search areas included Flattop Mountain, the Highline from Logan Pass to Goat Haunt, Swiftcurrent Pass, the Loop, and Hidden Lake. Other associated trail areas attached to the Highline were also searched. Aerial searches included the entire spine of the Continental Divide on both sides from Logan Pass to 50 Mountain.

Flathead County Sheriff’s Department — including ground patrols, canine units, a search drone, and a volunteer search and rescue division — assisted Glacier National Park Search and Rescue team members. Two Bear Air and the U.S. Forest Service provided daytime aerial search capacity and nighttime infrared flights. The U.S. Geological Survey also assisted with search drone support.

The search has now been moved to a “limited continuous mode,” meaning that active searching will not occur every day, but will continue in a reduced capacity with patrols. The park’s investigation will actively continue in hopes of gaining further information about his whereabouts. If a clue or witness report provides new information about Sinclair’s possible whereabouts or belongings, additional search efforts will follow up.

Updated missing person posters with Sinclair’s picture and description will be posted throughout the park for the duration of the summer.

Park rangers would like to continue hearing from anyone who was in the Logan Pass and Granite Park vicinity on or after July 8 who may have had contact with Sinclair or seen him on a trail, including guests at Granite Park Chalet and backcountry overnight campers.

“We continue to ask the public to think back to their visits to the park last week. Additional sightings or the discovery of Mark’s belongings could help investigators identify new search tactics,” said Search Team Commander Ed Visnovske. “The park deeply appreciates the efforts of our county and federal partners — we could not have covered such a significant area or conducted such an in-depth search without that support.”

Members of the public who have information about Sinclair’s last seen whereabouts are urged to call the tip line at 406-888-7077.

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