Cian McLaughlin

A recent photo of Cian McLaughlin shows him wearing sun glasses that match the description given by a local climbing guide who reported seeing a man matching his description in Garnet Canyon. The last credible sighting fitting the missing hiker’s description was around 3:45 p.m. June 8 near the Surprise Lake junction heading into Garnet Canyon. McLaughlin wears his hair at about shoulder-length, and was seen on the trail wearing round glasses, a white shirt and shorts.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include a new photo of Cian McLaughlin showing him wearing sun glasses fitting the description given in the last credible sighting of the missing hiker. 

After six days of intense aerial and ground searching for missing hiker Cian McLaughlin, Grand Teton National Park officials said late Friday they will scale back their efforts.

"The search for McLaughlin will shift tactics to a continuous, but limited mode," a press release from the park said on Friday evening, the 10th day the 27-year-old had been missing. "New clues will be investigated as they come forward. Park staff will continue to patrol the backcountry and search for signs of McLaughlin's whereabouts."

Since McLaughlin was reported missing — four days after he disappeared — the park's investigation team has spoken with more than 140 people with tips and information about McLaughlin. More than 45 helicopter search missions have been conducted, using RECCO rescue technology and thermal imaging cameras. Up to 70 park staff each day and several dog teams searched the park's trails, canyons and woods for six days straight.

"Some of these efforts included navigating steep, technical terrain in hazardous areas," park officials said in the release. "Many of these areas require rope, an ice axe, crampons, and other protective equipment to access."

Updated posters featuring McLaughlin's picture and description will be posted throughout the park.

The last credible sighting of a man fitting McLaughlin's description was around 3:45 p.m. June 8 near the Surprise Lake junction heading into Garnet Canyon.

McLaughlin wears his hair at about shoulder-length, and was seen on the trail wearing round glasses, a white shirt and shorts. He reportedly wasn’t carrying a backpack, but was clutching a water bottle.

Park rangers continue to ask anyone who might have encountered McLaughlin to call in to a tip line and share any information regarding his whereabouts. The tip line can be called or texted at 888-653-0009; tips can also be emailed to nps_isb@nps.gov or submitted online by going to NPS.gov/ISB and then clicking “Submit a Tip.”

Reached late Friday, GTNP spokesman CJ Adams said the park and search-and-rescue teams haven't given up hope of locating McLaughlin alive, but acknowledged that the likelihood fades the longer a person is missing.

"Each day that passes and with the conditions and such, the likelihood is less and less" that McLaughlin will be found alive, Adams said. "But, you know, there's always a chance. So the park's going to do what we can to find him, and we'll put out missing person flyers at locations and talk to people that are going into the backcountry; Let them see that flyer and we're still hopeful that some resolution will will come of this."

Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or env@jhnewsandguide.com.

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