Missing woman’s vehicle found at Mount Washington

An extensive search at the base of Mount Washington continued Tuesday morning for missing 75-year-old Saanich woman Shirley Burstall.

Searchers plan their approach to combing Mount Washington as they look for missing 75-year-old Saanich woman Shirley Burstall.

An extensive search at the base of Mount Washington continued Tuesday morning after the vehicle of missing 75-year-old Saanich woman Shirley Burstall was found late Monday afternoon. Paul Berry, manager/president of the Comox Valley Ground Search and Rescue team said about 40 searchers are searching the ground and water for Burstall, who was last seen April 5 in Ladysmith at a gas station.”It’s a pretty contained search,” said Berry to media Tuesday. “Everything we understand about her is that she is an avid hiker and very fit for her age. We’re trying to determine the direction of travel.”He added there is no indication how long the vehicle had been abandoned, but said as last contact with Burstall was about 20 days, it could have been there for some time.Berry noted some members of her family is at the search location, while more are flying in from Calgary. “It is not uncharacteristic for her to hike, but it’s not the sort of area she would have hiked in,” he said, and added with ski season wrapping up over the weekend and the area active with logging, there is a lot of traffic in the area.Burstall’s family said she had decided to get away for a few days, and mentioned to her daughter she may head to Tofino.She is described as a five-foot, seven-inch white woman with short brown hair and a medium build. photos@comoxvalleyrecord.com