Man Hiking with Son Dies Following ‘Long Fall’ in N.C. Wilderness Area: 'He Was a Good Guy'

Rachel DeSantis
·2 min read

Burke County Search and Rescue/ Facebook

A man hiking in North Carolina with his son died after he fell dozens of feet while climbing along a popular trailhead, according to authorities and local reports.

Members of Burke County Search and Rescue responded to the Babel Tower trailhead at Linville Gorge on Saturday around 12:32 p.m. for a report of "a long fall," the department wrote in a release on Facebook.

After hiking more than a mile to the incident location, the rescue crews found the victim dead upon arrival.

Burke County EMS Capt. Brad Browning told The News Herald that the victim is believed to have fallen about 40 to 60 feet.

Browning told the outlet the man, who appeared to be in his late 50s, was hiking with his son and apparently began climbing part of Babel Tower. He did not use any ropes, and Browning said he did not think the man had set out on his hike planning to climb the tower.

Babel Tower is "a massive rock pinnacle rising over 400 feet above a giant horseshoe curve in the river," according to HikingUpward.com.

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Burke County Search and Rescue said in its release that the victim was recovered with help from the N.C. Helo-Aquatic Rescue Team, and that other crews helped, too, including Burke County EMS, Burke County Emergency Management and the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement.

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"Our deepest condolences go to the family of the victim," the release said.

The hiker's identity has not been released, but several people who commented on the release indicated that they knew him.

"Thank you for your hard work and dedication, that was my brother," one man wrote.

Added another: "The hiker was a friend of mine. He was a good guy and he will be missed. Thank you for everything you do BCSR."