Hiker dies after fall at Linville Gorge

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 2021

MARION (AP) — A hiker from Illinois is dead after a fall at Linville Gorge in the western North Carolina mountains, according to local officials.

News outlets report that Burke County Emergency Management officials received a call midday Thursday for an injured hiker off Rock Jock Trail in the gorge.

More than three hours later, rescuers found Michael Ryva dead. The 30-year-old from Forest Park, Illinois, had fallen approximately 80 feet from a ledge, officials said.

Crews were still working to extricate him at 9 p.m. Thursday, Michael Willis of the county fire marshal and emergency management offices said.

It’s the second fatal fall of the season in the wilderness area about 65 miles northeast of Asheville. A hiker died after a long fall in the area of Babel Tower on April 17.