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  1. #1

    Default Ken Knight Missing on Appalachian Trail

    Posted on Backpacking Light website, with request to distribute notice:

    *** URGENT ***

    Backpacking Light editor KEN KNIGHT is missing after a hike on the Applachian Trail in Virginia.

    If you saw Ken or otherwise know of his whereabouts after Sunday morning, please contact us at the following email address:

    PUBLISHER@BACKPACKINGLIGHT.COM

    http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-...=165712#165712

  2. #2
    Hike smarter, not harder.
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    A little more info -

    About Ken

    Ken is 5'4" tall and approx. 180-200 lb. He is vision impaired, has dark hair, and is probably using a dry bag-style pack with an orange packbag.

    Ken is an experienced AT hiker but his vision impairment may have caused him to lose the trail.

    Point Last Seen

    He was last seen on the AT on Sunday at Punchbowl Mountain, Blue Ridge Parkway, mile 51.7, in the area of Buchanan and Bedford, Virginia.

    He'd been trailing behind a group and meeting up with them at their camp sites. On Sunday, he reported not feeling well and suggested he
    might go off the trail. The group did not see him since leaving Punchbowl Mountain on Sunday.

    He was anticipated to reach mile 76.3 on Tuesday, which the rest of the group did. To date, he has not arrived, and he has missed his flight back home to Michigan Wednesday night.

  3. #3
    http://www.facebook.com/themissjanet Miss Janet's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh, I hope he is ok. I have shuttled Ken on several different occaisions... and worried about him a few times. But he is very resourceful and is an amazing hiker despite his vision limitations. I know there are lots of Thrus in VA right now so hopefully he will be found soon.

  4. #4

    Default Ken Knight Is Missing On Appalachian Trail In Va

    I am posting this for Ryan Jordan the editor of backpacking light

    "feel free to post a link to this thread at Whiteblaze, or anywhere else. I'll be the point person to manage communications from BPL's channels including backpackinglight.com, twitter.com/backpacking and twitter.com/bigskyry, and FB. Thanks." Ali

  5. #5
    One Small Section at a Time Frau's Avatar
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    Has anyone called the local hospitals? Stonewall Jackson (Carilion) in Lexington, Lynchburg General, etc. Punchbowl is 5 miles up the mountain from where I am sitting and the closest hospital is Lexington. Wish I had seen this earlier. Nessmuk went up on the mountain this morning. i will ask him on his return.

    Frau

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    Quote Originally Posted by samh View Post
    Repost: Forward any pertinent information to PUBLISHER@BACKPACKINGLIGHT.COM
    Do they have a search team out looking for him. I might be hiking in that area tomorrow.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by tenbeer View Post
    Do they have a search team out looking for him. I might be hiking in that area tomorrow.
    I read your article, I see the rangers are looking for him, I will be in the area tommorow. I'll keep my eyes open. when you referred to mile 76, i assume you mean mile 76 in the BRP?

  9. #9
    Registered User Alli's Avatar
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    Here's a picture from the trip, as posted on BPL

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenbeer View Post
    I read your article, I see the rangers are looking for him, I will be in the area tommorow. I'll keep my eyes open. when you referred to mile 76, i assume you mean mile 76 in the BRP?
    That was the group's take-out point, and Ken never made it there. However, he was actually last seen at Punchbowl shelter on Sunday morning. There are more details on the original posting at BPL in the links above. Ken posted a twitter 12-second video blog entry that morning, and it is also linked at BPL.

    The video was shot from an overlook, and I wonder if he lost footing somewhere, and no one has spotted him. I would think that any search and rescue efforts would begin at that point near Punchbowl shelter.

  11. #11
    One Small Section at a Time Frau's Avatar
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    Just checked with Nessmuk. He was not in the immediate vicinity of Petite's Gap.

    Frau

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    When you say visually impaired, how severe?

  13. #13
    AT 4,000 miler, LT Blissful's Avatar
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    Wow hope he's okay. Sorry to hear this.



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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tenbeer View Post
    When you say visually impaired, how severe?
    He's legally blind, not totally. But, he cannot see blazes. I hiked with him briefly on the first day of this trip, and I did ask him bluntly, "What can you see?" He simply replied to me, "Not much." He also told me that he could not see blazes. I went down the Three Ridges with him through the switchbacks and stayed with him there, as I noticed it took him quite a while to sort out all the hard turns through the switchbacks. It wasn't that he was lost, it just naturally took him longer to get through the turns than someone with full vision. He seems to look for and feel for the treadway. He also uses trek poles. I'm sure he would have made it through the switchbacks without me there, but I just felt better walking slowly through the turns so that my movement indicated to him where the trail went. The day was getting late, and we were supposed to make it to Harper's Creek that night, which we all did.

    Ken is a VERY capable backpacker. He certainly made it further than I did on the trip, as I only traveled from Reed's Gap on Wednesday to the top of the Priest on Thursday. He continued on and was with the group until Sunday morning. Meanwhile, I wimped out on a blistered heel and turned around at the Priest and headed north back toward the van.

  15. #15
    Registered User jonathanb23's Avatar
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    A new note from Ryan over on BPL:

    "HAVE YOU HIKED WITH KEN KNIGHT BEFORE? Posted 04/30/2009 13:35:53 MDT by Ryan Jordan (ryan) I'm looking for Ken's hiking partners.

    I'm most interested in folks who have been hiking with Ken on multiple trips, over the span of many months/years.

    If you meet these criteria, please drop us a note at publisher@backpackinglight.com with your phone number, email address, and a brief description of your experience with Ken, so we can put VA SAR in touch with you for an interview.

    Thanks,
    Ryan
    "

  16. #16

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    Ken can see fuzzily to 10-15', but can't see clearly (like to read) beyond a few inches. He loses the trail a lot, cusses and thrashes through the brush until he finds his way back onto the tread, and then keeps chugging.

    I really hope that he didn't take a bad fall. I'm going home to pack my gear and be ready to head up there.
    Jaywalke
    SW Virginia

  17. #17

    Default Ken Knight

    I am Ken's brother, Greg. As has been said, Ken is a very capable and experienced hiker.

    Because he has been missing and not heard from in so many days, at this point we are quite concerned that something bad has happened.

    I wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate anything you do to help find Ken.

    with appreciation,

    Greg

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    For reasons I cannot fathom, I just received a phone call from the Ann Arbor (Michigan) newspaper about this. Asked "Is it dangerous to hike the AT" and "Are there many bears and such things," my response was, "No, it is not dangerous. But it can be dangerous to hike it." There will be much hysteria on this; let's just hope this guy is hunkered down somewhere. I was told that the NPS was involved in the search.

    The Weasel
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryknight View Post
    I am Ken's brother, Greg. As has been said, Ken is a very capable and experienced hiker.

    Because he has been missing and not heard from in so many days, at this point we are quite concerned that something bad has happened.

    I wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate anything you do to help find Ken.

    with appreciation,

    Greg
    Hey Greg, I will be hiking with my son in this area tommorow. Is there a specific area where the park rangers and the search teams would recommend we hike. We will just be day hiking so picking a spot to park on the Blue ridge Parkway will be easy and trail access is very easy along this section, because the Parkway pretty much paralels the trail in this area.

    John

    Praying everything's OK!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregoryknight View Post
    I am Ken's brother, Greg. As has been said, Ken is a very capable and experienced hiker.

    Because he has been missing and not heard from in so many days, at this point we are quite concerned that something bad has happened.

    I wanted to let you all know how much we appreciate anything you do to help find Ken.

    with appreciation,

    Greg
    Greg:

    In the news story that I got called about from the A2 News, I mentioned that I was struck by the statement that Ken said he might "go off the trail." That often means, among long distance hikers, not going into non-trail woods, but going into a town or stopping at a motel or hostel. For someone not feeling well, that might be what happened. You might suggest this to searchers, who might check road crossings for drivers who might have seen him hitching, and check nearby motels/hostels or friends of the AT.

    Our prayers, of course.

    The Weasel
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

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