View Full Version : Trying to Confirm a rumor

12-05-2003, 02:34
It has been relayed to me by a non-hiking friend that a mutual friend of ours had passed away about three weeks ago on the AT.

The man's name is Van Mason, trail name unknown, with family in North Georgia in Forsyth County. I know Van passed away, I'm just curious if he was actually on the AT. Does anyone know anything about this, or know Van, who has done some time on the AT over the past 15-20 years.

Any information about this would be appreciated.


12-05-2003, 10:48
Further information indicated that Van had died when he fell from a tree. When the body was discovered he was still clutching the branches that had broken from the tree he was under.

I have still not been able to determine where and if he was actually on the AT.

any information is appreciated.


Rain Man
12-05-2003, 11:47
Further information indicated that Van had died ....

any information is appreciated.

Have no idea if this is your friend, but it's the only recent death I recall reading about. Winton Porter, proprietor of Mountain Crossing at Walasi-Yi at Neels Gap, GA, found his tent and gear beside the trail and called the local authorities, who found the body.


12-05-2003, 14:56

It seems that if people do pass away on or near the AT, it seems to at least make the local paper. I did a search on Google News and nothing came up under his name or connected to the Appalachian Trail.

12-05-2003, 19:41
Rain Man, Ganj,

Thanks guys, Rain Man's link was the same incident-I was able to contact family today and they told me the details. It was the hiker found near Jarrad Gap. Death was accidental as stated in my previous post. A very unfortunate incident. Suspicion is he was trying to get away from a bear or wild hogs and picked the wrong tree.

BTW, I did the searches before I posted here and came up empty too. Knowing Van and his family as I do I'm not surprised that little or no information was published.

Case Closed.