Crabtree Falls, located off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Nelson County, is the highest vertical-drop cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River and, sadly, one of the most dangerous. Its victims over the years have climbed onto the rocks that are deceptively slippery with moss from the spray of the water and slipped to their deaths 150 feet below. Saturday, it claimed its latest victim.
Robert Slimak, 26, a student at the University of Richmond's law school, fell around 3:30 Saturday afternoon, slipping off the rock and plunging to his death while hiking with college friends. His wife said it was one of his favorite places to visit in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Signs are posted warning of the dangers of climbing on the rocks, and a split rail fence is in place as a barrier between the trail and the rocks ... but many hikers enjoy the up-close feeling of the falls.
Our sympathy goes out to Robert Slimak's family. Read more about it in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, page B5.