Climber falls off Bishop Peak wall

January 4, 2016
The view of San Luis Obispo from Bishop's Peak

The view of San Luis Obispo from Bishop Peak

A woman fell 35 feet and suffered major injuries Saturday while rock climbing on Bishop Peak in San Luis Obispo. [KSBY]

At around 2:49 p.m., a woman in her late 20s was free climbing an area of Bishop Peak called Cracked Wall when she fell.

Friends of the climber called 911 after she fell. A total of 19 people helped rescue her.

Emergency responders transported her to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center. Her current condition is unclear.



  1. Perspicacious says:

    If she was “freeclimbing” that means she was on belay but not depending on aid to climb. If she was “freesolo climbing” then she was unroped with no belay.

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
    • SamLouis says:

      She wouldn’t have fallen 35′ if on belay — at least not on that pitch.

      (2) 6 Total Votes - 4 up - 2 down
      • Perspicacious says:

        I didn’t say she was, I was just clarifying the difference between “free soloing” and “free climbing”.

        (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
        • CentralcoastRN says:

          What’s belay? Can you all break it down Forrest Gump style?

          Was she hooked into the Rock on a rope and came unhooked or something? I need the picture it for it to make sense.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
          • SamLouis says:

            If she was belayed, she would have had a rope affixed to her climbing harness. As she made her way up Cracked Wall someone else from below would have been paying out the rope or someone would have been reeling it in from above her — keeping most of the slack out of the rope.

            As she climbed she would have clipped her rope into various fixed points along the route. If she slipped the belayer would have held the rope tight and she would have only fell from the distance she last clipped in.

            It’s possible the belayer lost control of the rope or a bolt ripped loose from the wall, but not too likely.

            (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • Perspicacious says:

      Well, based on the “thumbs down” that is at least three people that don’t have a clue about climbing. :)

      (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down
  2. slojustice says:

    Accidents happen, I am glad we have people who are there to help when needed.

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
    • SamLouis says:

      The bad part is that the person who fell was engaging in a very dangerous endeavor — “free climbing” without the use of a belay. That’s utterly stupid.

      (4) 8 Total Votes - 6 up - 2 down
      • Perspicacious says:

        How do you know that? When “free climbing” a BELAY IS IN USE. It is possible she was FREE SOLO climbing and the media reports got it wrong.

        (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
        • SamLouis says:

          The climber fell 35′. Either she was not on belay, her belayer messed-up or she had an equipment failure. The first would be far the most likely.

          (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  3. kayaknut says:

    First Sheriff Parkinson whines for a new fancy boat to play with, I mean use to tow panga boats to save costs, which the county has never been charged for, a waste of taxpayer money. Now I see the new SLO police chief claiming a need for a helicopter of other expense toys to rescue idiots, if the county is involved Parkinson will need a new play toy, either way taxpayers open up.

    (4) 18 Total Votes - 11 up - 7 down
    • CentralcoastRN says:

      You weren’t supposed to see the County doesn’t pay for towing fees. I think at one time the Coast Guard may have sent a bill on paper but waived the fee so it could be seen there were costs “involved”, just not to SLO County. The BOS ain’t got time to read no paperwork. They have to spend their time fighting like preschoolers!

      The SLO police Chief needs a helicopter, and pretty soon, Grover PD will need a tank, as the roads are so bad.

      (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. SLO_Johnny says:

    Send this fool a bill for the cost of the rescue operation. People who engage in this type of reckless behavior should bear the cost, not the taxpayers. Free climbing is a stupid activity that is done by adrenaline junkies to get a thrill. I shouldn’t have to subsidize their foolish lifestyle choices.

    (26) 42 Total Votes - 34 up - 8 down
    • Side_Show_Bob says:

      Expert commentary, likely spoken from within the confines of the enormous ass-groove worn into your comfy couch, no doubt.

      (-11) 29 Total Votes - 9 up - 20 down
  5. Rich in MB says:

    That’s it…close it down.
    Put up a 30day wait list.
    Make people get a license to go hiking.
    We need a Country Ordnance.
    Make people take a 8hr hiking safety course.

    Lets see….what else will the knee jerk leftists day….

    Oh ya, this wouldn’t have happened if their wasn’t Man Made Global Warming

    (8) 42 Total Votes - 25 up - 17 down
    • kettle says:

      Rich in MB says: “Lets see….what else will the knee jerk leftists day….”

      We do not need to, You are doing the “knee jerk”

      What you look for in others, we have found in you.

      ” Man Made Global Warming” WTF does that have to do with anything about this?

      (4) 28 Total Votes - 16 up - 12 down
      • Perspicacious says:

        You really do need to pay attention to what is going on in this country and this county. If you did, you would know EXACTLY what Rich’s post meant and it has everything to do with this incident.

        (-1) 11 Total Votes - 5 up - 6 down
    • SamLouis says:

      Don’t even joke about that!

      I can see it now. Staffed kiosks (at $108K each) at each trailhead staffed with full-time city employees.

      Daily fee to hike will be $19.95/person plus parking. Holiday and weekends will be $24.95/person.

      No junk food or soda allowed on any city controlled trailers.

      Each person will require a Personal Locator Beacon (rentable for $9.95/day plus a $300 deposit at each kiosk.)

      The city will need a mess of ATVs for the new “rangers” they’ll have to hire.

      Tickets for hiking without a permit, outside permissible hours or with a dog will be $1,651.00

      (8) 14 Total Votes - 11 up - 3 down
    • jimmy_me says:

      Oh yeah, this was all Adam Hills fault. These threads are boring without blaming that dude for something.

      (-3) 11 Total Votes - 4 up - 7 down
  6. hijinks says:

    Just another example of the city recreation establishment’s encouraging dangerous activities on public property that we all end up footing the bill for — in the form of costly rescues and subsequent lawsuits to cover injuries. Who said SLO city had any smarts?

    (3) 23 Total Votes - 13 up - 10 down
    • SLO_Johnny says:

      I believe that it is private property with an easement for public access.

      (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
    • kettle says:

      hijinks says: “another example of the city recreation establishment’s encouraging dangerous activities on public property”

      Rock climbers climb rocks but you want to ban them, very nanny state of you.

      With freedom comes responsibility to put your belay on, tea party whining has saved no one from a fall, belays have saved many.

      (6) 14 Total Votes - 10 up - 4 down
      • mkaney says:

        The problem is not allowing the risky behavior (freedom) the problem is the cost and level of the resources involved with the response. Very few people actually doing the rescue work with unnecessary expensive equipment and a whole ton of people just standing around usually

        (6) 10 Total Votes - 8 up - 2 down
        • SamLouis says:

          “…A total of 19 people helped rescue her…”

          I wonder how many of those were paid public safety personnel?

          (1) 3 Total Votes - 2 up - 1 down

    Gravity and Darwin win again.

    (20) 44 Total Votes - 32 up - 12 down
  8. SamLouis says:

    No belay?

    (14) 14 Total Votes - 14 up - 0 down

Leave a Comment