Morro Rock rescue halted, crews cannot find climber

August 19, 2019

Photo by Daniel Blackburn

Rescue crews ascended Morro Rock Sunday evening in search of a climber and, despite have aerial assistance, failed to find the individual. Meanwhile, in an apparently unrelated case, emergency personnel tended to an unresponsive person below, who received CPR before being transported to the hospital. [KSBY]

Initially, reports suggested there were possibly two people on Morro Rock. Morro Bay Fire Marshal Matt Viera said an engine was already at the scene of the cliff rescue, since paramedics were performing CPR on the unresponsive man.

The two incidents appear unrelated. Officials have not disclosed the condition of the man who received CPR.

Morro Bay and Cal Fire rescue crews hiked the rock in search of the climber. A CHP H-70 helicopter provided aerial support, flying multiple times around the rock.

The rescue crews reached the area at the top of the rock but could not find the alleged climbers. Authorities then suspended the search.

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Been up the rock maybe 70 times since first climbing it in 1967. Was just a hike, not a technical climb. In fact there are stairs carved into rock about 2/3 of the way up. In high school we did it at night because we could see lights ( cops) coming down Coleman Drive and go quickly at the beginning of the trail.

The City (and State Parks) should offer guided hikes for those that are able. Sign a waiver, pay a small fee, away you go.

Yes, those were the days, the ’60s and ’70s, when I often climbed the ladder over the cyclone fence, took the pretty trail up due west along the base of the rock, and wedged my way up the crack and to my favorite little spot above Birdsh*t Rock to look out over the ocean and brood.

Nobody ever bothered me; I think cops had better things to do. Seems to me that when they started cracking own on kids climbing the rock, it made it more dangerous. Most of our parents weren’t exactly sympathetic to government telling their kids they couldn’t climb that rock. So it wasn’t like the fact that it was illegal made much difference to us.

In any case, we took to sneaking up the backside out of sight, which I thought must have been a lot trickier than if we could have just gone up the front where the original steps were.

True, they blasted away a lot of the old steps when they made the breakwater, I guess. I remember finding the old handrailing still sturdily along the steps that were up there, as you describe … we took our chances that nobody’d see us exploring them, and since there were no cops waiting for us when we came back down, apparently it was good.

Sure was a pretty and breathtaking view from there. It should be legal to climb it.

Locals know, and there is a sign posted at the rock, that climbing is prohibited on the rock due to Peregrine falcons. So these idiots ignore the sign, and now we residents are out thousands of dollars in a wasted rescue effort. Thanks a lot, you morons.

That great white shark must have eaten him.

Yup. *whew* Better than being drug off by either an endangered *sensitive* Peregrine, the same birds that can thrive even on city highrises, or by indignant code enforcers for a hellish purgatory of fines and punishments. Just for climbing the rock … OUR rock ………

… seriously, I hope that whoever it was snuck off safe and sound, prayers up!

In truth, for Morro Rock; what goes up doesn’t always come down.

It used to have a railed path easily accessible to the public. They are still there once you get up a ways. Don’t blame lack of access on the birds. It was the fact that many who went up got afraid of heights on the way down. The way up was a piece of cake. Down not so much.

The city tired of pulling people off long ago. I can only imagine the dozens of tourists each day stranding themselves atop it if allowed free access to it?

Elevators to the top of the stacks? Restaurant on top. Now that is a good idea!

Well, some whos who went up came down in too big a hurry, but far and away the most of them came down just fine.

I certainly blame birds — or rather, environmentalists’ extreme priority standards — for removing from people a large percentage of coastal space, their “sensitive nesting areas” making off-limits places we once freely enjoyed and loved. Including the rock. Speaking of which …

A sensible solution would be to create a new path to the summit. With handrails and steps. Sorry, no bathrooms. If folks go off the path and strand themselves … oh well.

You sound angry. Again. Chill, cayucos fin dude.

If I’m the “cayucos fin dude” to whom you refer, you’re right, I’m ticked. Ticked that newcomers have voted to remove old friends from my life in the form of making it so I cannot go places on PUBLIC LAND where I used to be able to go.

Ticked when I see newcomers mostly from other parts of the USA or big cities (So Cal, anyone?? Bay Area, anyone?) insulting my friends, Valley folks, as “tourists” when they’ve been regular visitors and part-time residents of this region for four and five generations, whereas a shocking number of those now “local” recently-arrived city folks just discovered it maybe a few decades ago.

But you’re right … angry is the word at how obtuse and bullying those city transplants tend to be, and to chill is the wiser course.

I wish the city folks would chill and stop trying to tell people how to live in their new rural “paradise”… but sadly they simply don’t know how to live and let live. Yet, anyway.

Valley go home.

From your keyboard to Gods ear….

The hell does god have to do with any of this? She doesn’t live in the valley.

Off the top of my head I can think of about five dozen people I know personally who’ve climbed the rock and not one of them was from the Valley, that I know of.

This ol’ timer has a soft spot in any case for Valley folks because this has been their second home for a lot longer than it’s been home to many of the folks who’ve moved in over the past few decades. They’ve mostly first discovered this place recently, kinda tourists, sorry. On the other hand, a whole lotta Valley folks are just seasonal locals, pretty much always like one of us.

You’ve certainly got more friends than I’ve got. When I used to lifeguard in Morro it was the valley people who would come to the beach, throw out a few beach towels, eat their fast food, and not throw away their trash. They’d just leave it on the beach. After that I said screw ’em all.

More friends than you? Wrong — perhaps just more experiences and years regarding the subject at hand. WAY too many times I’ve seen people whose license plates say they’re from a big city, tossing their trash blatantly out their car windows, here and in So Cal.

Don’t recall seeing all that many Valley folks do that, but do recall seeing a Valley dad bawl his kids out good for not picking up after themselves and ready to leave the beach trashed.