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Illegal Morro Rock climber makes it all the way to the top

Man caught illegally climbing Morro Rock

Fire crews and a helicopter responded to a report of an illegal climber on Morro Rock on Thursday, June 15, 2017. The climber, who said he was from Southern California, said he was driving on Highway 1 when he saw Morro Rock for the first time and
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Fire crews and a helicopter responded to a report of an illegal climber on Morro Rock on Thursday, June 15, 2017. The climber, who said he was from Southern California, said he was driving on Highway 1 when he saw Morro Rock for the first time and

It was a spur-of-the-moment decision that ended up costing a visitor to Morro Bay.

A man, who later said he was from Southern California, said he spotted Morro Rock for the first time as he drove down Highway 1 on Thursday afternoon — and he felt like he just had to climb it. But his impulse decision came with consequences.

It’s illegal to climb the 581-foot volcanic plug, which is a protected bird sanctuary.

He made it to the top, officials said, after reports of a climber on Morro Rock came across the police scanner about 12:30 p.m. After about an hour, the climber had made his way down and was met by Cal Fire firefighters at the base. He was not injured but received a ticket. Details regarding the dollar amount of his fine were not available.

“He looked like he was in somewhat of a precarious spot, so we ended up dispatching a helicopter and sending hikers up the rock itself,” said Mike Hoese, a firefighter with the Morro Bay Fire Department. “When you’re as far up as he was, it’s sketchy up there. Lots of bird guano, and slippery, and poison oak and whatnot, one slip and it can be a bad, bad deal.”

The climber said his name was Taylor. He declined to give his last name.

Tribune photographer Joe Johnston contributed to this story.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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