torrey pines

Hiker Stranded on Cliff in Torrey Pines; Hours-Long Rescue Ensues

Many trails near the Torrey Pines Gliderport are unofficial and near a drop of several hundred feet

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A man became stranded for several hours on cliffs hundreds of feet above the ocean near the Torrey Pines Gliderport Saturday night.

The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department responded to calls around 9 p.m. that a man had been screaming for help on the cliffs at 2800 Torrey Pines Scenic Dr.

The cliffs in that area are about 350 feet up from the shore. First responders found the man about halfway down the cliff, said NBC 7's Ramon Galindo.

Trucks and even a rescue helicopter arrived to help, but the helicopter turned around before reaching the man because it proved too risky, said Galindo.

Firefighters ultimately decided to set up rappel ropes that were lowered toward the man, who was then put into a basket and taken down to the beach for further evaluation. The rescue operation lasted from 9 p.m. Saturday to 4 a.m. Sunday.

"The trails in these areas are not all official trails and so you're definitely taking a risk being here. The cliffs themselves often are eroded. The trails, since they're not official, they don't have markings and lead to dead ends and areas to get stuck. So please be careful. Use the official, well-marked trails," said David Gerbroth, Deputy Fire Chief from the SDFD.

The rescued man suffered only minor injuries and firefighters left the rescue unscathed.

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