A German tourist is nursing only small cuts and bruises after sliding 250 feet down a cliff along California's central coast.

Rescuers said the 20-year-old man and his three friends were touring Big Sur when they stopped to toss around a football at a traffic pullout perched about 400 feet above the Pacific.

Cal Fire battalion chief Dennis King says the man was wearing no special equipment when he climbed over the edge to retrieve the stray football.

A Monterey County Sheriff's team rappelled down the mountain to rescue the man after fire crews found their equipment did not reach far enough. A deputy strapped the man to a harness and helped him climb.

The unidentified man was treated at the scene for a gash to his face and other cuts and released.