Thursday, November 3, 2005
Photo by Christian Knight
The Koberg cliffs just east of Hood River offer heights from 10 feet up to 30 feet.
By Christian Knight and Adam Lapierre
News staff writers
July 16, 2005
Of all the outdoor sports in the Gorge, cliff jumping might be the most primitive.
You don’t need to invest in a pair of special cliff jumping shoes that some engineer designed specifically to minimize “water entry impact” to do it.
A pair of old tennis shoes will do just fine.
You don’t need to attend a three-day cliff jumping school. The prodding advice from your buddy, who just jumped six times to show you how, will suffice.
All you really need is a cliff, deep water and an urge – that flash of internal calm that, for a fleeting moment, says you really can abandon the earth for a second or two and be just fine when that cold splash of reality envelops you.
You’ll want to bring one more thing with that towel and sunscreen, however.
The basalt in the Columbia River Gorge has created dozens of cliff jumping spots within bike riding distance of Hood River.
They range in size from five feet to 80 feet; in danger from that of a diving board to that which can kill you.
Every one of these places can hurt you. Even the 10-footers.
Twelve days ago, for example, David Green, a Tampa, Fla., 17-year-old earned a hospital bed at Portland’s Legacy Emanuel Hospital when jumping off a 60-foot cliff known as Lower Punchbowl on Eagle Creek.
The rescue lasted six hours.
Green spent much of that time immersed in Eagle Creek’s icy pool.
If you do it right, however, you can have both the euphoria of falling and a healthy body.
The worst injury Joe Sellars sustained in his 29 years of avid cliff jumping is bruised arms. Sellars, who owns airabovewater.com started cliff jumping as a 10-year-old with his brother and dad at the Koberg Cliffs just a few miles east of Hood River.
He became so zealous about cliff jumping through the years that in 2004, he hosted the first JUMPFEST at Punchbowl Falls on the West Fork of the Hood River.
Forty people showed up, including an entire wedding party.
He’s hosting the event again this year Aug. 13 - 14 at the same location.
“The Gorge is fantastic for cliff jumping,” he says. “We can call it one of cliff jumping’s capitals of the world. It’s beautiful. The Gorge is definitely a cliff jumper’s dream.”
We at the News have tested some of the Gorge’s best cliff jumping spots. Please see reviews of them on pages B2-B3 of the July 20, edition of the Hood River News.
— Christian Knight
More like this story
- Missing woman found dead in Columbia River in HR
- Man flees police in HR, falls to death from cliff
- Truck hauling boulders crashes into trees
- Service Announcement: Auren Mitchell
- Death notices for April 26: Paul Pace, Jr., Paul Henson, Ruth French, William Lytle, Beverly Schmidt and Irene Wester
- White Salmon Valley PTO holds 25th annual silent auction April 28
- CarFit Technician training held April 30
- Raices annual plant sale May 13
- Letters to the Editor for April 22
- Church News: Carina Miller at Riverside, Nazarene Blossom Bazaar
I Can't Keep Quiet singers at "Citizen Town Hall"
‘I can’t keep quiet,’ sing members of an impromptu choir in front of Hood River Middle School Saturday prior to the citizen town hall for questions to Rep. Greg Walden. The song addresses female empowerment generally and sexual violence implicitly, and gained prominence during the International Women’s Day events in January. The singers braved a sudden squall to finish their song and about 220 people gathered in HRMS auditorium, which will be the scene of the April 12 town hall with Rep. Greg Walden, at 3 p.m. Enlarge