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Tag Archives: windsurfing

When Is Extreme Too Much?

Writer Temira Wagonfeld and fellow windsurfer Travis Ronk, both well known Gorge athletes, spent a bitter day on the Columbia some weeks ago. Below Temira considers the wisdom of “extreme.” Photos courtesy of Jon Malmberg Hood River serves as an outdoor sports Mecca for local and visiting extreme athletes. In many cases, resident athletes sport the muscles and VO2 max scores of professionals. As ultra-fit Americans, reveling in their superiority over the flab-covered masses, Gorge extreme sports enthusiasts tend to think of themselves as near immortal; In their minds, Mother Nature’s theoretical worst is no more troubling than the buzzing of a fly. The truth of the matter is this: there is such a thing as “too much.” Even extreme sports, where “too much” is almost part of the definition, have a safety threshold. Too often, though, extreme athletes think they’re exempt from nature’s limiting factors. Windsurfers try to sail in hurricane force winds. Kayakers paddle boats down flood-stage rivers. Mountain bikers ride at the edge of cliffs and launch themselves over huge jumps. Mountain climbers, including Brian Hall, Kelly James and Jerry Cooke, who lost their lives on Mt. Hood recently, climb in weather that’s too stormy or too conducive to avalanches. We, the residents of the Gorge, have a tendency to forget the “too” in the equation for our favorite sports. Too often we lose a talented local to a climbing accident, a mountain biking wreck, a kiteboarding crash or some other overindulgence in sport.

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Windsurfers’ Bane or Gorge Jewel?

Guest Opinion by Temira Wagonfeld Sixty acres of bustling resort across the street from the Hatchery? A community for vacationing wealthy outdoor enthusiasts, where the average home is expected to sell for $392,000? I’m semi-professional sailor living at the poverty line. When the news of a huge new Gorge resort reached me, my first reaction was utter disgust. The Gorge, the Hatchery, these are temples. This land isn’t a tourist trap – it’s a place to pay homage to Mother Nature. My gut instinct tells me that we should fight this proposal with every weapon we can muster. However, we are probably fighting a losing battle. Outdoor enthusiasts may not like the Broughton Landing Master Plan, but it is not going to go away. It may even be a good idea. Abandoned buildings and swathes of concrete already blemish the site. This refuse is no more part of the National Scenic Area than is a discreet recreational resort. If development near the Hatchery can’t be stopped, the best course of action is to work with the developer...

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Broughton Hopes to Transform Lumber Mill Into Windsurfing Resort

With a recent purchase of property above Cape Horn, the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge may get its own equivalent of the Crown Point viewing area ... Now, it has its own casino-like project, too: A large proposed development that would bring tourists and jobs to the heart of the Columbia Gorge. All it would cost, say opponents, are serious compromises to gorge scenic protections. The proposed project is actually a re-development: The Broughton Lumber Company of Skamania County hopes to create a windsurfers’ resort and condo community on what is now its long-dormant lumber mill along State Route 14 near Underwood, west of Bingen/White Salmon. The proposed "Broughton Landing" resort plan would resurrect the site,transforming it from a rusting ghost-town of empty mill buildings into a Sunriver-like destination resort. ...

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Railroad Plans Will Run Us Over, Say Windsurfers

A railroad company will be constructing a mile and a half of siding this year near one of the Gorge’s primo windsurfing and kiteboarding spots, Doug’s Beach, just east of Lyle. So reports the White Salmon Enterprise. The paper says that windsurfers are worried that construction will further reduce Doug’s Beach State Park’s already-cramped parking on peak summer days — perhaps cutting as many as 80 out of 220 parking spots...

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