n e w s
picture (s) of the week
(scroll down if you see nothing here)

  • 22 October 2007. Enough going on now that I'm posting updates to a blog.

  • 17 October 2007. I've posted video footage from last year's expedition at YouTube. These are just experiments in video and audio, but they tell the story nicely, I think. They're about nine minutes each. I'm compiling a two-minute version as well...but video editing takes many long, lonely nights, and it'll be a while before I'm done. For the moment, there are these two. The first shows preparations from Spring 2006 to arrival in Alaska in February 2007, the second is entirely in Alaska.

    Oh, and here's a failed forward inflation of the paraglider. it's always tough to inflate the wing on a wind-less day, but even so my takeoff run looks a little anemic, there seems to be a cravat (a tangle) on the right wingtip, and I shouldn't have looke up for the wing, I should have stayed low and kept running: I think that's where I lost my speed and the wing collapses soon after. This was during a beautiful mid-October sunset at Sauvies Island, Oregon.

  • 15 October 2007. I've passed my initial flight instruction rating and as Fall moves into Winter I'll start on P2, flying higher, and longer, carrying a reserve chute, and learning to reinflate the wing with a number of emergency methods. My mind is saturated with tems like 'Asymmetric Frontal Collapse' (you can see a very bad one here), and what to do about them. Between lessons I do as much 'ground handling' as I can, as you see in the pictures to the right (some with, and some by, my friend Mo Morales). The first moments of a takeoff run are really exciting...then it only gets better!

  • 21 August 2007. Flight instruction to level of P1-- paraglider Pilot 1 -- is just about complete and I'll start mountain flying school before early Winter. I'll have just enough expertise and experience to explore the use of paragliders on the North Slope of Alaska in Winter 2008: See photos to the right! Flying and scuba diving are tremendous new experiences for me!

  • 06 August 2007. An 18-minute video of the 2007 exepdition is now online as a 40mb Quicktime (.mov) file; you can get it here (I suggest dwonloading it and then viewing at full-screen size). This is footage and sound I compiled (in iMovie) entirely without thought for anything but conveying the impressions and experiences of the expedition: other messages and information will be presented for the educational DVD; this is simply what it felt like to me. The video is copyright Cameron M. Smith, 2007.

  • 01 August 2007: SCUBA training continues in the dark, cold, murky waters of Puget Sound, Washington...photos and sketches are posted here on occasion. I'm also starting paragliding training, and will be flying for the next few weekends on the Oregon coast. Pix and drawings of that are coming soon!

  • 07 July 2007: I've posted the 15-minute interview I did at KBRW in Barrow, Alaska, in February 2007, as a .wav file...caution 71mb file!

  • 11 June 2007: Over the past few weeks I've been working on my SCUBA certification, and this past weekend was certified, with my friend Todd Olson, at Hood Canal, Washington. We did several dives to 40+ feet, with instructors, and then, on our own, went to 63 feet. Thrilling! A whole new world of exploration opens up...Including ice-diving in Alaska in Winter 2009.

  • 05 May 2007: I';m starting to write a feature magazine article, now, about the trek -- I'll mention it here when it goes to print. I'm also preparing two talks, on--about the International Polar Year, and Arctic exploration in genera--for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (in the fall), and one on native perspectives on global warming, sea ice retreat, and polar bear issues, on 07 June(PDF file). And! Chuck and I are now scheming to build another sled! This will be a pulkahut, similar to what I used in Iceland.

  • 16 April 2007: Back to work! Starting SCUBA now, and paraglider flight training before long...this will be an Amphibious year. . I'm still sorting out a talk for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry...more details as they develop.

  • 19 March 2007: Still Photos Online
    Scanned four rolls of slides and prints, and these are now online here. Several notes: first, the images are large, and you'll need a fast connection to view them. Second, they are arranged in alphabetical order according to title, and no chronology etc. is implied. Third, this gallery will only be up for a month or so as I select from these images and pick about 30 of them to represent this past winter's trek. Then the rest will go offline fas I use them in my DVD film, and of course, books and articles.

  • 12 March 2007: Re-Entry
    Back to normal life, here in Portland, Oregon, after 38 days below zero. It'll take some time to upload videos and still images (I must be the last guy on the planet still shooting 35mm slide film rather than digital), but here's one, of me on a typical day on the ice (see Picture of the Week). Thanks to everhone who helped witht he expedition! I'll keep you posted here with news, for example, the progress of my flight training (beginning in April) and the talk I'll be doing at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, regarding my Arctic expeditions and the International Polar Year.

  • 01 February 2007: Tomorrow
    The day has come! Last minute packing now, and arranging some communications issues, etc. My daily progress will be tracked by Charles Sullivan at the tracking page. This will begin a few days after I arrive in Alaska and spend some time repacking my gear, testing a few systems, and locking in my final navigation decisions. Coming up: 40 days of FREEDOM!

  • 28 January 2007: The Ice!
    Blast-off is on Friday. You can see a live image of the sea ice just off Barrow here. Today I'm buying 40 days' worth of food and spending the day with Chuck, Todd, and Jen, mixing, preparing, and packaging the 5,000+ calorie-per-day meals.

  • 13 January 2007: Rambo
    Well, I've finally sorted out the shotgun holster, which allows me to carry the gun ready-t-hand all day, but out of the way of my daily activities. It's explained, with the other backpack systems, on a 2-minute google video here: other videos of recent preparations are available here.

  • 10 January 2007: One-Way to the Arctic!
    Flight is confirmed for departure on the morning of 02 February! This time, a one-way ticket, so I have no worries or pressures about meeting an artificial deadline for my return. I'll carry supplies for 40 days out, but the precise return date...well, I'm not sure -- and that feels good. It'll certianly be before the first of April, when I begin teaching again at Portland State!

  • 07 January 2007: Not a Wink:
    All night spent tossing and turning, thinking through the design of the shotgun and flare gun holsters, the sled harness connections, the precise size and shape of the cooking kit bag, and on , and on, and on. There might be one more delay, moving departure date to about 2 Feb, but that's still OK. The point is to do 40 days in Winter, an Winter doesn't end until 21 March.

  • 22 December 2006: Seaming:
    Lots of sewing, now; tailoring all my clothing, gear, and the tent, so that everything is 'mitten-operable'. It's just best to be able to do everything with mitts on, than to have to take them off from time to time, 'just to do this little task'. Well, that one 'little task' might cost you your finger, at forty below. So I'm adding tabs to all my zippers - tabs that I can grab with a mitten -- and, basically, simplifying _everything_. T-minus 30 days to 'blast off', and I'm just short of frothing at the bit!

  • 22 February 2006: Reboot: After months of agonizing (should I go alone, or with a partner this time?) I've decided to stick with my original approach to the Arctic: to go alone. For me, this is the purest way, and the most challenging, and the most rewarding. In mid-January 2007 I'll be headed for the North shore of Alaska to travel roughly 230 miles on foot, much of the journey on sea ice frozen to the shore.
  • But there's much more involved...To excite students about both adventure and science, I will be combining these fields by making a documentary film and DVD on the world of sea ice, a wilderness uniquely desoltate, beautiful, and exciting.

  • To do this, I'll be making three month-long expeditions: they're schematically laid out on the objectives page.

  • As plans formalize, they'll be posted on this site.

  • For the moment, a summary can be found in the expedition 'onesheet' (5.8 meg PDF file).

  • I'm laying out the wing...still not a breath of wind. Photo by Mo Morales.

    Last adjustment. Photo by Mo Morales.

    Bringing up the wing; still no wind and tough to do. Photo by Mo Morales.

    >> Previous Pictures of the Week <<

    Afloat | Boots | Mitts | Slug | Compass | Bavaria | Chart
    Alaska 1995 | Pulkayak | Orbiter | Ski | Craft | Planner | Dive
    Ahoy | Nike | Splash | Test | Ahoy II | Flashback
    Tripwire | Gear | Frosty | Amphibian | Raft-Man | Certified | Diving Deep | More Diving | Paragliding

    All Material Copyright 2006-2007 Cameron McPherson Smith unless otherwise credited.