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Fall 2006

by Jerry Kobalenko

Imagine being dropped off by a helicopter to the middle of nowhere in the bone-chilling cold. Now imagine hauling 275 pounds of gear in a sled over 600 kilometres of barren tundra by snowshoe, skis and on foot. Your food supply consists primarily of chocolate, peanut butter and cheese, which have been carefully rationed. The only shelter you have is what you can haul and there won't be another human being in sight for 39 days.

Jerry Kobalenko doesn't just endure such expeditions, he revels in them. After his first taste of the Arctic 20 years ago, he was drawn into the elite circle of explorers and adventurers whose passion lies in icy landscapes.

"In most wildernesses, I enjoy the company of people, and often the more the merrier," he explains. "But the lure of the Arctic is the lure of a landscape. I love how small the land makes me feel." To date, Kobalenko has racked up 7,200 kilometres, crossing Labrador twice and completing 19 expeditions on Ellesmere Island, which is as far north as you can get before running into the North Pole.

Recently, Kobalenko returned to Labrador 20 years after his first solo midwinter expedition there to see if an older but more experienced traveller could succeed in re-doing the hardest trip he's ever done. Would experience let him complete a trek that had taxed him as a young man?

Come and meet Jerry Kobalenko whose incredible photographs and stories are sure to capture and inspire the imagination of everyone attending.

Monday, September 25, 2006
7:30 pm
Scotia Bank Conference Theatre, Sobey Building
Saint Mary's University
903 Robie Street, Halifax

*free parking on campus after 7:00 pm

Tuesday September 26, 2006
7:30 pm
Inco Innovation Centre, Room 11C-2001
Memorial University of Newfoundland

*free parking on campus in Lot #15

There is no admission fee. A donation to help support RCGS programs, like this lecture, would be greatly appreciated (suggested amount $5). A receipt for income tax purposes will be issued for all charitable donations of $10 or more. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society wishes to thank the Departments of Geography at Saint Mary’s University and Memorial University for assistance in presenting these lectures.

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