CALGARY -- The story of Don (Peaches) Langford at these Winter Olympics is simple and cold:

Early every morning, he goes up a mountain, where, for a good part of the day, he stands in temperatures dropping to zero and in winds of up to 50 mph with a 30-pound camera on his shoulder. He wears snow boots, long johns, a bib, a vest, gloves, a hat and a jacket while following skiers who come down the slopes at up to 75 mph. In a knapsack, he has a thermos and a lunch.

Hour after hour, he stands there with that heavy toy on his shoulders and snow blowing in his face. It's physically and mentally exhausting even for a journalist in super condition -- on his feet all day, weighed down by equipment and clothing, concentrating on looking through a lens. Clark Kent might turn down this kind of work.

Last week, Don Langford became a grandfather.

"You just try to keep from freezing," said Langford of his daily ABC travails.

Langford is a 54-year-old Atlanta native who resides in Huntington Beach, Calif., and is working his fourth Winter Olympics as a cold-weather cameraman for ABC Sports.

He has seen worse weather and working conditions, though, than here at Nakiska.

In the 1968 Winter Games in Grenoble, Langford's perch was scaffolding hung on the side of a rock.

"You had to crawl a ledge and climb up this 25-foot scaffolding to reach your position, knocking the ice off of it as you made your way," he recalled. "The winds came up so bad one night that it blew the boards out from under the scaffolding. The camera had toppled over, and we found it dangling from the connector or it would have dropped 1,000 feet."

On the first day of Olympic Alpine skiing at Sarajevo in 1984, one of Langford's fellow cameramen, Gary Donatelli, was trapped in a snowstorm at the top of the mountain, losing contact with a frantic ABC director for several hours. It was not until the storm had lifted that Donatelli's colleagues discovered he had waited out the storm in the starthouse, sipping tea. (Skiing cameramen may be stubborn, but they're not stupid.)

At Lake Placid in 1980, Langford remembers mostly cold and at Sarajevo, he remembers mostly fog. This year, it's mostly cold again (despite a few mild days), accounting for his multiple layers of clothing.

"That makes it very cumbersome, what with all the heavy clothes plus the camera," said the 6-foot-2, 210-pound Langford. "If you drop something, heaven forbid if you have to pick it up."

This year, as in 1984, Langford is working the finish-line camera. It's a hand-held camera, hooked by cable, with someone behind him keeping the cable out of his way. Langford picks up the skiers as they hit the finish and stays with them as they look for their times on the scoreboard and take off their skis.

Frankly, it's relatively a bore.

Langford prefers the good old Grenoble days, when there were far fewer cameras and far greater challenges. For Alpine skiing here, ABC is using 22 cameras.

"It was more thrilling {in '68}," Langford said. "I could get a head-to-toe shot and took a skier through at least half of his run. You always want to lead the skier and you'd be using an extremely long-lens camera that's very difficult to hold still. It was much more challenging then . . . "

"Now, with all the cameras, they {the directors} cut every time {the skier} twists, for a better vantage point."

Despite the reduced responsibility, Langford finds skiing unlike any other camera assignment. Apparently, there's something about battling frostbite in magnificent mountain ranges that perks up the senses.

"It's almost invigorating," Langford said. "You've got that fresh air. I like it, I really do. As long as you're prepared for the cold, you're fine."

As for his 4-day-old grandson, Langford might recommend another line of work -- or at least specializing in golf tournaments, where weather patterns are a bit more sympathetic to the camera buff.

ABC's opening weekend of coverage had a good news/bad news tilt for the network. The good news was the U.S. hockey victory Saturday night; the bad news was that the game was a 10-6 rout, with many viewers turned off by the end of the second period. And many viewers who stayed tuned in were upset that ABC cut away from the 10-6 game several times and missed some goals (most of which were shown on tape).

More bad news came Sunday afternoon -- the marquee downhill skiing event was postponed, and instead of getting it live, ABC will have only taped highlights for Monday night.