With the South Pole season now officially over, it’s time to turn our eyes north, where adventurers are already making their plans for the 2009 Arctic season. Over the next few weeks, explorers will be making their last minute preparations, and finishing up their packing and planning, before heading off to begin the grueling trek to the North Pole, amongst them will be Christina Franco, a 42-year old Italian woman.
Christina intends to make a solo and unsupported journey to the Pole, and if successful she’ll be the first woman to do so. On her website, ChristinaFranco.com, she announces that she will set out in March, and expects the journey to take about two months time, as she battles the elements, unstable ice flows, and the ever present danger of polar bears, in her quest to reach her goal. Like many adventurers these days, she’ll be making the trek to raise money and awareness for global conservation efforts and climate change.
On her website, you’ll find more information about Christina and her background. She also shares information about her support team and her preparations for the journey, including how she is getting fit and getting fat, going so far as to share recipes, as she prepares to burn calories by the thousands in the arctic. Her expedition page also has more details on her plans, including the fact that she’ll set out from Ward Hunt island in just a few weeks time. And of course, be sure to check out her blog regularly as she prepares to go.
It’s always so interesting to me to see the dramatic differences between a North and South Pole expedition. Going South is a difficult to challenge to say the least, as explorers deal with altitude on the Antarctic Plateau, and struggle to pull their heavy sleds across that open, mostly barren wilderness. But those heading North have so many other things to deal with, such as large chunks of ice, that can some times be impassable, blocking their trail. Open water is also an issue, which often causes them to have to swim through the ice Arctic Ocean to continue on their way, and if that wasn’t enough, there is the very real threat of a hungry polar bear stalking them. And then, at the end of the day, they check their milage, crawl into their tent for a rest, only to wake up and have negative drift rob move them further away from the pole then they were when they went to sleep. The North Pole is brutal I tell you!
Good luck to Christina, we’ll be following along closely. Thanks to ExWeb for the initial report on her journey.
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