London based Italian Christina Franco will once again attempt to become the first woman to make a solo journey to the Geographic North Pole this year, setting out from Cape Discovery, Canada on the 480 mile journey in just a few weeks time.
You may recall that we followed Christina in the 2009 Arctic season as well, but a double equipment failure on her stoves prevented her from completing the journey, and pulled her off the ice before she really had a chance to get going. She made the most of her opportunity however by undertaking a last degree journey to the Pole, seizing the opportunity as a training exercise. Now, she’s back, and more than ready to make a serious attempt to reach the top of the world. She has already successfully reached the Magnetic North Pole back in 2005.
Christina is currently in the last stages of her preparation, and will soon depart for Canada. She has been undergoing training in Norway which will help prepare her for the rigors of her journey, but even those cold climes will not replicate what she’ll see on her way north. Early on, she’ll face an incredible amount of ice rubble created when the giant slabs of ice on the Arctic Ocean crash into one another, creating towers that reach as much as two stories in height. For 20 days, she’ll struggle through that environment, dragging a heavy sled, filled with gear and supplies, behind her.
Once those fields of rubble are put behind her however, things don’t get much better. The terrain will flatten out, but then she’ll have to face the very real danger of open water, and as we all know the Arctic Ocean isn’t a great body of water to take a dip in. And if that wasn’t enough, there is the ever present danger of polar bears and the frustrations of negative drift, all of which, will collaborate to make this the most challenging expedition that she can imagine. And Christina will love ever minute of it.
I’m looking forward to following this expedition. I wish Christina all the best, and hope she become the first woman to make the solo journey to the Pole.
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