A training run for next year
Published on 14.04.2009 - Christina Franco North Pole Solo
Christina Franco has finally arrived at the Barneo base. From there, she took an MI 8 helicopter and was dropped off a hundred kilometres from the Pole.
Our plucky Londoner has not had a lot of luck so far this year. She had hoped that she would be able to repair her faulty stove at Barneo, but instead had to give up on that particular hope. Which means that now, for the training exercise she intends to carry out over the coming days, she has had to borrow a stove lent to her by Victor Boyarsky's logistics team, making an extra two kilos on her sledge.
We mentioned previously in another of our dispatches that because the ice is too broken up at the North Pole this year, the decision was taken to set up the Barneo base much closer to the North Pole than in previous seasons. Under normal circumstances, this would mean the tents being pitched just over one degree of latitude from the Pole, or approximately 120 kilometres. Which usually leaves the polar tourists setting out from the base plenty of distance to cover so that they can say they have 'done' the Last Degree, with one degree of latitude equivalent to 111 km.
As it was important for Christina to test out the remainder of her equipment (especially after the elementary fault that occurred with her stove on day one of her attempted trek from Ward Hunt to the North Pole earlier in the year) and because she wanted to cover at least a hundred kilometres on the pack-ice, she had to charter an MI 8 chopper to get herself dropped off 100 km from the Pole. Which she finally did on 6th April.
Since then, Christina and her guide Jason De Carteret have been gradually nibbling away fifteen or so kilometres every day from the distance to the Pole. No major news to report to date.