Christina, take 2 !
Published on 24.03.2009 - Christina Franco North Pole Solo
She said she would, two weeks ago when she was forced to be airlifted off the sea ice after her stove failed to light properly. And now she has. That's right, Christina Franco is on her way again.
Certainly, the challenge she is taking on this time is less daunting. But nonetheless, after experiencing such a disappointing setback so recently (having to give up on a major expedition because your stove won't light might bring a smile to the faces of the uninitiated!), setting out again on a new polar adventure so quickly requires both courage and perseverance.
It will be on 2nd April that Christina Franco leaves London again, this time for Longyearbyen, the capital of Svalbard ("With a set of new fuel pumps," she points out, slightly tongue in cheek). From there, she will be flown by the Russian logistics team to the drifting tourist base at Barneo, which the Russians open up every spring for 6 to 8 weeks. Then she will set out on her own to cover what is known in polar jargon as The Last Degree to the Pole. This is a distance of between 110 and 150 kilometres, with the actual distance depending on where the base has been set up. The Barneo base is usually positioned in the immediate vicinity of the last degree (i.e. 89 degrees North).
Christina Franco has also organised everything so that the schools which were to have tracked the whole of her abandoned trek between Ward Hunt and the North Pole, can now follow her progress for the time she is out on the ice and keep in satellite contact with her.