To the North Pole in style
Published Date: 03 February 2009
By Rosa Silverman
AN EXPLORER who enjoys manicures and sassy dresses yesterday announced her bid to be the first woman to trek solo to the North Pole.
Christina Franco will brave blizzards, polar bears and temperatures of minus 50C.
To launch her bid, she skied down Oxford Street in snowy central London.
The 42-year-old, of Notting Hill, west London, has just 60 days to ski, trek and swim the 481 miles from Ward Hunt Island in northern Canada before the hours of daylight grow too short for her to continue. Four women have tried and failed to reach the North Pole alone.
She said: "Lately I've been having dreams of the ice cracking underneath me as I sleep."
The walking tour leader, photographer and conservationist has a good idea of what to expect as this will not be her first trip to the Arctic. In 2005 she won the Polar Race to the Magnetic North Pole with her British team-mate Justin Packshaw.
She said: "As the only female member of the team, I had to prepare doubly. I came armed with a fresh manicure and pedicure."
The Italian-born adventurer hopes to raise £120,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association,