DIARY: Former hotel PR chief Stancer takes up challenge of trek to South Pole

Just days after British polar explorer Pen Hadow returned triumphantly from the first solo expedition to the North Pole through Canada, news emerges of a yet more daring feat.

Former Park Lane Hotel PR director Rosie Stancer - a veteran of both arctic and antarctic adventures in recent years - is on the hunt for corporate backers to underwrite her solo expedition to the South Pole, due to take place in the autumn.

Expecting to be away for three months, Stancer - plotting the campaign from a desk at GCI's Blackfriars office - is hoping to pile on 15kg in anticipation of a hard slog across the ice packs.

Those helping publicise her campaign - an attempt to raise money for the Special Olympics - include Bell Pottinger PR, the agency retained by main sponsor, chocolate bar Snickers. Other sponsors, giving in kind, include Olympus, with whose photographic kit Stancer will record her efforts.

Stancer is being made to work for this largesse. As our picture shows, she is spending two hours a day dragging tractor tyres across a field in an effort to mimic the effect of pulling a 100kg sledge full of supplies on the 1,000 km trek.

Asked if she has the same all-dry swimming cossie used by Hadow to swim through iced water last month, she says: 'No, but I have plenty of ice picks to help me out of any cravass I may fall down.

'I will either end up as the next Ellen MacArthur, or I will die at the bottom of a 200- foot cravass and no one will here me scream.' Respect.

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