NEW YORK (AP) - The bone-numbing trek to the North Pole is riddled with enough perils to make a seasoned explorer quake: Frostbite threatens, polar bears loom and the ice is constantly shifting beneath frozen feet.
But Barbara Hillary took it all in stride, completing the trek to the world's northernmost point last month at the age of 75. She is one of the oldest people to reach the North Pole, and is believed to be the first black woman on record to accomplish the feat.
Hillary, of Averne, N.Y., grew up in Harlem and devoted herself to a nursing career and community activism. At 67 and during retirement, she battled lung cancer. Five years later, she went dog sledding in Quebec and photographed polar bears in Manitoba.
Then she heard that a black woman had never made it to the North Pole.
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