Diss Soldier Joins Prince Harry On South Pole Training
17 September 2013, 12:39
Prince Harry's spent the night in -35C conditions with a group of soldiers, including one from Diss, to train for the South Pole.
The Prince who will race with a team of injured British servicemen and women against United States and Commonwealth groups, was subjected to freezing temperatures and wind speeds of 45mph.
Harry, patron of the Walking With The Wounded charity, joked that it was a cold night's sleep. When asked what was the worst part, he said: "Going in.''
He spent around 20 hours in the cold chamber at Mira in Nuneaton, Warwickshire, where cars and military vehicles are put through their paces.
Harry's teammates include Duncan Slater from Diss. He lost both legs in Afghanistan. The three other teammates all lost limbs in Afghanistan too.
Last night the team practised with the clothing he will wear on the 200-mile expedition and learned how to avoid frost-nip and frost-bite in the inhospitable climate in Antarctica.
After emerging from the huge testing facility, in which temperatures dropped to as low as minus 55C with wind-chill, the prince blew into his hands and rubbed them together to warm up as he chatted with his teammates over tea and biscuits.
The Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge will begin in late November and last around 15 days and the teams will trek between nine miles and 12 miles each day.
Swedish actor Alexander Skarsgard, star of True Blood, will head the US team, while English actor Dominic West, star of hit series The Wire, will race alongside the Commonwealth team.
Harry, who took part in the Walking With The Wounded trek to the North Pole in 2011 for five days, is patron of the Antarctica expedition.
He missed out on an attempt to conquer Mount Everest with the group last year because of his military commitments and he withdrew early from the successful North Pole expedition to attend his brother's wedding.