LONDON (AFP) – Prince Harry
is scheduled on Tuesday to arrive in the Arctic where he will join a group of wounded servicemen in training before taking part in the first five days of a trek to the North Pole.
Harry, third in line to the throne, is expected to play a full part in the team's final preparation for the expedition, including sleeping out on the ice, dragging a 100kg (220lb) sled, and attending daily briefings.
He is patron of the Walking With The Wounded charity which aims to raise £2 million from this unaided trek to help other injured servicemen and women find work, peace of mind and security.
Harry will meet up with the team of four injured soldiers, two charity founders and a polar guide in Longyearbyen in Norway, which is considered the best place to train for treks to the magnetic North.
With temperatures set to plummet to minus 45C on the trek, the 26 year-old will endure extreme conditions in one of the world's most inhospitable places.
On Friday, after completing an intensive course of training on the island of Spitsbergen in the Svalbard archipelago, the Prince will fly with the team to the Borneo ice airfield, where he will spend five days with the men on their 200-mile challenge.
All four wounded servicemen sustained their injuries fighting in Afghanistan.
Captain Martin Hewitt was left with a paralysed right arm after being shot and Captain Guy Disney had his right leg amputated below the knee after he was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade (RPG).Private Jaco Van Gass had his left arm amputated and was left with significant tissue loss to his left leg when he too was hit by an RPG and Sergeant Stephen Young suffered a broken back after his vehicle was blown up by an improvised explosive device.
They will be joined by Simon Dalglish and Ed Parker, who co-founded Walking With The Wounded, and Inge Solheim, a polar guide.
Each team member will haul a sled, known as a pulk, weighing around 100kg (220lb) packed with everything they will need on the unaided trip, such as 40kg (88lb) of food, clothing and personal kit, a share of the cooking equipment, fuel for their stoves, tents and communications equipment.Prince Harry
is currently training to be an Apache Helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps.