KEEP ON TREKKIN’
Prince Harry is gearing up for a trek to the North Pole with a group of wounded servicemen
PRINCE Harry, pictured, will be on the cover of men’s magazine GQ as he joins a team of wounded military servicemen who are trekking to the North Pole.
The special edition front page shows the 26-year-old wearing kit for the Walking With The Wounded charity, of which he is patron.
He will arrive at the group’s base camp in Longyearbyen, northern Norway, tomorrow to begin his training, before he heads out into the frozen wasteland on Friday.
Harry will be with his teammates for the first five days of the gruelling walk, which is expected to take around four weeks and will cover up to 322km.
They will haul sledges weighing more than 100kg in temperatures as low as minus 60C.
‘‘ This extraordinary expedition will raise awareness of the debt that this country owes to those it sends off to fight – only for them to return wounded and scarred, physically and emotionally,’’ Prince Harry told GQ
‘‘ The debt extends beyond immediate medical care and shortterm rehabilitation.
‘‘ These men and women have given so much.
‘‘ We must recognise their sacrifice, be thankful, so far as we can ever repay them for it.’’
During the photoshoot with renowned photograp her David Bailey, Harry wore a weight vest, which is used to strengthen upper-body muscles for hauling the sledges through the frozen North. ‘‘ Can I do most of my training wearing this thing in bed?’’ he joked.
His companions on the unaided challenge include four wounded soldiers seriously hurt during active service, two of them amputees.
The injured Afghanistan veterans are Captain Martin Hewitt, 30, Captain Guy Disney, 28, Sergeant Steve Young, 28, and Private Jaco Van Gass, 24.
Harry will leave the group on April 5, to return to the UK for further military training as he qualifies as an Apache Helicopter pilot with the Army Air Corps.
Accompanying them will be expedition leader Inge Solheim, guide Henry Cookson and charity founders Edward Parker and Simon Daglish. ‘‘ Harry’s training has been going very well – he has the right attitude,’’ Solheim said.
‘‘ I’m sure Harry has healthy concerns about the dangers, as he should. You have no idea how different the Pole is from everything else on the planet.
‘‘ The old Norwegian explorers called it the Devil’s dancefloor. It is unpredictable. Deadly.
‘‘ If you’re not paying attention, it will just slap you. You can walk 10 miles in one day, pitch your tent overnight, and the ice will have drifted you back 11 miles in the opposite direction.’’