December 13, 2013

Prince Harry, trek teams reach the South Pole

Three teams, originally competing with each other, joined together because of harsh conditions.

Associated Press

LONDON — Prince Harry and his fellow adventurers have made it to the South Pole.

click image to enlarge

Britain’s Prince Harry, right, during training near Novo, Antarctica, ahead of the Walking with the Wounded South Pole Challenge. AP Photo

Harry, 29, is a member of one of three teams involving injured soldiers that set out two weeks ago on the 200-mile (320-kilometer) Walking with the Wounded South Pole Challenge.

The charity said Friday that the teams arrived at the South Pole at 13:25 GMT (8:25 a.m. EST).

The challenge was initially a race but organizers suspended the competitive element last week due to harsh conditions. Acccording the to expedition director the teams were experiencing “a higher degree of stress” than expected and would no longer race one another but travel and camp together.

In a recorded message on the organization’s website, the teams had had “a pretty tricky couple of days. The weather remains good but the terrain is very difficult, far harder than we had anticipated.”

He said the teams would be driven for part of the route and then finish the final 70 miles to the pole on foot.

Harry and actors Dominic West and Alexander Skarsgard are on the trek with teams from Britain, the Commonwealth and the U.S.

Guy Disney of the British team said there had been “a few small injuries — nothing too serious” and that the teams were determined to make it to the South Pole.

Harry, an army Apache helicopter pilot who has served in Afghanistan, spent several days in 2011 trekking with wounded servicemen on a similar expedition to the North Pole.

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