Earlier this week Britain’s Prince Harry announced plans to join an expedition headed to the South Pole that is scheduled to get underway in November. The 28-year old Prince will take part in an ambitious race to the bottom of the world in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Walking With The Wounded, a non-proft organization dedicated to helping soldiers injured in the line of duty to transition back to normal life following their discharge from service. Harry serves as patron for the organization and takes an active role in helping promote it. The race, which is called the South Pole Allied Challenge 2013, will features three teams of wounded servicemen and women who have come together to take part in this extraordinary event. Harry will be a member of Team UK, which will be racing against a squad from the U.S. and a team consisting of members from the Commonwealth countries of Canada and Australia. A fourth team will follow along, providing medical and logistical support.
The competitors will launch their adventure 3 degrees from the Geographic South Pole. They’ll begin racing on skis towards 90°S, covering approximately 350 km (208 miles) in the process. In order to stay self sufficient while out on the ice, they’ll drag sleds carrying all of their gear and supplies behind them at all times. Along the way they expect to face consistently high winds, whiteout conditions and temperatures that routinely fall to -30°F.
This won’t be Harry’s first expedition to the polar regions of our planet. In 2011 he joined another team of wounded servicemen on their journey to the North Pole. While the adventurous Prince had hoped to complete that excursion along with his teammates, other duties forced him to head home before reaching the top of the world. Harry’s brother William was getting married to Kate Middleton at the time and they younger Prince had to fly home to carry out his duties as best man.
The competitors taking part in the Allied Challenge completed winter training in Iceland last month. Next, they’ll get together in the summer for team building exercises and again in October for a final round of snow training before the start of the race. From there they’ll depart for Antarctica in November and get underway soon there after. They plan to reach the finish line sometime around December 17 of this year.
You can learn more about the Walking with the Wounded program and the Allied Challenge at the organization’s official website. You’ll also be able to follow the progress of all three teams as they train throughout the year and eventually get underway later in November.