Prince Harry and the entire Walking With The Wounded expedition have been forced to postpone the move to their second Antarctic base camp as bad weather sets in.
The three competing teams racing to the South Pole were supposed to set off today but snow storms in temperatures around -10C (14F) have forced the racers to remain at the Novolazarevskaya Station until Tuesday at the earliest.
“Ultimately we’ve had really rubbish weather,” Prince Harry, a patron of the Walking With The Wounded charity, said speaking in a TV interview at the base camp.
The teams arrived in the Antarctic on Friday but due to the inclement weather, have been unable to take part in some of the skiing exercises designed to help the teams, largely composed of injured veterans, acclimatize to the harsh conditions.
The crews will be facing temperatures as low as -50C (-58F) but Harry joked that his brother Prince William is jealous of his 200 mile race to the Pole.
“I think he’s quite jealous I managed to get away from his screaming child,” Harry said.
Aside from freezing walks to and from the canteen, to kill time Harry says the U.K., U.S. and Commonwealth teams have been packing and unpacking their bags to prepare for the journey ahead.
While the Prince says he has kept his kit “really basic” and can pack up in five minutes with gloves on, “some people are taking way too many comforts.” He added that the Australians are the biggest culprits by taking sticks of butter with them.
Compared to the servicemen and women he is racing with that have suffered life-changing injuries, Harry admits he has “no excuses” when it comes to completing the race. He says his military background will hold him in good stead, but his preparation has been less than ideal.
It was recommended he walk eight hours a day in the hills to prepare for the race, where they are expected to trek some 12 miles a day with 70kg sleds in the freezing cold, but work commitments meant his training was limited. On top of this, a broken toe, which Harry now describes as about 95 percent healed, further hampered his preparations.
Harry joked that he broke his toe, “trying to get out of the trip,” adding that it was, “a massive fail.” However, he rejected advice from his friends who suggested he go one step further and break his leg to get out of the trip.
Upon arriving in Antarctica on Friday, Harry revealed that his morale dropped to “rock bottom,” but speaking today said he was concentrating on the positives. Acknowledging that the trip was “completely mad, and that “his big mouth” had got him into it, he also said that he was incredibly lucky to be a part of the project.
Harry was not the only person to be harboring concerns. According to the prince, Dominic West, star of the hit show The Wire, is also having doubts.
“I know Dominic West is thinking about the negatives but he’s on the opposition so that’s fine,” Harry said.
Weather permitting, the teams will hope to be at the South Pole by Dec. 16.