A Norwegian adventurer will join four disabled British soldiers in a walk to the North Pole as one of the first projects of his sponsorship deal with gear manufacturers Helly Hansen.
Polar guide Inge Solheim’s first official project with the company will see him leading the injured soldiers and Prince Harry on a five-week charity expedition to the pole for Walking With The Wounded, which hopes to raise £2m for organisations that support ex-service personnel.
Throughout the challenge Solheim will be responsible for guiding seven people, including two amputees, through harsh and unpredictable conditions. He has worked with the company to provide the team with a range of technical clothing, designed to keep them protected in some of the harshest weather on earth.
The four-week expedition will see the adventurers cover up to 400km (300 miles) of the frozen Arctic Ocean by foot, enduring temperatures as low as –50C. These temperatures are made worse by the consistently high moisture content in the air. Hypothermia and frost-bite are real dangers in this environment.
The team will have to navigate dangerous open water ‘leads’ as well as vast swathes of ice rubble and pressure ridges. The Arctic Circle is also home to aggressive polar bears.
Each person will be pulling their own gear, clothing and rations in pulks – sleds. These pulks will weigh more than 100kg.
The territory will be familiar to Solheim, who for more than 15 years has been guiding, exploring and consulting in some of the most extreme environments on the planet – from racing to the South Pole, to trekking 1,400 miles across the Greenland ice cap.
He has advised numerous TV productions on safety and logistics, and has appeared in front of the camera on programmes such as Blizzard Race to the Pole, On Thin Ice and Voyages of discovery.
The 37-year-old will also be working with Helly Hansen’s design team in Norway to help with kit development through extensive testing, feedback and ongoing consultation. He will also work with retailers’ staff on training, with high performers offered the chance to join him on training expeditions.
Emma Russell, UK marketing manager at Helly Hansen said: “Inge’s passion for living and working in extreme conditions makes him a great fit for the Helly Hansen brand. Everyone from our designers, right through to our retail partners and staff, will benefit from Inge’s invaluable knowledge and understanding of the outdoors.”