Adventurer Conrad Dickinson home after Royal trek to South Pole

Northumberland adventurer Conrad Dickinson has arrived home after leading a team of wounded soldiers to the South Pole with Prince Harry

Eric Philip/WWTW/PA Wire Conrad Dickinson on the South Pole trek
Conrad Dickinson on the South Pole trek

A Northumberland adventurer who led a team of wounded soldiers to the South Pole with Prince Harry has arrived back home.

Experienced polar explorer Conrad Dickinson led Team Glenfiddich across the frozen wastes of Antarctica to the bottom of the world.

And despite just arriving back with his family in Hexham, Northumberland, Mr Dickinson already has his sights set on another adventure.

“It was quite a hard trip so it’s great to be back,” he said. “Prince Harry was absolutely fantastic. He was amazing throughout the trip and he is a really strong young man.

“He really lifted the spirits of all the members of the team and he pulled more than his fair share of the weight.”

A storm forced the Walking With the Wounded team to leave the Antarctic in a hurry and after reaching the South Pole on December 13, all the Virgin Money South Police Allied Challenge teams had to revise their travel home.

Mr Dickinson said: “The race was cut short because of the conditions but at that stage the British team were winning.

“We decided that everybody would just go to the pole together. We fought through and got all the injured people there, which was fantastic.

“One of the best things for me was that we managed to get double amputee Duncan Slater there. Duncan led completely blind Ivan Castro and that was such a great moment.”

The teams spent the weekend at the South Pole and from there flew to the airbase at Novolazarevskaya (Novo), before departing for Cape Town on Wednesday.

Originally they had been due to fly from the South Pole to Novo airbase on Tuesday, and then on to Cape Town by the end of the week. The Antarctic however, was not prepared to allow the teams any respite. Mr Dickinson landed back at Newcastle Airport on Sunday after flying from Cape Town with Prince Harry.

He said: “Everybody has lost weight, I’ve lost half-a-stone, but I’m already on my way to putting it back on.”

Their trek took the teams across more than 200 miles of the bleak continent to the geographic South Pole, with Prince Harry walking all the way with the group. The Prince had joined part of the trek to the North Pole in 2011 but was determined to play a full part in this expedition and was named as its patron earlier in the year.

Mr Dickinson added: “I would do something like this again but maybe not as hard.”

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