Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Conrad on Sleeping with Royalty, Living in -45 Degrees and Talking at Wooler

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Conrad on Sleeping with Royalty, Living in -45 Degrees and Talking at Wooler

Article excerpt

HE HAS risked all in Boy's Own adventures of derring do, but explorer Conrad Dickinson has revealed even he was daunted by the prospect of guiding a prince to the South Pole.

The 58-year-old from Hexham, in Northumberland, hit the headlines when he guided Prince Harry and a group of injured soldiers on one of the most highprofile expeditions of modern times.

He is now going to talk about his amazing experience - which included sharing a tent with the Prince - at an event during the first Wooler Outdoor Week.

Sleeping with Royalty will be just part of the talk he will give at the town's Cheviot Centre on May 22.

"I ended up sharing a tent with him but he was great and I was able to be fairly direct with him," says Conrad.

He admits, however, that he did feel daunted when he first found out that Prince Harry would be part of the Walking with the Wounded team.

The aim of the expedition was to highlight the Walking with the Wounded charity by sending three teams in a race to the South Pole, all of which included injured soldiers.

Conrad, who is a cold weather specialist, was asked to be a guide for one of the teams.

"I agreed, thinking I might be put on the American team, then I was told I would be guiding the British team. I was pleased about that, then it was announced that Prince Harry would be part of our team and I thought 'crikey'.

"It was a bit scary but he turned out to be a top bloke. He's a young man but he was well organised and pulled more than his weight. He engaged with the others and I could not speak more highly of him."

However, while Prince Harry impressed Conrad, the highlight of the trip, for him, was the achievement of Scot Duncan Slater who became the first double amputee to reach the South Pole.

"That was the big one for me and it pleased me more than anything," says Conrad. "He was in a lot of pain but he did not complain. He trained very hard, spending eight hours a day on an exercise machine in his garage, but we were on skis and he'd never skied before so it was hard. …

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