North Yorkshire soldier who lost arm to roadside bomb to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and race to South Pole with Prince Harry (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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North Yorkshire soldier who lost arm to roadside bomb to climb Mount Kilimanjaro and race to South Pole with Prince Harry
A SOLDIER from North Yorkshire, who lost his right arm in a roadside bomb attack while serving in Iraq, is to climb Mount Kilimanjaro months before he joins a race to the South Pole with Prince Harry.
Captain Ibrar Ali was badly injured while serving in the Yorkshire Regiment in 2007, but 18 months after the attack, he returned to Iraq with the Army and last year spent six months in Afghanistan.
The 36-year-old is now taking on the challenge of climbing Africas highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro at 5,895m in Tanzania, to raise funds and awareness for Walking With The Wounded, and the support it offers to injured servicemen.
Captain Ali said: I am continuously humbled by what the great British public are willing to put themselves through to raise funds for Walking With The Wounded. I feel honoured to be a part of the amazing group of people on this expedition to climb Kilimanjaro, I hope Im not too much of a burden on them.
The expedition to Kilimanjaro will help me to prepare perfectly for the South Pole Allied Challenge with the long days of trekking, dealing with the altitude and of course being a part of a team that will work together to overcome the daily challenges that we will face.
The Walking With The Wounded Challenge to scale Mount Kilimanjaro will start on September 27. The nine-day trip will include seven days of climbing via the Machame route.
Paul Deakin of Private Expeditions, the high altitude trekking specialists organising the climb, said: Kilimanjaro is a fantastic challenge.
Although it requires no technical climbing it does need bucket loads of determination. Climbers joining this challenge will not just be tested themselves but will see first-hand how our wounded soldiers, like Captain Ali, overcome their injuries.
Walking With The Wounded do outstanding work both in the retraining and re-education of wounded servicemen and women with the aim of helping them find long-term employment after they have left the Armed Forces.
Later this year Captain Ali and five other Brits will be racing the South Pole, competing against teams of wounded service personnel from the US and the Commonwealth of Nations. The team will also include Prince Harry.
The teams will have to come more than 208 miles (335km), endure temperatures of minus 45C, 50mph winds, vast crevasses, crumbling glaciers and fierce snow storms while pulling pulks, custom built sledges, which weigh in excess of 70kg.
The teams will fly to Antarctica in November and aim to reach the South Pole by about December 17.
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