Prince Harry in Antarctica for troops charity trek

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Media captionPrince Harry: Morale dampened by bad weather

Prince Harry has arrived in Antarctica ahead of a race to the South Pole to raise money for injured veterans.

Three teams are expecting to trek up to 12 miles (20km) a day, coping with temperatures as low as minus 45C.

The prince's Team UK, part of the Walking with the Wounded challenge, is made up of four amputees from the armed forces, a guide and a mentor.

They are due to complete the 200-mile race by 16 December but the prince said on Friday morale was at "rock bottom".

The plane carrying the three teams left Heathrow last weekend.

Image caption A departure event was held in Trafalgar Square last week where Prince Harry was joined by other team members
Image caption Wire star Dominic West joins a Commonwealth team of Australians and Canadians
Image caption Richard Eyre (second from the right) is Team UK's mentor for the trek
Image caption The 200-mile trek to the South Pole is expected to take the three teams 16 days
Image caption Prince Harry is patron of the South Pole Allied Challenge 2013

Prince Harry, supporters and the 12 injured veterans arrived at Antarctica's Novo airbase where they are expected to acclimatise to the conditions before the trek begins next week.

"It's amazing how in six hours your morale can go from pretty high to hitting rock bottom," he said on his arrival.

"The weather forecast is supposedly alright but it seems to be getting worse. We'll have to make the most of it but it's not really blue skies and sunshine."

As well as Team UK and Team US, there is a Team Commonwealth taking part which is joined by the British star of TV drama The Wire Dominic West.

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Media captionPrince Harry preparing for the trip in September

Each team has a guide who will accompany them as they pull their 11st (70kg) sleds, or pulks, towards the furthest point south on the globe.

Winds are expected to reach 50mph (85km/h).

"The atmosphere is quite tense so people will be feeling that in their lungs so we have to take it soft in the beginning and careful," said polar guide Inge Solheim, part of the American team.

The teams are due to spend Saturday skiing in preparation for the trek.

Walking with the Wounded raises money to fund training and education for injured servicemen and women with the aim of finding them work beyond the military.

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