Countdown begins for Rub Al Khali walk

Muscat: The stage is set for the epic trek across the across the dunes of Rub Al Khali  (the Empty Quarter) in what will be the toughest challenge for a team of former military personnel.

The Grenadier Walk of Oman was officially launched at a function hosted by the armed forces charity Walking With The Wounded (WWTW) in London during the weekend.

Starting on November 20 and ending on December 11, the team, all of whom suffer physical or psychological injuries from their time in service, will trek between 20km and 22km per day. Temperatures will reach 95°F and around 550,000 steps will be taken across the Omani desert.

As reported by London’s Charity Today, partners of both the charity and expedition and guests were treated to a special video with soldiers from Prince Harry in his role as the official Expedition Patron. In his message, the Duke of Sussex said, “You represent the whole veteran community and I have no doubt that through this opportunity you’ll demonstrate the resilience, the courage and the talent, that exists within those who have served.”

In the clip, Prince Harry also congratulated those taking part, saying: ”You represent the whole veteran community and I have no doubt that throughout this opportunity you will demonstrate the resilience, courage and talent that exists within those who have served.”

The event gave those in attendance the opportunity to hear first-hand from the six team members what The Grenadier Walk of Oman means to them and why it was important they joined the walk.

An already ambitious trek across the desert will be made even tougher as all the six team members pull a custom-built cart weighing in excess of 300kg with the supplies they will need for the 21-day expedition, testing the team’s willpower and teamwork.

Prince Harry, a former soldier, expressed his joy that the event was taking place despite the challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic. ”We are all delighted that the Walk in Oman continues to go ahead, despite the challenging environment we are all faced with at the moment.”

Ed Parker, CEO of WWTW said, “The expedition is not going to be easy but the strength, courage and resolve of the team taking part has and continues to be an inspiration. Each of them faces their own challenges, and have been physically, mentally, or socially disadvantaged since serving, however, together they will cross the Omani desert”.