What should four British soldiers, recovering from serious wounds and loss of limbs from combat in Afghanistan, do next? Why, go to the North Pole, of course. That’s the challenge that these four men have set for themselves. Chosen from a hundred applicants, and assisted by a guide and two expedition leaders, they intend to be the first disabled people to make it to the Pole unsupported.

From the UK MOD story, the four are:

* Officer Captain Guy Disney – lost his lower leg during Operation PANTHER’S CLAW in Afghanistan in 2009 when his Spartan armoured vehicle came under heavy fire in an ambush and a rocket-propelled grenade pierced the hull. Private Robbie Laws from The Mercian Regiment was killed in the same incident.

• Paratrooper Captain Martin Hewitt – lost the use of his right arm after being shot during a gun battle with the enemy in Afghanistan in 2007.

• Sergeant Steve Young of the Welsh Guards – was caught in an IED blast whilst travelling in a Mastiff armoured personnel carrier during Operation PANTHER’S CLAW in Afghanistan in 2009. He sustained a fractured vertebra, among other injuries, and was warned he might not walk again.

• Paratrooper Private Jaco van Gass – had his left arm amputated at the elbow in 2009 following a rocket-propelled grenade attack in Afghanistan.

Private Jaco van Gass pulls his sledge across the snow during Arctic training
[Picture: Copyright Walking With The Wounded 2011]

Reading about these four, who will be traversing ice, snow, vertical cliffs and open water in temperatures as low as -50C, makes me feel somewhat better about running in an Alberta winter.

Read the whole story here.