Latest Mission: Hardangervidda Plateau - March 2023

Published Sunday, 12th February 2023
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In March 65 Degrees North will embark on their latest expedition - an 10-strong group will head to the Norwegian mountains and attempt to ski across the iconic Hardangervidda plateau from Finse to Rjukan - a 140km mission over six days.

It is the latest in 65 Degrees North’s iconic missions as they continue to create a series of challenging, adventurous activities for carefully selected members of the WIS (wounded, injured and sick) service personnel.

This is a unique expedition for 65DN, as for the first time, it involves representatives from all three of the services - Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force.

65 Degrees North CEO, Richard Morgan MBE said: “We are delighted to be able to put together this latest mission under the expert guidance of George Matthews and his team.

“As always, this will be a challenge for the team members but one that will be fulfilling and a great opportunity.”

Hardangervidda is famous for its links with the 'Heroes of Telemark’, depicting the World War Two raid on the heavy water plant in Rjukan, and was also used as a train ground for the great Polar explorer Roald Amundsen

The traverse of this exposed route will require the team to move on skis, carrying all of their equipment, while hauling pulks over daily distances of between 20-30 kilometres.  

Team leader George Matthews put in to perspective the challenges that face the expedition.

“Winter on the Plateau can be an unforgiving place with deep snow, high winds and extremely low temperatures (temperatures of minus 20 degrees centigrade are not unusual).

“The 140km crossing will take us six days using the well-established Norwegian Hut system. A good degree of physical and mental endurance are essential in this testing environment and the crossing will require discipline and teamwork.”

The group set out on their mission on Friday March 17 and and are expected to complete the challenge on March 22.

The Team will consists of: Georgie Smith, Ruth Lanckham, Craig Skinner, Lee Spencer, Sean Gane and Ray Evans, with the Support Team including: George Matthews (Team Leader), Billy Baxter, Ross Matthews, Ben Clark (Team Doctor)

George matthews

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