Last September I held the first training meet of the Euro-Arabian North Pole Expedition on Langjokull Glacier in Iceland. For the team's second training meet it seemed fitting that - having travelled to a European destination last time - we should this time head to the Middle East.
Finding a suitable location for Polar training on the Arabian Peninsula might seem a hopeless prospect but Oman provided the perfect solution. We spent a week crossing the Wahiba Sands of Oman, a compact desert of bright red sand dunes a few hours drive from the capital. The heat was certainly a new challenge for a Polar team but in many other respects the skills demanded were ideal. From navigation to on-the-spot route finding, travelling together and learning to trust each other as a team - it was a perfect training ground.
Oman also provided a white landscape to make us feel at home. A little further along the coast from the Wahiba Sands are the Sugar Dunes, a patch of desert so white that at first glance it could be snow and ice. As the team hauls sledges full of equipment in polar style, the only thing that gives it away in the photos are the t-shirts and bare feet!
You can read a daily account of our training journey in Oman on the expedition website at www.euroarabianexpedition.com