Brave Aberdeen alumnus to share inspiring story

A brave University of Aberdeen graduate who became paralysed following a rock climbing accident will share her inspiring story at a free event next month.

Karen Darke will tell of the determination and belief which has driven her to undertake adventurous expeditions across the globe when she speaks at the University on November 16.

The 38 year old, who now lives in Inverness, is currently preparing for her next challenge – to become the first skier to tackle the South Pole using only the power of her arms.

She aims to raise £1million for Back-Up Trust, Help for Heroes and BRIT (British Inspiration Trust) - charities that help disabled and young people lead active, positive lives - during the 60 day Antarctica trip which will cover some 730 miles.

The expedition next year will be the latest challenge undertaken by Karen who fell off a cliff at the age of 21 and became paralysed from the chest down.

Undeterred by her accident she has completed marathons and triathlons, and kayaked, sit-skied and hand-cycled in some of the most inhospitable places on the planet.

Crossing the Tien Shan and Karakoram mountains of Central Asia on a hand bike, handcycling the length of the Japanese archipelago, sea kayaking a 1200 mile length of the Canada – Alaska coastline, crossing the Indian Himalaya by handcycle and skiing the Valle Blanche on a sit ski  - are just some of the feats she has completed.

Her most recent and physically challenging adventure was a 600 kilometre traverse of the Greenland ice cap, a month long journey across one the world’s last great expanses of wilderness.

Ms Darke’s talk Disability is a state of mind, not a state of body - will take place at the University’s King’s College Conference Centre beginning at 6.30pm. 

A drinks reception hosted by the University of Aberdeen Alumni Department will be held immediately after the talk in the James Mackay Hall.

Advance registration is required for the event.  Please be advised that tickets are limited.

To book your free place visit, or contact the University of Aberdeen Events team on 01224 273233.

The event is a partnership between the University and the Aberdeen City Alliance.  It is part of the University’s Many Voices, One University projects, and is also part of Aberdeen City Council’s Diversity and Equality fortnight. 

For more information on other events taking place during Diversity and Equality fortnight  visit or contact Faiza Nacef, Aberdeen City Council by emailing or telephone 01224 523183.

For more information on Karen Darke visit .