Brave Aberdeen alumnus to give inspiring talk

Brave Aberdeen alumnus to give inspiring talk

A brave University of Aberdeen graduate who became paralysed following a rock climbing accident will share her inspiring story at a free event this evening (Monday November 16).

Karen Darke will tell of the determination and belief which has driven her to undertake adventurous expeditions across the globe in her talk which takes place at the University’s King’s College Conference Centre beginning at 6.30pm. 

The 38 year old, who now lives in Inverness, will also explain the preparation she is undertaking for her next challenge - to become the first skier to tackle the South Pole using only the power of her arms.

Karen 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.

Advance registration is required for Karen Darke’s talk - Disability is a state of mind, not a state of body.

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

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

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 contact Faiza Nacef, Aberdeen City Council by emailing or telephone 01224 523183.

For more information on Karen Darke visit .