Karen Darke has won the fearless woman of the year award at the Cosmopolitan Women of the Year Awards.
Since becoming paralysed in a rock-climbing accident at the age of 21 Karen has showed grit, determination and courage, overcoming many physical and mental barriers, to complete many trips others believed impossible.
Karen says she was “embarrassed” about winning the award and remains humble about being awarded the title she says: “It’s quite a humbling experience as there really are some women doing incredible things which fade my adventure exploits! However, we probably all think we’re just doing what we do / love doing and feel lucky we are able to, so I think most of the award winners have that thread of humility in common”.
Karen also explains how being paralysed has not stopped her wanting to enjoy the outdoors but has in fact encouraged her more “people ask me if I’d have done this stuff anyway, regardless of being paralysed. I grew up with a love of sweat and mud and fresh air, so its just how life has always been, but being paralysed drives deeper than ever my need to be in different positions (a handbike, a kayak, a sit-ski), to feel the wind in my hair and remember the world’s a bigger and more exciting place than concrete ramps and tarmac”.