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Karen Darke



Inspirational athlete tackling new adventures after being paralysed.
Inspirational is a word used many times when people talk about Karen. Paralysed in a climbing accident at 21 years old Karen has proved time and again that life is a case of mind over matter. Once a keen runner and climber Karen has discovered many new ways to explore the outdoors and push the limits of what is possible. Her achievements have included:

Karen sums up her attitude best:
“Someone once said to me, ‘Disability is a state of mind not a state of body.’ That’s a notion that relates to us all, regardless of whether we have a physical disability or not. Our own mind is our biggest obstacle to living and achieving our wildest aspirations. What is life if it isn’t an adventure?”


  • Achieving a silver medal in the womens H1-2time trial in cycling at the London 2012 Paralympic games.
  • Crossing the Tien Shan and Karakoram mountains on a hand bike
  • Undertaking a ground-breaking 600km traverse of the Greenland ice cap
  • Hand cycling the length of the Japanese archipelago
  • Sea kayaking 1200 miles of the Canadian coast
  • Spending 5 days kayaking in treacherous Patagonian waters for the BBC
  • Crossing the Indian Himalaya by hand cycle


If this has helped, inspired or interested you, feel free to share it with others

Karen's Blog

Follow Karen around the world and experience her truly awe inspiring adventures in some of the worlds most inhospitable environments whilst testing our products.