Let's focus on what we can do!

By Disabled People for Disabled People

Friday, 4 November, 2022


Image shows disabled skier on a sit ski with raised arms in the air holding poles against a snow scene landscape and a low level sun in the clouds

Image shows disabled skier on a sit ski with raised arms in the air holding poles against a snow scene landscape and a low level sun in the clouds


The POLE OF POSSIBILITY project is launching a unique Antarctic project exploring ‘Inner Gold’, value of nature and sustainable wellness. During January 2023, Scottish Royal Geographical Society ‘Explorer in Residence’, Dr Karen Darke MBE, paralysed from the chest-down will attempt a Guinness Record to become the first person in her position, using a hand-bike or sit-ski to journey deep into the Antarctic continent. The mission is to inspire more possibility

Karen will be joined by Scottish-born Professor Mike Christie (an environmental economist based at Aberystwyth University) and Inverness-based filmmaker Mike Webster. Karen, paralysed from the chest down, will travel across the Antarctic plateau using arm power alone on a specially adapted ICE hand-pedalled tricycle and by sit-ski. It will be the first time any woman in her position has embarked on a journey in the icy continent, and whilst not the primary aim of the project it will be a World and Guinness Record

The vision of the project is “to inspire through exploration, and to create possibilities for people to live a more sustainable lifestyle for the betterment of people and nature”. The team will leave for Antarctica on the 12th December 2022 and are aiming to create more “ICE” on their month-long journey to their POLE OF POSSIBILITY.

“ICE”? … The team will explore personal and planetary possibilities around mindset, technology and sustainability through their core message centred around ‘ICE‘: Inner gold, Connection and Environment:

I   =  Inner gold: explore how we can work with mindset to uncover one’s ‘Inner gold’;

C  =   Connection: insights into developing our connectedness and interconnectedness to self and others, to enhance wellbeing and effectiveness;

E  =   Environment: research ways in which people can increase respect and value of our natural environment.

The outcomes of the project will be multi-fold. The team will undertake research that will develop a deeper scientific understanding of multiple ways people benefit from and value the Antarctic continent, from appreciation of its wildlife to its role in preventing sea level rise. Their journey across the Antarctic plateau will be documented through a film, where the team will highlight their ‘ICE’ message, as well as sharing stories of how other people have found surprising possibilities through their own explorations..

More details about the POLE OF POSSIBILITY expedition can be found on their project website https://www.karendarke.com/the-pole-of-possibility/

You can also get involved by:

  • You can submit your own stories of ‘inspiration through exploration’, which will be shared from Antarctica. Stories can be one of three categories: (1) Innovation and Technology Story, (2) Mindset Story and (3) Sustainability Story. There will be prize awarded in each category. Entries need to be in by 1st December 2022. https://www.karendarke.com/project-possibility/

Please share the project with others, follow on Twitter or Instagram or Facebook @POPChallenge79 or Karen Darke @kdarke (twitter), @handbikedarke (Instagram).


Karen Darke is currently studying the NCTJ Certificate of Journalism through the Academy for Disabled Journalists https://abilitytoday.com/academy-for-disabled-journalists/

Categories :
  • Spinal Cord Injury
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