Antarctic Adventure - Friday 22nd February 2013
Karen Darke – “From the Paralympics to the Pole…”
Karen will introduce herself and give an outline of her background, how she came to ski across Greenland and her general attraction to wilderness places (& the challenges of wheels in them!)
She will then explain how her sense of adventure led to involvement in the Paralympics before finishing with plans for her next expedition to the South Pole with an update on training in Norway.
Background – Karen finds much of her inspiration through outdoor adventure. She was a keen runner and mountaineer before becoming paralysed in a rock-climbing accident, and has since pursued alternative ways to access the outdoors – canoeing, sit-skiing and hand-cycling. She has hand-cycled in various corners of the world including Central Asia and the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the length of the Japanese archipelago. Karen has co-organised expeditions sea kayaking along the coastlines of British Columbia and Alaska, skiing across the Greenland icecap, climbing the kilometre-high vertical rock-face of El Capitan, and kayaking through the fjords of Patagonia.
As a coach and facilitator, Karen runs her own business, Inspire & Impact. She is also an author and speaker, and works regularly with young people, schools, businesses and other organisations. She is part of the British Cycling team and has recently competed for Great Britain at the 2012 London Paralympic Games for hand-cycling, taking the Silver medal in the Time Trial and a controversial 4th place in the Road Race after crossing the finish line hand in hand with bronze medal winner and British teammate Rachel Morris.
Her two books “If You Fall” and “Boundless” can be ordered at www.karendarke.com, Boundless will also be available to buy at the Fort William Mountain Festival.
‘Karen’s captivating story shines a bright light on the meaning of challenge, and on the limitless capabilities of the human spirit.’
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Felicity Aston – “Call of the White”
Call of the White: At 11:09 on 29th December 2009 Felicity stood at the Geographic South Pole at the head of a team of 7 women from 6 different countries having skied 900km in 38 days from the coast of Antarctica. Representing 6 religions and 7 languages they were the largest and most international team of women ever to make the journey. What made their achievement even more remarkable is that the women had met just 8 months before, many as complete novices. Felicity recounts their journey, not just the physical journey across the ice but also what it took to transform these 7 strangers into such an unconventional but succesfull team.
Background – Felicity Aston is the first and only woman in the world to ski across Antarctica alone. The 1744km, 59-day journey completed in January 2012 also made her the first person in the world to do so purely by muscle power without the aid of kites or machines.
In 2009 she led the 38-day, 911km Kaspersky Lab Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition, the largest and most international women’s team ever to ski to the South Pole. The team included women from Brunei Darussalam, Cyprus, Ghana, India, Jamaica, Singapore, New Zealand. Felicity was responsible for selecting and training this diverse, multicultural team of ‘ordinary’ women for one of the most arduous journeys on Earth. Her book about the expedition, ‘Call of the White: Taking the World to the South Pole’ was published in March 2011.
Previously, Felicity has led several other notable expeditions including the first British women’s crossing of Greenland, a 700km winter crossing of Lake Baikalin a Siberian winter and an adventurous expedition in Iceland for young people with a brain injury. She was also part of the first, ever, all-female team to complete the Polar Challenge, a 500km endurance race to the magnetic north pole.
Trained as a Physicist and Meteorologist, Felicity’s first polar experience was as a scientist with the British Antarctic Survey. Based for three years on a remote research station on the Antarctic Peninsula, her job was to monitor climate and ozone.
”…a persuasive example of how determination, planning and sheer hard work can lead to the achievement of a common goal. We were left in awe.” – Price Waterhouse Coopers
- Ticket office open from 6pm
- Doors open from 6.30pm
- Shows start promptly at 7pm
- Concessions are for under 16s only.
- Some shows may contain adult language or themes.
- Children must be supervised by an adult.
* West Highland College UHI Students showing their current student card can buy tickets from the ticket office on the night for £10
Proud sponsors of the Fort William Mountain Festival Antarctic Adventure Night