Thursday, June 30, 2022
NewsScots athlete and adventurer wins top mountain award

Scots athlete and adventurer wins top mountain award

A SCOTS athlete and adventurer has been named as the recipient of a top mountain culture award.

Two-time Paralympian Karen Darke has been named as this year’s recipient of the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture.

The award from the Fort William Mountain Festival will be presented to Darke in celebration of her sporting accomplishments and spirit of adventure.

Nominated by the public and her peers, the 50-year-old joins previous esteemed winners including Andy Nisbet, Myrtle Simpson, Ian Sykes, and Dr Hamish MacInnes in the Excellence in Mountain Culture Hall of Fame.

mountain award winner
Karen’s achievements include climbing Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn in 1991.                                   (C) Littlehouse Media

Karen, from Inverness, started her working life as a geologist in the Bolivian Andes, researching gold. 

However, at just 21, an accident whilst sea cliff climbing left her paralysed from the chest down. 

The two-time British Paralympic hand cyclist won gold in Rio in 2016 and silver in London in 2012.

Speaking on her award, Karen said: “Receiving the Scottish Award for Excellence in Mountain Culture took me by surprise but is a real honour.

“Thank you. My soul is rarely peaceful without a mountain in its presence.

“On becoming paralysed almost thirty years ago it seemed at first that mountains were a thing of the past.

“Thanks to the interesting technology of bikes and skis, and to great friends who have been up for some adventures, mountain landscapes have worked their way even deeper into the fabric of my being.

“The adventure mindset that mountains have taught me is the inspiration for my next book, which I’m hoping will connect others more deeply to the power in the wild landscapes around us.”

Karen Darke
Two-time Paralympian Karen Darke has received a top mountain award.                                             (C) Littlehouse Media

As well as being an athlete, Darke is an author, global speaker, transformational coach and an adventure mindset coach.

Tom Uppington, Managing Director, ALVANCE British Aluminium, said: “Karen is the worthiest winner we can imagine of this award and an outstanding addition to the list of previous recipients.”

“Karen’s resourcefulness, strength of character and mountain expertise are extraordinary and show qualities we can all aspire to in our daily lives.

“ALVANCE Aluminium and JAHAMA Highland Estates are proud to play a role in the Fort William community and its place at the centre of British mountain culture.”

Karen will be speaking at the Fort William Mountain Festival as part of the Biking Night at The Highland Cinema, Fort William, on Saturday 19th February.

Related Stories