Boundless is a book about facing challenge and fear, both in the wilderness and at home. Karen's first book If You Fall is about recovering from the rock-climbing accident that paralysed her and about returning to adventures and embracing change. Boundless is a very different book and tells the stories of the biggest challenges Karen has faced yet, beginning with a 600 kilometre crossing of the Greenland icecap on a sit-ski, a month long journey across one of the world's great expanses of wilderness. This journey led Karen to a bold decision to return to the rock and a week-long climb suspended on the kilometre-high overhanging face of El Capitan, using just her arms in over 4,000 pull-ups.
Boundless isn't a book about expedition heroics, but one that offers a view of life's challenges and the profound effects of wilderness. Karen's adventures show just what is possible when heart and mind are set to something.
Karen Darke was a keen runner and mountaineer, then at the age of 21 she fell from a cliff and became paralysed from the chest down. Determined not to let her condition get the better of her, Karen embarked on a series of testing adventures. Within four years of her accident she was hand-biking over the Himalaya, a 1,200 mile trip that many said was impossible. Since then her adventures have included the Japanese archipelago by handbike, sea kayaking a 1200 mile length of the Canada-Alaska coastline, crossing Greenland by sit-ski, and climbing the overhanging rock face of El Capitan in Yosemite, California. Karen is currently a full-time athlete in the British Cycling squad, competing in the London 2012 Paralympics. When not cycling she works as a speaker and coach.
"Disability is a state of mind, not a state of body." Karen Darke
"Her story is not just one of the triumph of the human spirit, but of the 'spiritual'. It's 'spirit' that makes us what we are, 'spirit' that calls out to us in wilderness places." Sir