A unique Antarctic project exploring ‘inner gold’, nature & wellness.

A World First journey to the South Pole in which two women explore the value of nature. Together Karen Darke and Iona Somerville will unravel the process and mindsets that have helped them to navigate tough mental, emotional and physical challenges, and the power of nature and it’s critical role in keeping humans and the planet in balance and wellness. Their journey into the icy Antarctic wilds will shared via film and through collaboration with partner organisations, research with Professor Mike Christie of Aberyswyth University in ecological economics, and the work of social change activist and Jefferson Award founder Sam Beard, Founder of Connect UniverseSam Beard, Founder of Connect Universe.

The team vision is to inspire through exploration a reminder of what is possible when we seek the growth in difficult challenges, and keep ourselves and our planet in a state of health & wellness.

The mission is to promote inspiration through exploration, encouraging people to see the advantages of adversity, the value of nature, and that through the toughest events of life surprising wellness become possible.

The POLE OF POSSIBILITY will also be a World and Guinness Record, a World First for a female to sit-ski to the South Pole and a World Record for the furthest distance ever taken to the Pole by sit-ski.


The POLE OF POSSIBILITY will begin in Antarctica at the 79th meridian west, at Union Glacier camp. 79 is the atomic number of GOLD and the team will ski across the Antarctic platuea approximately following the 79th meridian to the South Pole, a reminder of our innate ability to overcome the unexpected & find ‘Inner Gold’ through challenge. The journey will be around 220km covering the last two degrees. Karen being paralysed will go by sit-ski and arm-power, and the others on regular skis: Polar Academy graduate Iona Somerville, Professor Mike Christie of Aberyswyth University and film-maker Mike Webster of Spiral Out Pictures.


Team member and accomplished explorer and researcher Mike Christie is a Professor of Environmental Economics at Aberystwyth University and a chair of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). His research explores how people interact with and value natural resources around the world, from the tropical rain forests of Madagascar to coral reefs in the Caribbean. Whilst Antarctica may be remote and beyond the direct reach of most people, we all have an impact on this fragile continent through our carbon emissions and contributions to climate change. Further, as global temperatures rise and the Antarctic ice melts, sea levels will rise and weather patterns will change resulting in devastating impacts on many around the world. Using the Pole of Possibility expedition as a platform for public engagement, Mike will synthesis the latest scientific research on the impacts of climate change on Antarctica to highlight what we as individuals can do to reduce our impacts on the Antarctic continent and demonstrate how action now can significantly reduce impacts on current and future generations.

The team are grateful to existing sponsors particularly SINEQUA, SPRAYWAY and BBRAUN, but are still seeking new partnerships to help with final fundraising. Please get in touch if you are an individual, business or enterprise that is aligned with creating a more sustainable and conscious world, improving wellness, learning, innovation and possibility.


INNER GOLD – the resilience, strengths, creative qualities and ability to ‘overcome’ that we all have inside us;

CONNECTION – the power of connecting  the diversity of humans, our passions, innovations and technologies to solve big challenges;

ENVIRONMENTAL & EMOTIONAL WELLNESS: raising awareness of how we can all experience and contribute to greater wellbeing.

If you or your business / enterprise would like to be connected to our project, please get in touch for a conversation on how we can make a partnership mutually beneficial.

The project is working in partnership with charitable / social change organisations THE POLAR ACADEMYQUEST 79, the SPINAL INJURIES ASSOCIATION, and CONNECT UNIVERSE. to the aim of inspiring a more conscious, connected and emotionally healthy world.

The Polar Academy: Participant Iona Somerville is a young ‘graduate’ of the The Polar Academy: an incredible organisation that identifies 14-17 years old secondary school children, crushed by lack of self-esteem and gives them the chance to redefine their physical and mental limits. These ‘invisible’ teenagers are put through a rigorous ten month training programme that helps their confidence and skills soar, before embarking on a wilderness journey. Iona and other young people from the Polar Academy are becoming role models for the next generation.

Learn more about The Polar Academy at https://youtu.be/u7OXbGDXRII & on BBC at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m00098my