Saturday Evening

Bonar Hall
25 November 2023: 7pm

Tickets are now only  available at the door.  See our Ticket page.

Tickets: £17

After a programme of brilliant films, we are delighted to welcome Karen Darke back to Dundee, with “Pole of Possibility”

Green Space Dark Skies Above the Earth Below the Stars

UK 2022: Directors: Mark Murphy and Rupert Shanks – 20 minutes

Four Peaks Finale
Photograph by David Bewick

Human-powered art film created with the help of thousands of volunteers across the 4 highest mountains of the UK. This ambitious project was about connecting with and celebrating the UK’s wilder places in a unique and inclusive way. This was made possible with the project’s own ground-breaking GPS lighting technology. We created vast lightshows across mountainsides while safely involving thousands of choreographed human ‘pixels’, many of whom had never climbed a mountain before.


The Ascension Series – Hamish Frost

UK 2023: Directors Emma Crome and Matt Pycroft – 8 Minutes

Hamish Frost
Photograph by Adam Raja

One of Europe’s leading adventure photographers, Hamish Frost lives twin lives. This film explores the side of himself he has kept hidden from the outdoor community. A story of confidence and connection and a reminder of the importance of diversity in the great outdoors.




No Lost Shoes

USA 2023: Director: Max Romey – 12 minutes

No Lost ShoesOur shoes go lots of places, across vast distances, and over many miles. But eventually, no matter how much we care for them, our shoes break down and usually get thrown away. Max Romey wanted to find out what happens to his old shoes, and in his film No Lost Shoes, highlights the full scale of the problem.





The Long Wall

USA 2022: Director: Gareth Leah – 21 minutes

The Long WallHave you ever pondered what the longest climbing route in the world is?

You may have guessed that it was the great Mt. Thor on Baffin Island, Canada (4,101ft), or perhaps even the Azeem ridge on the Trango Towers, Pakistan (7,400ft), both impressively large in size, but even these are dwarfed in comparison to the unlikely record holder.

Nestled amongst the lush hillsides of upstate New York sits a bluff of quartzite rock known as the Gunks. Regarded as the birthplace of American climbing, its short yet mighty wall stretches more than 9000ft… horizontally.

Established by Dan Rosanstein and Ken Nichols in 1987, the Great Wall of China route is a masterpiece of esoterica which traverses the entire wall, its greatest crux may be jug rash, bugs, and dog walkers.

One Dream. Two Dirtbags. 9000ft of Climbing.

There will be an interval at this part of the evening. Refreshments are served on both levels. Please visit the art exhibitions (both levels) and the Trade Stands in the Ustinov Room

Dr Karen Darke MBE – Pole of Possibility

Ken Darke
Photo Credit – Christopher Michel

In the winter of 2022-23, Paralympic athlete Karen Darke with Professor Mike Christie and film-maker Mike Webster set out to explore where no-one had ever been before, by travelling 300km through the extreme beauty and landscape of Antarctica into the unknown to create the “Pole of Possibility” – a huge challenge for someone paralysed from the chest down.  Drawing on technology, mindset and incredible teamwork the projects aim was to share the importance of working with our ‘inner gold’ connections to each other and the power of enabling environments, along with a better understanding of the values of nature beyond use.

Karen could be described as a modern-day ‘Alchemist’: a keynote speaker, learning & development specialist turned mindset- heartset coach, ‘explorer in residence’ with the Scottish Royal Geographical Society, athlete, author and leader of transformational journeys. Karen’s purpose is about helping individuals and organisations ‘Find Inner Gold’: turning challenge into opportunity, turning ‘mud’ into ‘gold’. Karen started out as a geologist researching gold in the Bolivian Andes, but a life-changing accident that left her paralysed led her away from being a ‘rock-doctor’ to winning Paralympic gold in the sport of Paralympic hand-cycling in Rio 2016.  It was the 79th medal for Britain, and 79 being the elemental number for Gold led to Karen creating Quest 79. The project has Karen hand-cycling 7 continents in 9 iconic rides, raising funds for charities and encouraging many people to step out of their comfort zones and discover passion, purpose, strength and other aspects of their ‘inner gold’.

She is a multiple Guinness World Record holder for a 2018 landspeed arm-power handbike record, and a 2022-23 crossing to create the ‘Pole of Possibility’ in Antarctica, a project to inspire possibility thinking and what can be enabled with positive mindset, collaboration, connection and technology. From skiing across icecaps to kayak journeys at extreme latitudes and hand-cycle treks in the world’s biggest mountain ranges, Karen is a passionate advocate for the value of nature and the power of an ‘adventure mindset’ for everyday life. These experiences combined with unique studies of mind, resilience and performance have led to Karen helping people spiral into positivity and possibility, embracing all of life’s experiences as opportunities to learn and grow. Karen has extensively studied what goes on ‘inside’:  the power of the mind and language to positively impact emotions; improving presence, performance and wellbeing. She says,

“I have a passion for helping others transform, move beyond perceived limitations. Ability is a state of mind not body: through my own journey, I have discovered the incredible power we have within us to change our thoughts, our emotions, and our energy. We can all learn to be our own alchemist, to transform unwanted emotions or experiences into gold, be creators of our reality and in doing so improve our performance, our wellbeing, and the world around us”.                                                                                                                          

If You Fall
Book: If You Fall

Her first book “If You Fall” tells the story of her accident; the second, “Boundless” is about her adventures in Greenland and climbing El Capitan. “Quest 79: Find Your Inner Gold” is a collection of short stories positive psychology tips. All are available at

 ‘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, polar explorer

Karen has an MBE, a PhD in Geology, MA’s in Development Training & High Performance Psychology & Coaching, and Diploma’s in Clnical & Pastoral Counselling, Hypnotherapy & Motivational Coaching. She has been awarded honorary doctorates from The University of Aberdeen, The University of Leeds, The University of Cumbria, The Robert Gordon University, Sheffield Hallam University, and Abertay Universities, in recognition of her accomplishments and contributions in exploration and sport.


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