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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 June 2006, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Ice cap team back home after trek
Karen Darke
Karen Darke propelled herself using her arms and ski poles
A team who accompanied the first British paraplegic adventurer to cross Greenland's ice cap have returned home.

Anna McCormack, from Cannock in Staffordshire, led the 600km (372 miles) By Hands and Feet expedition.

Among the six-strong team was Karen Darke from Grantown on Spey in Scotland, who used a special kit to overcome her lower body paralysis.

The trek raised money for Interventure, which develops sports and adventure opportunities for disabled people.

By Hands and Feet Greenland took two years of planning and was endorsed by a number of organisations including the Scott Polar Research Institute and the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Expedition.

Anna McCormack
Team leader Anna McCormack is helping to plan the next adventure

The Trust's patron Sir Ranulph Fienes commended the team's aims of pushing back the barriers to wilderness access for disabled explorers, and of inspiring others to overcome their own obstacles.

Karen Darke, 34, who was paralysed in a rock climbing accident, propelled herself by sitting on skis and used her arms and ski poles to cover the ground.

The team spent 29 days on the ice cap, which rigorously tested clothing and technical innovations aimed at keeping Karen warm and dry.

In her expedition blog - her online diary - Karen called it the toughest physical and mental challenge she had ever voluntarily undertaken.

She wrote: "My shoulders have never worked so hard...most days I felt a fire burning in their muscles and tendons."

On her return home team leader Anna McCormack told the BBC that the By Hands and Feet team are already planning their next expedition in 2007.

Ice cap team celebrate with pizza
06 Jun 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Ice cap team close to finish line
31 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Paralysed skier begins ice trip
09 May 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Paralysed adventurer's ice trek
26 Apr 06 |  Highlands and Islands
Paraplegic prepares for ice cap
02 Apr 06 |  Staffordshire

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