Adventure Announcement - Wild Beyond Barriers

Thursday, 09 August 2018

Back in 2014, I rediscovered my adventure and what WAS possible while on a solo trip off the west coast of Scotland, to the Isle of Arran. I quickly found myself in a situation where I had no choice but to find a way, I remember clearly my first night on the island, deciding to take my wheelchair down a steep rough track to a cove where I’d heard a colony of seals were. The seals were indeed there and it was a beautiful moment, and as the light set, alone, I soon realised there was no way to push myself back up the steep bank I’d come down. That night a lost part of me began to grow. That was adventure, my belief that anything is possible, that there’s always a way, and indeed there was. I have a very special link with the island and return again and again to discover my possible, pushing my limits further every time.  

I do believe this is where Beyond Barriers was born. My project and work is about encouraging and supporting those facing barriers to getting active outside to find their way. Through working with groups and through my own adventures I aim to show what is possible and that we are all beyond barriers.


This brings me to my next challenge…

My biggest adventure so far will push my limits further and test me harder, as I travel far beyond the Scottish isles, 62 degrees north, to where the weather changes by the hour and landscapes are remote, wild, extreme and challenging. 

 An unexplored jigsaw of 18 volcanic islands adrift in the north Atlantic Ocean between Norway and Iceland, beginning 24th August, I will attempt to solo handcycle as many as accessible, the archipeligo that make up the Faroe Islands.

Photo copyright (Christoffer Collin) /

Where roads end, I will be using my arms to carry me on my crutches, climbing, and any way possible to explore the islands and find my way. Travelling island to island, through a series of undersea tunnels, bridges and ferries; by handbike, boat and the occasional helicopter.

Photo copyright (Bardur Mikladal) /

I will be totally self-supported, carrying everything with me, thanks to a custom bike pannier set up developed with Alpkit I will be camping throughout the islands, predominantly remote, using off-grid power sources of wind, solar and wheel power, kindly supported by UK and European portable off-grid power designers and manufacturers TexEnergy and Velogical Engineering

My plan is to produce a short film of this adventure, as well as writing. This is my Beyond Barriers journey of the unknown, the unexplored, the possible, Faroese culture, its people, stories and legends. I hope to immerse myself in, and capture the raw essence of the Faroe Islands during my time and plan to use the trip and lessons learnt to support positive change where I can.


There are some that may ask “why?”

I think the answer to that comes in many forms. Ask anyone who pushes their limits, gets out of their comfort zone, follows their passion and leaps into the unknown, ‘type 2 fun’, and I’m sure you’ll get many answers, but all coming down to one. It’s who I am,

The Faroe Islands have intrigued me for a while. Very little is known about these still largely undiscovered steep knife-edge ridgelines rising out of the North Atlantic ocean. Where sheep more than double the islands people, waterfalls fall from the cliff edge to drop vertical into the wild seas beneath and lakes seems to float on top of islands. The weather itself, challenging, especially to a handcyclist. With a maritime climate, sea mists and average summer temperatures of 13 degrees c, you really do get all seasons in one day, if not one hour. There is one saying I have learnt in the Faroese language - “um tær ikki dámar veðrið, bíða so bara í 5 minuttir”, translated to - “if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes”. I have also learnt there are 39 different words in the Faroese language for fog..

Photo by Erla Rajani ZiskasenPhoto copyright (Erla Rajani Ziskasen) /

Photo copyright (Christoffer Collin) /

Such is the mystery of the Faroe Islands, some maps do not even feature them, with many people unaware of their location. Until recently the islands remained very much off-grid, not being searchable by google mapping. This was until the islands took it upon themselves to release their own ‘Street View’, but better, ‘Sheep View’.

Photo copyright

A combination of the unknow, the extreme and wild natural beauty is what has drawn me to the Faroe Islands, and with a certain amount of nervous anticipation, I am extremely excited to start my journey and go Wild Beyond Barriers.

Photo copyright (Eva Kisgyorgy)

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