Tarka is a British explorer, ultra-endurance athlete, motivational speaker and filmmaker who holds several endurance records. He spent much of his childhood growing up in the Savoie region of the French Alps where he developed a passion for adventurous activities including rock and ice climbing, mountaineering, touring, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, road cycling, paragliding, skydiving and BASE jumping to name a few.
At the age of 16, Tarka took a bicycle out of a skip, put it back together in the school design labs and completed a 1000km journey to the South of France. Although the journey was a logistical disaster, it added to his love of challenging sports and wild environments. He began with mountaineering expeditions before moving on to the Arctic, and in 2004 he attempted to become the youngest person ever to reach the North and South Poles, unaided and in succession, but the project could not be completed due to sponsorship withdrawal.
In 2006, Tarka attempted to summit Mount Everest without oxygen but having reached the 7,000m mark he soon developed HACE and was evacuated. A year later he and his partner Katie-Jane became the first people to walk the entire length of the Great Wall of China. In 2008, he cycled over 8,000 km through Africa on a 30-year-old bicycle with no brakes or gears to promote the charity Re-Cycle. A year later he completed the longest ever crossing of the Southern Patagonian Ice Cap by a British team. In February 2014, Tarka and Ben Saunders successfully completed the Terra Nova Expedition also known as the Scott Expedition first taken by Robert Falcon Scott in January 1912.
Tarka is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a mentor of the British Schools Exploring Society and has used his expeditions to support a number of charities including Cancer Research, Make-A-Wish Foundation,Practical Action, Merlin and Re-Cycle.
In his role as a motivational speaker, Tarka explains just what it takes to achieve high levels of peak performance, how to overcome adversity and techniques for mental conditioning. Alongside now-wife Katie-Jane, their remarkable story of joint achievement motivates and inspires audiences to maximise success in their own lives.
Follow Your Dreams
Persevere Despite Difficulties and Set-Backs
Courage & Conquering the Fear of Failure
Achieve Your Goals - Achieve Your Potential
Co-Operation in Adversity
"I would like to thank you for the absolutely fantastic talk that you gave. Everyone I spoke to after the event found your story captivating and very inspirational. People have been talking about it ever since." -Admiral Group
"Thank you so much for your dynamic presentation. It was enlightening, enthralling, inspirational – what more can I say? Our students were captivated and motivated by your words and by the stunning photography and video footage." - Wycliffe College