Vernon man heading to Antarctic to raise mental health awareness and build schools in Honduras

Hiking to new heights

Sir Darren Jacklin is going to new heights to raise awareness for mental health and to help educate children on the other side of the world.

The Vernon man, who was knighted into the Royal Order of Constantine the Great and Saint Helen in 2022, will be heading to Antarctica in January 2025 where he will climb Mount Vinson.

The highest mountain in Antarctica, Mount Vinson rises 4,892 meters (16,050 feet) above sea level.

Jacklin has adhered to a stringent training regime for months to do the climb that will raise awareness for mental health and generate funds to build schools worldwide.

“Over the past few months, I've intensified my physical training regimen to ensure I'm in peak condition to face the extreme conditions of Antarctica. This includes endurance training, cold exposure practices, and mental resilience exercises,” Jacklin said.

“Each step brings me closer to not just tackling the physical challenges of the expedition, but also shining a light on the importance of mental health, a cause very close to my heart. Together, we’re not just hiking, we’re building a brighter future with each stride.”

Jacklin said Antarctica is “a magical place to visit, yet less than 100 climbers per year venture to climb Antarctica’s highest peak, Mount Vinson, because of the logistical complexities in getting there.”

With guidance from the Canada West Mountain School, Jacklin is honing essential skills needed for the expedition, including snow rescue techniques and setting up specialized anchors.

On June 29, Jacklin will be co-leading a fundraising hike (Elevate to Educate) with LYNK Foundation in Mt. Seymour Provincial park, starting at 5:30 a.m.

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