From 16 September 2019 to 13 October 2019


An endurance test for six women, five Spanish and one Mexican, who, after overcoming breast cancer, proved that it is possible to cross from south to north, on MTBs, the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt desert in the world, where the entire autonomous community of Asturias can fit inside. After reaching the Sajama National Park, they will have to climb and conquer the peaks of Acotango (6,052 m) and Nevado Sajama (6,542 m), the highest point in Bolivia and the 10th highest volcano on Earth.



The 5th edition of the Pelayo Vida Challenge takes five Spanish women and one Mexican woman, who have suffered and overcome cancer, to Bolivia, one of the highest countries in the world. There they will mountain bike almost 120 kilometres in two stages, from the south to the north of the Salar de Uyuni, the largest salt desert in the world, which is located 3,663 metres above sea level and could hold the entire Principality of Asturias. They will then move on to the Sajama National Park, where they will have to face the Acotango (6,052 m) and Nevado Sajama (6,542 m) volcanoes, the highest point in the Andean country and the 10th highest volcano on Earth. The six selected women have to climb and reach their summit with perpetual snow. They are all sending out a message of hope to women who have suffered or are currently suffering from the disease and encourage them to overcome it through sports and a proper diet.


This year, 282 women from 11 countries (Spain, Germany, Italy, Romania, Poland, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, the United States and Mexico), who had suffered from cancer and wished to participate in this tough edition, applied for the selection trial. With this fifth edition, 808 women have already taken part in the selection trials for Kilimanjaro’2015, Trasatlántica’2016, Polar’2017, Annapurna Bike’2018 and Andes’2019.

Ride 120 kilometres along the Salar de Uyuni salt flats and climb Acotango and Nevado Sajama. The national park, which is named the same, is crowned by the 6,542-metre Nevado Sajama volcano, the highest peak in the Andean country, and its little brother Acotango (6,052 m). The slopes of Nevado Sajama are covered by the queñua, which forms an open and scrubby forest and is considered one of the highest forests in the world. After resting and acclimatising for a day, our five expedition members must ascend to a base camp at 4,800 m, up to a high camp at 5,600 m and, from there, attack the summit of perpetual snow at an altitude 6,542 metres. A unique challenge.

Surviving is not enough. How many of us survive on a daily basis thinking that we have our life figured out, until something happens and everything changes in the blink of an eye.

Rina, 44, breast cancer

Born in Mexico City.
A surgeon and the chairwoman and founder of the Alma Foundation.

You may feel tired from time to time, sometimes lonely, at times even almost crushed, but you can handle it, you have yourself, and it is time to fight for yourself.

Raquel, 38, breast cancer

Born in Madrid, she is an administrative officer by profession.

The greatest challenge is to defy yourself and go as far as your mind wants to take you, because suffering becomes effort and effort becomes victory.

Estrella, 39, breast cancer

Although she was born in Madrid, she feels from Extremadura all over.
She is a National Police officer and is stationed in Madrid.

One day you will realise that you are not just another survivor, but a warrior who never gave up.

Victoria, 48, breast cancer

This pharmacist was born in Madrid, where she lives with her family.

Accept what is happening to you. Cancer can give you a new perspective on your life, it provides you with opportunities and sets new goals. It teaches you to notice what is actually important.

Begoña, 52, breast cancer

This Madrid native is a media analyst at Kantar Media, where she works in the television department.

Overcoming challenges is the driving force that pushes me to get up, to improve day after day and to prove to myself that I set the limit to my dreams.

Felisa, 46, breast cancer

Born in Almería and a surveyor by profession, she is the first Andalusian to take part in the Pelayo Vida Challenge.

Rosa Fernández

Head of the expedition

A Spanish climber born in Asturias in 1960. She has summited 6 of the 14 eight-thousanders, including Mount Everest. To date, she is the only Spanish woman to complete the 7 Summits Project, climbing the highest mountains on all continents (Europe, Africa, Asia, North America, South America, Oceania and Antarctica). The mountain ranges of the Andes, Himalayas, Pyrenees, Caucasus, Alps and the Karakoram have been the setting of this mountaineer’s expeditions for two decades. In 2015, she was an expedition member in the first edition of the Pelayo Vida Challenge, with Kilimanjaro as its destination.

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