From 20 September 2015 to 02 October 2015


Among the many ways to learn about the culture and history of a continent, climbing to the top of its highest mountain may not be the most usual one, but it is the most exciting. Mount Kilimanjaro (5,895 m) is an essential part of Africa’s legend, as well as one of its most iconic symbols. The ascent of the so-called “shining mountain” is a journey into the heart of the extraordinary African continent.


The Pelayo Vida Polar’2015 Challenge against cancer, now in its first edition, which includes as a test the ascent of the so-called “shining mountain”, is a journey in which one enters the heart of the extraordinary African continent. On the way to the summit, our expedition members will have the privilege of listening to its heartbeat through the Chagga tribe, the inhabitants of its lowlands; crossing habitats of all kinds, such as forests, deserts and alpine areas, admiring the great diversity of flora and fauna, as well as being able to see one of the last glaciers in Africa. As a final climax, a sunrise from the highest point of the continent with the savanna on the horizon and the great Rift Valley at their feet. A unique and unforgettable experience. Experiences that remained engraved in the minds and hearts of these five women and that are worth having once in a lifetime.


The Pelayo Vida Challenge introduces us to the fascinating world of mountain sports from a very personal perspective, that of five women who have suffered from the disease and tell us, while climbing to the summit of Kilimanjaro, how motivation, the will to live and personal growth have been key during their recovery process. The aim of the expedition is to disseminate the benefits of physical exercise during and after breast cancer treatment, to promote regular check-ups as a means of early detection, to show appreciation for all women who face this tough disease and to convey a message of hope and self-esteem: healing is possible and compatible with a good quality of life.

Sport also played an essential role in my daily journey. My sporting experience has helped me a lot in my treatment.

Carmen, 48, melanoma

The preparation and psychological experience of climbing the great mountains of the Himalayas is quite similar to a long and complex illness.

Rosa, 55, breast cancer

Medicines can heal our body, but what about the wounds of the soul.

Eva, 50, breast cancer

The weekend before surgery I was up in the mountains and I promised myself that I would come back there.

María, 40, breast cancer

Every day from the time of the surgery was for me one day less to go towards my recovery, and I clung to this positive thought.

Araceli, 48, breast cancer

Ismael Santos

Head of the expedition

A former Real Madrid basketball player, his first contact with the mountains took place in the Dolomites in 2001, when he was still a professional basketball player. It was love at first sight, and he knew from that moment on that his life would be linked to them forever. He felt like they were hiding something different and special and he wanted to find out what it was.

  • Woman of the Year 2018 Madrid Award
  • Actualidad Económica Award for the 100 best business ideas.
  • 2016 EFI CSR Award Nomination
  • 2016 Aviva Innovation Award
  • Nominated for the Spanish Documentary Short Film Goya Awards
  • 2015 KILIMANJARO Award