From 11 September 2017 to 28 September 2017


Five women who have suffered from cancer will experience the Arctic adventure in its purest form during this third edition of the Pelayo Vida Challenge: they will trek more than 100 km, surrounded by ice, crevasses, icebergs and glaciers, at –35ºC and with 30 kg on their backs without any kind of outside help. An endurance test for five women who proved that it was possible to overcome a disease such as cancer and that it will be possible to cover this distance in a spectacular, but at the same time very aggressive setting due to its extreme temperatures.


The Pelayo Vida Polar’2017 Challenge against cancer, now in its third edition, aims to spread the word about the benefits of exercising during and after cancer treatment in an extreme place such as the freezing Arctic, as well as respecting the environment and our poles.


Travelling the Arctic itself is a unique adventure. Travelling more than 100 km across a desert of ice and crevasses at –35 degrees is already a feat, like that of the five women who faced the tough disease of cancer. We want to convey a message of hope, the will to live, personal growth and self-esteem to everyone: healing is possible and compatible with a good quality of life.

I have always been very optimistic and have tried to look for the positive aspects of everything that happens to me, so travelling to the North Pole and having curly hair now are undoubtedly two rewards for having gone through cancer.

Micaela, 39, breast cancer

I have decided to set myself a challenge every year and what better challenge than to set foot in the inhospitable Arctic. I would like all those who are going through chemotherapy to think for a moment that they could be next.

Lorena, 35, Hodgkin's lymphoma

I want to experience it all, gather experiences that make me a better person, widen my soul and my heart. I want to feel the adrenaline of setting foot in the Arctic. I want to live.

Ana Belén, 35, breast cancer

Life gives you opportunities, and mine came at the very moment when I started to fight cancer. You have to fight for life, because you only get the one you have.

Esther, 38, breast cancer

I want to feel the cold on my face when walking on that steppe of snow and ice, with an effort that makes you feel your heart beating in your throat. I feel I can do it, even if I do not have superpowers, since cancer gave me a lesson.

Encarnación, 51, breast cancer

Ramón Larramendi

Head of the expedition

All in all, he has lived six years in the Arctic and speaks some Inuit language fluently. He is undoubtedly the Spaniard who knows the Arctic best, especially Greenland, where he owns a house. In addition to his expeditions, Ramón is passionate about knowledge and dissemination about the polar regions and boasts the best library in Spain on the subject, compiled over more than twenty years and made available to the public through the Polar Information Centre, which he founded in 1993.

  • Woman of the Year 2018 Madrid Award
  • NASA Mention Award to Pelayo Vida Polar Challenge 2017 for preserving the environment and the poles
  • 2017 POLAR Award