Expedicion Caixanova 2008
From 12.11.2008 to 15.01.2009 - Status: ongoing
After having achieved in becoming the first Spanish woman to conquer Mount Vinson, the mountaineer Chus Lago (Maria Jesus Lago Rey) has now set her hopes on completing the trek between Hercules Inlet and the South Pole, solo and unassisted.
The main claim to fame (and what a claim!) of this 44-year-old sporting woman is that she was the first Spaniard, and the third woman ever, to climb Mount Everest without any additional oxygen. That was on 26th May 1999, when Chus was 35 years old, and made her second attempt on the world's highest peak. The year before that, she had reached an altitude of 7 800 metres.
It has to be said that Maria Jesus Lago Rey is not yet a real specialist in the Polar Regions. She feels far more at home in the Cordillera Blanca or the Bolivian Andes. Her achievements include feats that few other climbers have attempted. For example, she has climbed the five highest summits in the former USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics), an expedition she nicknamed Snow Leopard' ('Leopardo de la Nieves'). In 1997, she conquered her first 8 000-metre mountain when she reached the peak of Cho Oyu (the smallest' mountain in the 8000 club, with a height of 8 201 metres).
Recently, in 2006 and 2007, she has also been to Greenland, where she completed a number of shorter treks of about a hundred kilometres.
This season's attempt out on the ice between Hercules Inlet and the South Pole will be her second stay in Antarctica. In 2004, she reached the summit of the famous Mount Vinson (5 114 metres), which is the highest point of the frozen continent.