2005 Trans-Antarctic Expedition

  • Start date: 10-11- 2005
  • End date: 12-1-2006
  • Start / end point: Base Novalazárevskaya – Progress Base
  • Total kilometers: 4.500 kms.
  • Expedition duration: 63 days
  • Challenges achieved: First arrival at the South Pole of Inaccessibility. First Antarctic crossing with Aeolian vehicle, WindSled.


Since 2001, Ramón Larramendi envisioned traveling to Antarctica with his WindSled and finally, after Juan Manuel Viu joined the project, they managed to get the expedition approved by the Spanish Polar Committee. It was the first expedition in history to cross Antarctica’s interior on a vehicle moved by the wind.

The team was formed by Larramendi, the geologist Juan Manuel Viu and the mountaineer and engineer, expert in renewable energies, Ignacio Oficialdegui. To the geographical challenge of the project, scientific support was added due to the fact that Spanish and Swiss scientists incorporated their projects to collect snow and ice data to the expedition. Mapfre, Acciona Energía, Grifone and RTVE’s program ‘Al filo de lo Imposible’ were its sponsors.


The trip to Antarctica began on October 2005, via South Africa. On November 2, the expedition reached the Russian base Novalazárevskaya, north of Antarctica and on the 10th they were deposited on a glacier, at an altitude of 2,800 meters, where navigation began at temperatures of -46ºC. On the first day they already traveled 86 km without stopping. They would have -50º C outside and -38º inside the tent.


The problems arose when they encountered sastrugis up to 50 cm in height and the WindSled suffered serious damage, which they were able to fix on the go. Even so, after 10 days they were about to abandon the adventure, but they continued ahead and on December 11 attained the real South Pole of Inaccessibility, according to the British Institute of Antarctic Studies, at coordinates located about 100 kilometers from the location the Russians attained in 1958. After 3,000 km of navigation, they arrive at the Russian Vostok scientific base, and they are the second non-motorized expedition to do so, after the arrival of Jean Louis Etienne and Victor Boyarski with dog sledges in 1991. It is a section in which the intense cold ravages the bodies of the expeditionary, but in which they manage to surpass Alain Hubert’s record of distance traveled in one day (311 km compared to 270 km).

In Vostok, the scientists showed the expeditionary ice cuttings performed at 3,665 meters in depth, equivalent to 500,000 years of age.


After a Christmas break at the base, they followed the route, first to the Russian base Mirni (on the east coast, in Australian Antarctic territory) to leave the continent on the icebreaker Akademik Fedorov, also passing by Progress Base, where the icebreaker has to stop. This part of the expedition was carried out at the fastest possible pace, since the departure date from the continent had been advanced.

Finally, despite the cold and the WindSled suffering new breaks with the sastrugis, on the scheduled date (January 12, 2006), they reached a point, near Progress Base, where a helicopter picked them up and deposited them in the vessel. They had culminated a 4,500 kilometer journey through one of the most inhospitable places on Earth in only 63 days.





  • Chapter 1
  • Chapter 2
  • Chapter 3
  • Chapter 4
  • Chapter 5
  • Chapter 6
  • Chapter 7
  • Chapter 8
  • Chapter 9
  • Chapter 10

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