• Start date: December 2008
  • End date: January 2009
  • Start / end point: Latitude 88.39º South – Geographic North
  • Total km: 200
  • Expedition duration: 12 days
  • Challenges achieved: First expedition with disabled people reaching the Geographic South Pole


At the end of 2008, Ramón Larramendi, together with Ignacio Oficialdegui, were the polar guides who accompanied the South Pole without Limits Expedition, a journey in which for the first time two disabled people managed to reach the Geographic South Pole by their means. It was sponsored by La Caixa Obra Social and the Generalitat de Catalunya.

The main protagonists were Xavier Valbuena, Eric Villalón and Jesús Noriega, who managed to walk on the snow for seven hours a day, at 3,000 meters of altitude and at a temperature of -20ºC, while dragging a pulka with 60 kilos of weight. Valbuena had the femoral on his right leg amputated, Villalon had reduced vision to 5%, and Noriega was born without one hand.


The expedition left the Chilean base of Patriot Hills, from where an airplane left them in the middle of the Antarctic ‘plateau’, at 3,000 meters of height. Expedition members had received a course on polar survival from Larramendi and Oficialdegui before the jorney.

During the 12 days of ski crossing, there were some problems: Xavier Valbuena had a strong physical downturn and was freezing; and Eric Villalón the first days suffered severe gastritis in full swing. Villalón is a Paralympic champion, winner of nine medals in ski competition, but temperatures of down to 40 degrees below zero and winds of 300 kilometers per hour, took its toll on him and his teammates.

The expedition also had a scientific objective. Each day, the expeditionary collected samples of Antarctic ice, which they then kept for further study at the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM) of Barcelona (CSIC).


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