- Desnivel Literature Prize 2020
- Medal for Sports Merit from the Superior Council of Sports
- Castelao Medal from the Xunta of Galicia
- Voyage of the Year Prize from the Spanish Geographic Society, among other awards
Chus Lago, born in Vigo (Galicia, Spain) on 25 December 1964, discovered mountains with her father. At eleven years of age, she made her debut in Vixiador (a hill near Vigo), and continued in the Pyrenees, the Alps, the Andes, Kenia, and the Himalayas, a mountain chain that she discovered at twenty-two years of age, at the feel of Annapurna, where she began her career reaching high summits.
In 1997, two years after cresting the summit of Cho You, her first eight-thousander, Chus Lago took up anew the project to climb Everest without the aid of oxygen. After a nearly successful attempt in 1998, she returned the next season. On 26 May 1999 she reached the summit of Everest without artificial oxygen (although she used some for two hours during her descent). On the expedition, she was only aided by one Nepalese porter.
In 2004 she finished her Snow Lion project, a title given to athletes who reach the highest summits of the former Soviet Union: Lenin, Khan Tengri, Pobeda, Korgenevskaya, and Somoni. She thusly became one of few women in the world to possess said title at that time. Consequently, mountaineering in Spain became trendy for the first time.
In 2005 after her first trip to the Antarctic as a climber, Chus traveled to Greenland for further polar exploration. That journey initiated a series of voyages to Swedish and Finnish Lapland and Greenland, which in turn led to preparations for the great voyage to the south pole.
In January 2009, she reached the South Pole after 59 days of solitaire crossing. The expedition became the first Spanish solo expedition to reach said objective. The experience, recorded on a camera worn by the mountaineer, was featured in the documentary, Chus Lago: Sola ante el Hielo, and broadcasted by Canal+ in April 2009. A more detailed description was offered in the book Sobre Huellas De Gigantes, which was written by the protagonist herself.
Chus Lago is also the creator and captain of Commitment to the Earth. The goal of this series of expeditions, composed completely of women athletes, has focused on climate change and its effects on polar and mountainous regions. The team crossed areas of Lapland in 2016, Baffin, Canada in 2017, and Lake Baikal, Russia in 2019, traversing more than 1000 kilometers of ice above the Arctic Circle.
- 2019 | LAKE BAIKAL
640-km crossing of Lake Baikal in Siberia, Russia from south to north.
- 2017 | BAFFIN
190-km crossing of Barnes Ice Cap, on Baffin Island, Canada
- 2016 | FROZEN LAKES OF LAPLAND
200 km-crossing along the frozen lakes of Lapland: 130 km on Lake Inari and 70 km on Lake Torneträsk, both within the Arctic Circle.
- 2009 | SOUTH POLE SOLO
Reached the South Pole solo from Hercules Bay on 8 January 2009, becoming the first solo expedition from Spain (almost completely autonomous, with only one resupply).
- 2007 | GREENLAND
100-km polar crossing.
- 2006 | GREENLAND
100-km polar crossing.
- 2006 | TORNETRÄSK LAKE (Lapland)
- 2004 – 2005 | OPENING GALFRÍO ROUTE
Opening of an ice route in Vinson Massif, Antarctica, in company of Miguel Ángel Vidal and named for the primary sponsor of the expedition.
- 2004 – 2005 | VINSON MASSIF (5,114 m) ANTARCTICA
Reached the Summit of Vinson Massif solo on December 25, becoming the first Spanish woman and second Spaniard to achieve this distinction.
- 2004 – 2004 | SNOW LEOPARD PROJECT
Title given to athletes who reach the highest summits of the former Soviet Union: Lenin, Khan Tengri, Pobeda, Korgenevskaya, and Somoni. Chus Lago obtained the title 13 August 2004. She reached the summits of Korgenevskaya (6,135 m) and Somoni (7,495 m).
- 2003 | OPENING OF ICE ROUTES IN NEPAL
Opened “Ría de Vigo” (400 m altitude difference) and “Flamini” (300 m III+/IV) with Miguel Ángel Vidal, Oscar Morales, and Curro González.
- 2003 | POBEDA (7.439 m)
Reached the summit of Pobeda on August 12. Snow Leopard Project.
- 2002 | POBEDA (7.439 m)
Abandoned after three failed attempts at the summit. Snow Leopard Project.
- 2001 | KHAN TENGRI (7.010 m.)
Reached the summit and is blocked in field III of Pobeda (7,439 m). Snow Leopard Project.
- 2000 | ISMOIL SOMONI PEAK (7.495 m.)
Reached the summit of Peak Pico Dushambe (7,000 m).
- 1999 | EVEREST (8.850 m.) NORTH FACE NORTHWEST EDGE
Reached the summit without the aid of artificial oxygen (which was used during two hours of the descent).
- 1998 | EVEREST (8.850 m.) NORTH FACE NORTHWEST EDGE
Reached an elevation of 8,250 m.
- 1995 | CHO OYU (8.201 m.)
Expedition to Cho Oyu, Tibet, one of the fourteen eight-thousanders of the planet. Reached an elevation of 8,150 .
- 1993 | EXPEDITION TO LENIN PEAK (UZBEKISTAN) (7.134 m.)
Reached the summit. Snow Leopard Project.
- 1992 | GALICIAN EXPEDITION TO EVEREST (NEPAL) ( 8.850 m.)
Reached an elevation of 7,800 m.
- 1991 | GALICIAN EXPEDITION TO ANNAPURNA (8.091 m.)
Reached an elevation of 7,000 m.
- 1990 | BOLIVIAN ANDES EXPEDITION
Nevado Illimani (6500 m.)
Gran Condoriri (5700 m.)
Huayna Potosi (6100 m.)
- 1989 | KENYAN EXPEDITION
Point Lenana (4985 m.)
Mount Kenya Ice Window Route (5200 m.)
Ascensions in the climbing areas of:
- 1987 | CORDILLERA BLANCA, PERU
Pisco 5732 m. (summit)
Tocllaraju 6034 m. (summit)
Ranrapalca 6130 m. (summit). New route west face
South Ishinca 5500 m. (summit)
Chopicalqui 6354 m. (summit)
AWARDS AND HONORSS
- 2011 | GALICIAN EXCELLENCE
Awarded by the Association of Galician Entrepreneurs of Catalonia (AEGA-CAT).
- 2009 | DISTINGUISHED GALICIAN AWARD
Awarded by El Correo Gallego
- 2005 | PRIZE FOR PUBLIC PERSONALITY
The Spanish Society of Pain and its president, Carlos Barutell, awarded Chus Lago for being the only Spanish woman to crest Mount Everest without oxygen, and doing so despite having cavus feet and deteriorated cartilage in a knee.
- 2004 | WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2004
Recognition awarded by the “Arandeira” Association of Pobra de Trives.
- 2004 | “GALICIA IN FEMININE” PRIZE
Awarded by the Xunta de Galicia.
- 2004 | “GALICIA – SPORT” BEST FEMALE ATHLETE PRIZE
Awarded by the Xunta de Galicia.
- 2004 | VIGO COUNCIL PRIZE – LIGHTHOUSE OF VIGO – CAIXANOVA
Award for the best female athlete of 2004.
- 2004 | DISTINGUISHED GALICIAN AWARD
Awarded by El Correo Gallego.
- 2009 | GALICIAN RADIO PRIZE – BEST ATHLETE
- 2003 | OVERCOMING AWARD 2003
Recognition given by the Xunta de Galicia.
- 2000 | ROYAL ORDER OF SPORTS MERIT
Bronze medal given by the Superior Sports Council.
- 2000 | DISTINGUISHED FEMALE OF VIGO
Recognition given by the Council of Vigo.
- 2000 | THE VOICE OF THE YEAR FROM VIGO
Awarded by the Voz de Galicia and Onda Cero.
- 2000 | SPORTS MERIT PRIZE
Awarded by the Galician Federation of High Mountains.
- 2000 | CASTELAO MEDAL
Recognition awarded by the Xunta of Galicia.
- 1999 | BEST SPORTS TRAJECTORY
Awarded by the Commission of Pontevedra.
- 1999 | JOURNEY OF THE YEAR
Awarded by the Spanish Geographic Society.
- 1998 | BEST ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Council of Vigo.
Chus Lago | Galician Referent
The presence of women experts in media, forums, presentations and other types of public acts is far from parity despite the fact that in Galicia hundreds of excellent professionals concerning in their different fields work. This initiative, pioneer in Galicia, wants to contribute to end this situation. Click the image for more info.
Chus Lake is a mountaineer, and adventurous entrepreneur. Her book, short stories, is a delight. Each story, like a drop of ice, with a magnificent prose, is a pie of some experience, always to the limit, always deep, which leaves a feeling of wanting more. You have to read it little by little. It is of a simply wonderful depth..