Juanma-Viu-1024x768JUAN MANUEL VIU

Certified in Geology and the father of three beautiful children, Juan Manuel Viu was born in Jaca, surrounded by mountains and snow, at the foothills of the Aragonese Pyrenees. When asked, he does not remember the first day he put on skis, since his life has always been linked to nature and adventure. At scarcely 18 years of age he flew over the Pyrenees in a paraglider, his first contact with the world of wind that ended up taking him to Antarctica aboard a quite singular vehicle: the WindSled. It was also then that he traveled to Bariloche and Ushuaia in the Argentine Andes for two consecutive winters: skiing, exploring and climbing mountains he was.

He enrolled in the Bachelor of Geology program at the University of Zaragoza, but he obtained his titling at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland. There he had reached the perfect landscape for his favorite hobbies so Viu extended his stay with the completion of a Master’s Program, specialized in environment, in the year 1991.

Later on, thanks to a great opportunity in Iberia he was granted a scholarship to obtain a degree for commercial pilot. Since 1997 he became part of the company as a pilot. At present he holds the same job which allows him to travel and organize his time for his passion: his parallel career as expeditionary.

In year 1998 he met Ramón Larramendi on a trip to Greenland. He was attracted by Ramón’s idea of the (then) catamaran which navigated the ice. By then, Viu already had in mind his own personal project of flying on a “ski plane” over the Arctic, thus broadening his knowledge of polar logistics and aviation. Since the year 2000, they began working together on the organization of an expedition to Antarctica in the polar catamaran which Ramón was beginning to test. In year 2003, he was one of the members of the expedition that crossed Greenland East-West.

Since then, Viu focused on logistics coverage and the construction and design of the wind vehicle used in the Trans Antarctica Expedition 2005-2006, in which he participated. On that occasion, he requested an eight month leave from his job to travel the world (he made twenty five trips) to document himself and set up the logistics of the complex Trans Antarctic Scientific Project. Along with the rest of the team on this journey, he reached the South Pole of inaccessibility, making history as the first non mechanized expedition to attain it.

After the trip to Antarctica, and combining it with his profession, he participated in several other trips as airplane expeditions over Greenland.

In year 2008, he was contacted by the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC) to be the head of the Spanish Antarctic Base Juan Carlos I during the 2008-2009 campaign, a campaign that was part of the Fourth International Polar Year and where eight research projects were conducted in this facility. It was also the year that remodeling of the base commenced to now be at a standstill. In all, he spent two and a half months on Livingston Island, which served him as a way to understand the need to relate the world of polar exploration with science, and learn from the technical UTM group at CSIC to resolve logistical problems involving autonomous polar land bases and to find out about international science being developed in Antarctica.

In 2009, he participated in the organization of “Humboldt Glacier Greenland”, a planned trip for TV channel CUATRO, “Desafio Extremo” meaning “Extreme Challenge” program, led by Jesús Calleja and which was broadcasted on February of year 2010.

By then he was already beginning to prepare the logistics of the new Acciona Windpowered Antarctica Expedition, 2011-2012. This time, he could not be on the ground, but Viu was responsible for the expedition’s safety throughout the entire journey.

In spring 2014, he will  be coordinating the logistics on the WindSled for the 2014 Greenland Circumnavigation Expedition.

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