When Ricardo is not performing or recording music he dedicates his life to climbing high peaks in the world and is a professional mountain guide. Ricardo has climbed the highest mountains in 5 continents: South America (Aconcagua 22,843', six times), North America (Denali 20,320', twice), Europe (Mt.Elbrus 18,510'), Asia (Everest, up to 26,000') and Africa (Kilimanjaro 19,341').  He's also climbed the highest peaks in Mexico (including guiding more than 50 ascents up El Pico de Orizaba 18,405'), 87 of Colorado's 100 highest peaks (including all 54 of the famous "14ers") and the highest peaks in 35 US states among many other technical and non-technical ascents. 

On February 12, 2005 Ricardo discovered the coat and documents of Andes Survivor Eduardo Strauch as well other previously undiscovered airplane parts, while climbing near the impact point of the famous crash, popularized in the book and movie 'Alive".  In December 2005, with a grant from National Geographic, Ricardo lead the first expedition to cross the Andes by the historic escape route done by survivors: Roberto Canessa and Nando Parrado in 1972. This was done in the same month as the survivors did to experience the challenge of similar snow conditions. This story was featured on the April 2006 issue of National Geographic Adventure magazine. 

Ricardo has been involved in the making of many documentaries about the Andes Survivors including: 'Stranded' and History Channel's:I am Alive:Surviving the Andes Plane Crash where he did high altitude camera work, worked as a climbing stunt double and is featured as an expert on the topic throughout the show.

Ricardo currently guides ascents up Colorado peaks, expeditions to the Mexican volcanoes, Andes, Kilimanjaro and the Himalaya. He also guides an annual expedition open to the public to the "Alive" site in the company of  Andes Survivor Eduardo Strauch. Visit Alpine Expeditions.net  for more information on Ricardo's mountaineering, guiding and his involvement with the Andes Survivors. 

Ricardo is also a Keynote speaker on the topic of the Andes Survivors and his unique perspective as a high altitude mountaineer.



 

Finding Eduardo's coat!

Climbing Little Bear in Colorado

Andes Survivors 1972

Ricardo Peña 2006