2007 and Onward
On this page you will find the photos for many of the discoveries Ricardo Peña has made between 2007 and now. Every year since 2005 Ricardo has returned to the site at least once during the summer months (January through March in the southern hemisphere) and climbed and explored the area extensively. Only the survivors have spent more days (72) than Ricardo on this valley.
In 2008 Ricardo was able to retrieve Eduardo’s coat at last. When Ricardo found Eduardo’s coat on February 12, 2005, he wasn’t sure what to do. He felt he might be disturbing a historical site so he reasoned the documents might disintegrate so he took Eduardo’s wallet and passport and he left the coat under some rocks to mark the spot. When Eduardo met Ricardo he asked him about the coat. Ricardo promised him he would get it. Ricardo did two attempts in 2006 and 2007 only to find the spot covered in many feet of snow. In 2008 conditions were very dry and Ricardo saw his opportunity. He went alone so he climbed fast. At an altitude of about 13,700′ he stopped at the bottom of the narrow gulley (where Eduardo’s coat was) and took a break to eat and drink when he suddenly heard rocks falling: when he looked up, he saw horrified about 8 or 10 bowling sized rocks falling and since the gulley he was in is very narrow, the rocks were heading directly towards him. He only had a second to react. Instinctively he quickly climbed a small, exposed pinnacle of loose rock, which proved to be the only safe spot. The rocks passed by at very high speeds by his backpack and camera, barely missing them on either side. Shaken by this Ricardo took a moment to reconsider whether to go on or abort. This gulley was clearly dangerous in these conditions bu he knew this year was the year to find the coat if it still there so he carried on. On the way up he found the landing gear and engine (on the photos) and finally just as it had been left 3 years before …Eduardo’s coat!! See photos and video for this climb and Eduardo’s reaction.
After 2008 Ricardo has continued his explorations every year. The drier conditions of the last two years (2011 and 2012) have produced many impressive discoveries. Many of these pieces have been selected by Ricardo and Eduardo and have been brought out of the Andes. The intention is to conserve these historic pieces and to eventually display them at a museum about the survivors in Montevideo. Fundacion Viven is in charge of fund raising for this project. Please visit Fundacion Viven for more info.
January 28, 2011
This is a video of Ricardo Peña filmed on January 28, 2011 when he finds the second propeller of the plane. The first one had been photographed pre-2005. It was then photographed by Ricardo on several occasions but the second propeller remained a mystery until this day.