S3 Everest Expedition

Welcome to the S3 Everest Expedition!

I am raising money to climb Mount Everest, at 29,029' the highest mountain on the planet, while pursuing the mission of the Summits, Songs and Science (S3) Project. The S3 project promotes healthy living, science education and culture. 

With your help we can make this expedition happen and you can participate virtually in this great and exciting adventure through our dispatches covering not just every detail of the expedition but of the training and preparation process too. You will receive dispatches, videos, photos and live coverage through facebook, instagram and directly to your inbox.

This climb will not only help pursue the S3 mission but will also provide income for many hardworking Sherpas and Nepali staff members involved in the logistics of this expedition.

Since my expedition will not be a guided expedition and I will be hiring the logistics directly from Nepali service providers with whom I’ve worked before, the money you are donating will go directly to pay hardworking people that need this income to support their families in one of the poorest countries in the world. The logistics company I work with pays their employees well. These employees are the sherpas I will be working with on the mountain. We (the sherpas and I) have a philosophy of working together as a team  which translates into a respectful and enjoyable environment full of comradeship.

Donations to this campaign will be used exclusively to pay the costs of the logistics for this Everest expedition.

While training for and climbing Everest, my wife Ulyana (who is a scientist, educator and also a mountaineer) and I will be using the attention that this type of expedition gathers to promote science education through creating educational content (for children, college students and the general public) and a series of blogs and social media posts which will include fascinating scientific facts and show the value of scientific and rational thinking in everyone’s lives. We firmly believe much of human suffering and conflict stems from irrational thinking, dogmatism and misinformation. We believe rational thinking and education are one big part of the solution to these problems.
We will also continue to pursue the other goals of our S3 project promoting music and healthy lifestyles (see below for more info on our project). 

Thanks to the incredible generosity of many donors I have been on Mount Everest twice before but bad luck has prevented me from summiting.

In 2014 as I was headed towards the Khumbu ice fall I witnessed an avalanche that tragically killed 16 sherpas and injured many others whom I helped by providing first aid and helping in their evacuation. The events after the avalanche led to the mountain being shut down to climbers and all teams were forced to abandon their expeditions.

During my second Everest expedition in 2017, I got pneumonia for 2 weeks but was able to heal just before my summit bid. I made it all the way up camp 4 (the highest camp at 26,000'). I had less than 3000 vertical feet to reach the summit of Everest and I felt fine and ready to go for it. Unfortunately the forecast of good weather I had received did not materialize and the jet stream did not move off Everest; which meant we had sustained 100+ mile per hour winds at high camp and above. This made it impossible to attempt the summit and we did not have enough oxygen to stay more nights at the south col. The monsoon started shortly after that and my expedition ended.


I am in the best position in my life to summit Everest now. The experience I have gained in the past two Everest expeditions climbing most of the mountain (reaching 26,000’ at the South Col) is extremely valuable as I know how my body reacts to these extreme altitudes; how my body performs with supplementary oxygen, how to stay well hydrated and nourished in these extreme conditions. I know how to best train for Everest. My experience guiding close to 100 mountaineering expeditions, climbing many high peaks in almost every continent in the world combined with all the knowledge I have gained about training and nutrition through my research and in more than 25 years of mountaineering put me in the best position I can be to summit Mount Everest. There is no guarantee that anyone will summit Everest on any expedition but knowledge, experience and fitness certainly increase your safety and dramatically boost your chances of success.

All I need to succeed is to stay healthy during the expedition and to get a window of good weather and conditions...and of course to fund this expedition!

Everest is an extremely expensive expedition and it is impossible for a mountain guide and professional musician as me to fund this by myself but with your donation we can make this happen, as we did in 2014 and in 2017.

Your donation (no matter how small or large) will provide direct income for hard working people in one of the poorest countries in the world. It will help promote science education. It will help inspire many people (and hopefully yourself too) to lead healthier lives and pursue great goals. It will promote the mission of our S3 project which includes connecting people around the world at a time when divisiveness is becoming a big problem everywhere and of course it will help me achieve a lifelong dream of climbing the highest mountain in the world; an experience I want to share with you in detail as this will be your Everest expedition too!

Thank you so much for your donation!

All donations no matter how small are greatly welcome!

We are offering these special perks to donors:

-$25 donation gets you a subscription to all the updates, live coverage, photos and videos
-$50 Full subscription plus you receive your official team member expedition bumper sticker
-$100 Everything above plus the new small Everest poster (photo taken by Ricardo on his 2017 Everest expedition)
-$250 Everything above plus your choice of one these great additional perks featuring the expedition logo:
a) Aluminum water bottle with carabiner
b) Official expedition T shirt
c) Color changing mug (photo appears when hot liquid is added)
d) Large classic Everest poster (from another photo taken by Ricardo in 2017)
e) Expedition tote bag

-$500 Everything above plus another perk from the list above (a,b,c,d, or e)
Add more additional perks with each additional $250 donation

-$1000 Everything above plus a day climb or hike in Colorado guided by Ricardo or a private Everest presentation for you and your friends.

For more information on the Summits, Songs and Science Project (S3) visit: www.SummitsSongsandScience.com

Donations ()

  • Joanie Gaudreau 
    • $50 
    • 20 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 21 d
    • $100 
    • 24 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 24 d
  • Matthew Boyd 
    • $50 
    • 1 mo
See all


Ricardo Pena 
Broomfield, CO
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