Richard Hidalgo: Mountaineer Focuses on Nutrition to Scale New Heights

By Herbalife Staff
July 28, 2016

Richard Hidalgo: Mountaineer Focuses on Nutrition to Scale New Heights

Famed 20th century explorer and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary once said that “People do not decide to become extraordinary, they decide to accomplish extraordinary things.” Today, his poignant words could easily be applied to Herbalife-sponsored Peruvian mountaineer Richard Hidalgo.

Adventures Up High

Hidalgo is one of the few mountaineers in history to ever attempt to reach the peak of Mount Everest without using oxygen, an adrenaline-fueled experience that he says brought him near death. How did he even attempt such feat? “When you’re up that high, it becomes you against the mountain,” says Hidalgo. “You have to develop your breathing to maximum capacity so you are prepared and maintain a high degree of concentration at all times.” Hidalgo’s passion for mountaineering was sparked in the early 1990s, when he saw an ad in a local newspaper for a basic mountaineering course. He took the course, falling in love with the sport and has been training hard at it ever since. “Throughout my career as a professional mountaineer, I have discovered that the more I am driven to confront and challenge nature, the more I end up falling in love with its majesty and beauty,” he says. Hidalgo took his passion for climbing to professional status, having earned an International Mountain Guide certification, one of the highest-level mountaineering credentials in the world. Over the years, he has climbed a number of mountains across the Peruvian Andes, being the first to do so at some, and the first to climb solo at others. He’s even opened new routes so that others may follow in his footsteps.

Lofty Ambitions

In 2015, Hidalgo’s expedition to Mt. Lhotse, the fourth highest mountain in the world behind Mt. Everest, K2 and Kangchenjunga, was halted due to the massive earthquake that took place in Nepal. Earlier this summer, Hidalgo made an expedition to Mt. Everest with a television production crew from a popular news program in Peru to document his journey. Due to extreme weather conditions, he came up 300 meters short of the summit. On a mountain that’s more than 8,800 meters high, Hidalgo was just shy of reaching his goal. His inability to summit this time around, however, in no way deters him from his grand plan: To climb the 14 highest mountains in the world, all of which are 8,000 meters above sea level, without supplemental oxygen, by the year 2021, which marks the bicentennial year of independence of Peru. To date, Hidalgo has climbed:

  • Shishapangma (8,027m)
  • Cho Oyu (8,201m)
  • Manaslu (8163m)
  • Annapurna (8091m)
  • Gasherbrum II (8035m)

He is the first Peruvian to ascend all five mountains.

When he’s not climbing mountains, Hidalgo strives to help others better understand the life and experiences of a mountaineer. He offers motivational conferences, where he talks about his expeditions and what it takes to achieve lofty ambitions. “I tell attendees that my expeditions are a metaphor for life,” he says. “They are a test and an assessment of the different aspects of human nature and human interaction with the environment.” He conveys to people how having a strategy and being determined to follow through on that strategy have allowed him to summit time and again. He also encourages them to develop their capabilities and stay competitive, even if only with themselves.

Peak Nutrition

Hidalgo, who is a long-time friend of the Herbalife24® team and often works with Herbalife Senior Director of Sports and Fitness Dr. John Heiss to test new products, uses Herbalife® products regularly on his training and expeditions. He uses Herbalife24® Hydrate to replenish his body with bioavailable electrolytes, and Herbalife24® CR7 Drive to enhance hydration with 320 mg of vital electrolytes lost during exercise, and Herbalife24® Prolong to support caloric utilization for sustained performance.* On his longer journeys, which may last more than a month, he consumes Herbalife® Protein Bar Deluxe and Herbalife® Soup Mix. These two products come in especially handy when extreme conditions prevent him from preparing meals. For his latest trip to Mount Everest, Hidalgo will also be testing out two as-of-yet unreleased products from the Herbalife24® line.

“I’m grateful to have the opportunities I have,” says Hidalgo. “I look forward to sharing my adventures and my passion with those who are interested.”

Learn more about Richard Hidalgo at richardhidalgo.com.  Follow him on Facebook and  Twitter.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Richard Hidalgo Mountaineering Achievements

  • Yanashinga (5300m) – New route
  • Rajuntay (5470m) – New route
  • Cashan (5723m) – Solo
  • Huamashraju (5250m) – New route
  • Ocshapalca (5881m) – New route
  • Cayesh (5721m) – First Peruvian
  • Churup (5493m) – Solo
  • Tocllaraju (6032m) – Solo
  • Huascaran (6768m) – Solo
  • Llongote (5781m) – Solo
  • Shishapangma (8027m) – No oxygen
  • Cho Oyu (8201m) – No oxygen
  • Manaslu (8163m) – No oxygen
  • Annapurna (8091m) – No oxygen

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