Riccardo Lunardon shares the story of his Epic Ascent, Frostbites, and PUMA's Support for his Summit Success!

December 15, 2023

Riccardo Lunardon shares the story of his Epic Ascent, Frostbites, and PUMA's Support for his Summit Success!

December 15, 2023

Meet Riccardo Lunardon (left side of the image), the adrenaline-driven Teamhead PLM & Design Sportstyle/Run & Train Apparel at PUMA India, who recently conquered Mount Amadablam in Nepal at a staggering 22,349 ft. Battling frostbites and capturing the PUMA spirit, Riccardo’s journey is more than just an ascent; it’s a testament to PUMA’s unwavering support for employees’ dreams.


From the iconic Frankenjura trail in Germany to the icy terrains of Nepal, we had the pleasure to chat with Riccardo about how PUMA fueled his passion, providing not only time off for training but also financial backing and essential gear. Get ready for an inspiring story of resilience and triumph!


Why did you decide to climb the Mount Amadablam?

Riccardo: I decided to take on the challenge of climbing Mount Amadablam because I have always been passionate about the outdoors. Growing up in Italy, trekking was a part of my childhood, but it was during my time at PUMA HQ in Germany that my love for climbing truly blossomed. I took the trip to challenge myself, push my limits and feel the freedom of nature.

Riccardo on his way... the Top

Was this your first climb?

Riccardo: No, this wasn’t my first climb. My journey into climbing began back in Italy, where I was introduced to trekking early in my life. It really took off during my time at the Germany-HQ, where my boss connected me to a group of climbers, and we were tackling the Frankenjura trail together. The experience fueled my interest, leading to numerous mountain trips in the Alps. Before Covid, I went to Nepal, conquering the Three Passes Trek and I fell in love with the region. My highest climb was the summit of Island Peak. It was during this ascent that Mount Amadablam caught my eye, and I was totally captivated by it. So, I set it as a personal goal for the future to climb that mountain.

Was this the hardest journey you ever took?

Riccardo: Yes, without a doubt, this was the hardest trek I’ve ever done. The physical and mental demands were unbelievable, making it the most challenging thing I’ve ever done in my whole life. Months of rigorous training prepared me, but the climb itself, with its intensely technical mix of rocky and icy terrains, pushed me to my limits. When crossing the 6000-meter mark, my body began to protest, and the struggle to resist the urge to give up became overwhelming. It turned into more of a mental battle than a physical one, and meditation became my anchor through the journey. With only 40% of the oxygen available, the climb became exponentially more difficult, adding another layer of complexity to an already exhausting journey.

Did you climb Mount Amadablam alone?

Riccardo: No, I didn’t go alone. Recognizing the challenges of Mount Amadablam, I enlisted the support of an agency, who organized and facilitated the expedition. Two fellow climbers joined me, and we had the guidance of three professional guides, making the journey both safer and more enriching as we tackled the heights together. The team spirit and expertise of all of us contributed immensely to the overall success and an unforgettable experience of the climb.

Can you tell us more about the mental battle? What were your emotions at that time?

Riccardo: The mental aspect during the climb was an emotional rollercoaster. On one hand, there was the excitement of living the dream and experiencing profound sense of freedom that comes with accomplishing something of this magnitude. It felt remarkable to be on such an extraordinary journey; a dream-come-true. However, alongside these positive emotions, there were moments of uncertainty and negative feelings, as I recognized the significant risk involved in such an expedition. The constant struggle between my body and brain played out in the harsh conditions such as sleeping in tents and freezing temperature – pushing and pulling both my physical and mental limits. There were times when thoughts echoed in my mind – “I hate this, it sucks, this is extremely hard, I haven’t showered in 18 days, I want to go back home.” These were the internal battles I faced, grappling with discomfort and fatigue while also navigating the immense satisfaction of pursuing a dream against all odds.

What are your greatest learnings and takeaways from this incredible trip?

Riccardo: It made me realize my gratitude for the relationships in my life, both personal and professional. The support I received from loved ones and colleagues made this ambitious climb not just a personal endeavor but a collective achievement. I’ve also come to appreciate the routine I have in my everyday life—the ability to cook my own meals and live life on my terms. Simple pleasures gained new significance against the backdrop of such a challenging expedition.

But most importantly, I am extremely thankful to be a part of an organization like PUMA. The unwavering support that allows me to pursue my dreams and goals, it just aligns so well with the company values – to be brave, determined, joyful, and confident. This experience reinforced the importance of working in an environment that fosters personal growth and encourages employees to reach the summit, both in their careers and personal pursuits.

How did PUMA help and support you in achieving your goal?

Riccardo: PUMA’s support throughout this journey has been exceptional. Manisha Agarwal, the Director, and Head of People & Organization at PUMA India, especially deserves a special mention for creating a platform that empowers PUMA employees with sports goals, helping us turn our aspirations into reality. In my case, PUMA sponsored every aspect of the climb – from training sessions to the expedition itself – ensuring that I had the necessary equipment and gear for such an endeavor. Beyond financial backing, PUMA also recognized the significance of time, granting me the essential days off for both training and the climb. The unwavering support not only reflects the company’s values but also shows their dedication towards helping employees achieve their personal and athletic goals.

What is your take on sports in general?

Riccardo: Sports has been vital in my life, teaching me resilience and endurance. I believe everyone should engage in sports for a healthier and happier life. Whether it’s yoga or a tough workout, it leaves you feeling accomplished and appreciative of life’s small joys. Sports shows us what our bodies are capable of and contributes to a positive, happier self.

Congrats to this great achievement, Riccardo!

And thank you for your time to share this story!

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