An Excuse proof Mantra: “As long as I have a Breath, I will die one step closer to my Father”


One man, Nando Parrado, his will, his ability to think outside the box, to think rescue was possible, took action when all others had given up.

The other 15 survivors thought Nando crazy, thought walking out of the Andes impossible.

They were mostly high school boys, a rugby team, the Jesuits we’re rigorous academics and thought rugby developed the toughness needed for life.

The pilot miscalculated crossing the Andes into Chile and crashed.

No life existed at this altitude, many died in the crash while others died in a later avalanche.

Nando created a mantra, one that was in the moment, one of action, “As long as I have a breath, I will die one step closer to my father.”

They left Uraguay in nearly 100-degree weather.

Took Nando almost a month to convince another to go with him.

They all would have died on that mountain, Nando was the only visionary who realized this fact.



It is called the “Miracle in the Andes.”



Nando and his partner, Roberto had crossed the Andes with clothing sewn together from airplane seats. They hiked 70 miles in ten days from the other side of the Andes.

Professional climbers with modern day equipment struggled to repeat this miraculous feat.

To this day, no one knows how two men could survive this ordeal.

16 men survived because of one mans will, drive, life force.

His mantra was excuse proof, as long as I have a breath, I will take action, take a step forward.

He saved 15 and Roberto became a heart surgeon.



One response to this post.

  1. An excerpt from Nanado talking to the helicopter pilots and their disbelief anyone could hike out of there.

    “Once again I described our trek through the Andes.

    Garcia gave me a skeptical frown, then retrieved a flight chart from the helicopter and spread it on the grass.

    “Do you think you can show me on the map?” he asked.

    He jabbed his finger at the chart and said, “We are here.”

    I stared at the map for a moment, and once I got my bearings, it was easy to trace in reverse the route Roberto and I had followed.

    “Here,” I said, tapping the map where the valley ended at the foot of the peak I had christened Mount Seler.

    “They are on the far side of this mountain.”

    Massa and Garcia exchanged dubious glances.”

    “That’s Argentina,” Garcia said.

    The High Andes. That’s more than seventy miles from here.”

    “We have to hurry,” I said. “Our friends are dying.”

    Massa frowned at Garcia. “He’s confused,” he said.

    “They couldn’t have crossed the Andes on foot! Impossible!”

    “Are you sure you understand this map?” Garcia asked me.

    “I am sure of it,” I said. “We came down this mountain, along this valley. Here is where the valley splits, and we followed this fork and it brought us here! The plane is lying there, just beyond this mountain, on a glacier above a wide valley that goes east.”

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