The film ends with one simple, but powerful, line:

“Every experience we had, and everything we learned, started with an idea. And that idea, changed our lives.”

So what was that idea? Where did it all start and why? In this story, three friends set out to prove that crazy ideas are the only ideas worth pursuing, that it’s possible to follow your dreams while making a big difference, and most importantly, to inspire others to rethink their adventures and do the same.

Between The Peaks, as an idea, originated in 2011 when team leader Jonathan Ronzio was inspired to find a way to fuse together a deep passion for adventure and exploration, his background in marketing and media production, and his studies in environmentalism. The resulting idea would become three friends’ remarkable quest to follow their dreams while making a difference throughout the Americas.

The original story concept was to climb two of the Seven Summits— Aconcagua and Denali—and to volunteer in every country the trio passed through while traveling from one to the next. It would be a journey of nearly 12,000 miles up the Pan-American highway from Argentina to Alaska, over the course of 4-6 months. After nearly two years of pre-production, training and planning, Jonathan Ronzio, Ethan Lee, and Ryan Sarka bought one-way tickets to Chile and set out for the trip of a lifetime in January of 2013.


“Between the Peaks is the picturesque and transcendent new documentary which chronicles every meaningful step along their remarkable journey. Their travels are not void of occasional setbacks. Along the way, they must contend with cost-prohibitive car repairs, a bout of food poisoning, difficulties crossing the border in Peru, sand-fly infested housing, and unforgiving natural elements.

But they also enjoy the company of amazing people, and relish the opportunity to learn of their cultures and their unique and fully-invested relationships to their environment. They build refuges for wild chinchillas in Chile, construct trash landfills in the Andes, aid in the protection of exotic animals at a nature preserve, invest their efforts in farming and agriculture in Nicaragua, and witness the inspiring legacy being set at a humble college campus housed in the jungles of Honduras.

Between the Peaks spotlights the need to return to a place of humility in the face of our large and endlessly fascinating planet. As days and weeks turn into many months, the friends experience life at a different rhythm than what they’re accustomed to in the States. They learn that when you give to the Earth, the Earth will give back.

They bask in a simpler and more meaningful plane of existence where they feel more in tune with the world around them than ever before. Most importantly, they discover that the smallest gestures of contribution can ripple farther and wider than they ever expected. No doubt they will take these lessons and work to apply them in their own native homeland once they return to the States.

The real gift of the film is that it may inspire viewers to do the same.”

The trio would spend 12 days climbing 22,841ft Aconcagua, and the four months afterward traveling and volunteering at 9 different stops along the Pan-American highway throughout South and Central America, covering nearly 6,000 miles. As can be expected on these types of adventures, not everything went to plan.

Hiccups along the way, both financially and logistically, while creating good drama for the film, prevented the team from making it to Alaska. The boys had made it all the way to Guatemala and had to cut the trip short. Still, the team had an incredible story to share.

They would spend the next year with the film in post-production, actually self-producing the entire feature straight down to the music score, and they hit the festival circuit in Fall/Winter of 2014. “Between The Peaks” was officially released in February of 2015.

The film is internationally represented by Ananda Media and distributed on SVOD platforms worldwide, has received over 40,000 views on its public Vimeo release, been featured on Outside Online, Documentary Storm, and in the on-demand screening room of the 2015 Banff Mountain Film Festival. “Between The Peaks” is the Mammoth Mountain Film Festival’s 2015 Best Feature Documentary and Bulgaria’s 2015 Sofia Biting Docs Official Selection.