by Willie Benegas
Willie is a fully certified IFMGA mountain guide and AMGA Ski Mountaineering Guide, based out of Sandy, his home in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah with wife Liz. His star began to rise when he obtained the first ascent of the 3,000-foot North Face of Pakistan’s Nameless Tower (“Book of Shadows” VII, 5.10+ A4 W14). He’s led over 20 Himalayan expeditions, including thirteen Everest summits, Cho Oyu, Makalu, Manaslu, Ama Dablam, an attempt on the North face of Jannu, and the “The Crystal Snake” first ascent on Nuptse. This accomplishment made with his brother Damian in 2003 won them Climbing magazine’s Golden Piton Award. Willie has also set speed records in Africa on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, made three attempts on the highly coveted Pakistani peak Latok 1, done first ascents on the big walls of Baffin Island and climbed dozens of Bolivian and Peruvian peaks.