Guillermo (Willie) Benegas
Willie spent his youth climbing in Northeast Patagonia with his father and twin brother, Damian. This served as a strong background for a developing climbing career, which took off when he and Damian moved to the States at age 21. They headed straight for the big walls of Yosemite, where in the years to follow they made over 40 ascents of El Capitan. Each year Willie has returned to Argentina to guide trips on Aconcagua, a mountain he has climbed over 50 times. These ascents include the difficult South face, and a speed record which he held for five years. In 1995, he made an impressive first ascent of the North face of Trango Tower in Pakistan. He has since led over 20 Himalayan expeditions, including nine Everest summits, Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, an attempt on the North face of Jannu, and a new route on Nuptse, dubbed The Crystal Snake, which earned him and Damian the prestigious Golden Piton Award. Willie has also set speed records in Africa on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya, and with his brother, has made three attempts on the highly coveted Pakistani peak Latok 1 and has done first ascents on the big walls of Baffin Island. Having also climbed dozens of Bolivian and Peruvian peaks, he has earned a place among the elite in the world of high altitude alpinism. Willie is a fully sponsored member of the North Face athlete team, and a certified AMGA Rock & Alpine Guide.