Biography

Over the course of a decade, Luis Benitez has quietly emerged amongst a growing field of climbers as one of the more experienced, respected and busiest professional guides and leadership development consultants in the world. Throughout his career, Luis has summited the top of the famed “Seven Summits” a cumulative 32 times, including being a six-time summiteer of Mt. Everest.

Between managing expeditions on some of the most remote peaks in the world, while consulting with a deep and varied group of clientele, Benitez works to tie the lessons available from the mountains and carry them back to the everyday challenges of life during his keynote presentations and seminars.

In 1992, Benitez was hired by the well-established leadership development school Outward Bound Professional in Colorado. He initially conducted courses in various mountaineering/climbing/skiing techniques, all with the fundamentals of leadership, communication, and problem solving at the core of the Outward Bound curriculum. To this day Benitez serves as a Board Member for the Colorado Outward Bound School.

More recently, Luis has led expeditions for Adventure Consultants (AC), a highly respected New Zealand-based expedition firm with a long and storied history of leading trips on Mt. Everest. AC was founded by the legendary guide Rob Hall, whose ultimate peril was heavily documented in the book “Into Thin Air,” written just one year after the 1996 disaster that took eight lives.

Benitez has also had the opportunity to climb with the blind athlete Erik Weihenmayer on his historic 2001 Everest summit, chronicled in the feature film “Farther Than the Eye Can See” and also in Erik’s book “Touch the Top of the World”. In addition, he has been featured in films such as “Visions of Everest” (2002) and “Shadow of the Condor” (2002), has reported from Mt. Everest for ABC-TV News, and has filmed segments for an episode of National Geographic’s weekly TV series “Wild Chronicles”.

After summiting Everest for the sixth time in 2007, Benitez attempted the famed Cessen Route on K2, while 2011 saw Benitez working with World Team Sports and Outward Bound on an expedition to Nepal.

At the heart of his career, Luis has always focused on teaching as well as serving, driving him since his time at Outward Bound. Some of his most rewarding work has been to serve on the board of the nonprofit “Trekking For Kids”, which focuses on service based expeditions allowing participants to climb and trek while teaching them about local issues like housing and healthcare for orphans around the world. In 2006, after witnessing fleeing Tibetan refugees attacked by Chinese soldiers, Benitez has fought tirelessly for Tibetans in exile via the International Campaign for Tibet, based in Washington DC.

Throughout all of this, Benitez has managed and led an annual leadership seminar in Ecuador and Chile for the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.

If there is any message that Luis likes to leave with the clients he works with, it is this; “If you challenge yourself, you can truly change your world.”