Our Guides

Wasatch Mountain Guide’s guide team boasts decades of combined experience.

All WMG guides are individually certified by the IFMGA and AMGA, and hold current Wilderness First Responder or W-EMT certifications

WMG is dedicated to demonstrating its passionate commitment to workplace sustainability, and its deep-held understanding and love for nature. Our dedication to protecting the wilderness areas we visit is taught on each and every WMG adventure. Join us on a unique WMG adventure to find out!
Willie Benegas

Willie Benegas was born in Patagonia and raised to climb mountains. His roots are in exploring Patagonia with his father and brother, Damian Benegas. He brought his experience and ambitions to the United States at age 21, went to Yosemite and logged over 80 ascents of El Capitan. Equally impressive are his annual returns to South America, where he has logged over 50 ascents of Aconcagua. A certified IFMGA mountain guide, you can rely on Willie’s extensive experience and skills.

Todd Passey

Todd Passey is a Utah born and raised local but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t traveled the world experiencing a wide variety of mountain ranges from deep powdery Alaskan descents to summiting the top of the world. Todd is an IFMGA Mountain Guide that can guide you with a local’s knowledge, international experience, and extensive educational and practical skills.

Willie Benegas

Willie Benegas was born in Patagonia and raised to climb mountains. His roots are in exploring Patagonia with his father and brother, Damian Benegas. He brought his experience and ambitions to the United States at age 21, went to Yosemite and logged over 80 ascents of El Capitan. Equally impressive are his annual returns to South America, where he has logged over 50 ascents of Aconcagua. A certified IFMGA mountain guide, you can rely on Willie’s extensive experience and skills.

Willie is no stranger to first ascents and speed records. In 1995 he and his team gained a first ascent on the North Face of Pakistan’s technical and dangerous, Trango Nameless Tower. His accomplishments are vast and prestigious, as you can see listed below. 

Don’t let these accomplishments intimidate you. Willie’s philosophy highlights that he is in the mountains to experience life. When asked why he climbs, Willie responded, “A mountain adventure will carry over into the many facets of life, teaching you about yourself, your coexistence with nature, and respect for other people’s cultures.” For Willie, being in the mountains is simply being at home and living a full life. 

Willie spends his winters in Utah guiding, and more importantly, taking his dog and kids skiing. His skills can take you to unforgettable powder days, high alpine ascents, or skill pushing climbs. Book a trip with Willie and learn from a world class mountaineer. Not only does he love to introduce people to the world of experiences in the mountains, he is to be completely trusted in difficult times. Taken from his Wikipedia page and during the tragic 2015 Mount Everest avalanches:

In an interview with one Everest climber, he recounted how Benegas went into the triage tent to save the life a man others had given up on. That is to say they expected him to die due to various injuries and had fluid coming out of his mouth; however, Benegas managed to make an airway and rallied a group of Sherpa’s to carry him down. Within the hour they had gotten him down and helicopter evacuated out the next day. Source

This wasn’t Willie’s first rescue. In 2011 the Argentine Olympic Committee awarded him with the  “Heroic Athlete Award” for the rescue of an abandoned climber on Everest. A man to be trusted. 

Guiding Experience, Certifications, and Honors

  • Fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide
  • 2011 Argentine Olympic Committee “Heroic Athlete Award” for rescue of abandoned climber on Everest
  • 2010 AMGA Outstanding Guide of the Year
  • 22 years of guiding experience and over 20 Himalaya expeditions
  • AAIRE Level III Avalanche Certification
  • Wilderness EMT
  • Leave No Trace Certification
  • National Ski Patrol Association- Snowbird Ski Patrol
  • Golden Piton Award for the First Ascent of “Crystal Snake”, north face of Nuptse, Nepal, 2003

Notable Ascents

  • Thirteen Everest Summits
  • Over 50 ascents of Aconcagua, Argentina
  • Aconcagua: world speed record ascent/descent, 23 ½ hs round trip, 54 miles, 13,500 ft. elevation gain, 2000
  • 22 mountains in 21 days, Cordillera Real Bolivia, 2006
  • Everest and Cho Oyu Summits in one season, 2005
  • Cho Oyu and Makalu Summits in one season, 2014
  • Everest and Lhotse Summits in one season, 2018
  • Mount Manaslu Summit, 2017
  • First ascent of “The Crystal Snake,” north face of Nuptse, Nepal, 2003
  • Mt. Kenya: all massif towers in 16 hours, 2002
  • Oshapalca: new route south face, “My Message,” 5.7 WI 4/5, 2,400 ft, 2000
  • Mt. Cuerno: first ascent of south face (17,600 ft.), 5.7 WI 3, 4,640 ft. in 4.36 hs, 2000
  •  

Todd Passey

Todd Passey is a Utah born and raised local but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t traveled the world experiencing a wide variety of mountain ranges from deep powdery Alaskan descents to summiting the top of the world. Todd is an IFMGA Mountain Guide that can guide you with a local’s knowledge, international experience, and extensive educational and practical skills.

Raised skiing and spending time in the mountains, Todd passionately pursued mountaineering adventures as a young adult and many of those journeys were with his wife, Winslow Passey. After a few years of mountaineering experience with Winslow, the two met Ramsay Thomas while exploring the Alps, one of the first Americans to receive IFMGA Mountain Guide certification. Ramsay took Todd under his wing with a very practical mentorship, asking Todd and Winslow to join him in guide training including: holding daily guide meetings, route planning, daily debriefings, etc. The experience helped motivate Todd to seek the same professional path as Ramsey and in 2009 he became the 62nd American to achieve the full IFMGA Mountain Guide certification

Todd’s approach to guiding is to create personalized and customized experiences for his clients. He loves the research, planning, and organization that goes into creating this experience for those he guides. From this he has established lifetime long relationships and friendships with many of his clients. 

Todd has guided all over Utah, on Denali, Cho Oyu, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, New Zealand, Ecuador, The Alps, plus MUCH more. He has not only climbed but also guided on all 7 Summits on every continent and has ascended each the following 7 Summits a number of times:

  • Kilimanjaro in Africa 1x
  • Elbrus in Europe 4x
  • Aconcagua in South America 2x
  • Denali in North America 22x
  • Carstensz in Oceana 7x
  • Vinson in Antarctica 24x
  • Everest in Asia 2x 

Join Todd on any type of adventure, it will be an experience that you will not forget. 

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