Episode 40: Challenge, Choice, Change (ft. Luis Benitez)

Luis Benitez has climbed and guided climbers to summit some of Earth’s most imposing peaks including Seven Summits in seven continents numerous times.

He summited Mt. Everest 6 times and in 2001 he led Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind athlete to summit Mt. Everest!

He has a saying about Challenge, Choice and Change that he shares during the podcast. He has also climbed with Len Stanmore, a previous guest on this podcast.

Life is all about making choices, facing change and constantly challenging yourself. Luis knows this more than many people, hear his engaging story of a few near-death experiences, and how he’s been changed by his climbs.

What You’ll Learn

  • How his near-death experiences have changed him
  • How 2 tents were roped together for 3 days during a terrible winter storm
  • Why he chose to be a climbing guide
  • How guiding has impacted him as a leader
  • What motivates him to keep going when others fail
  • How he kept going when he felt like quitting
  • The role of service in his life
  • How his experiences as a guide can help others in their lives and careers
  • Why he chose to work with Outward Bound and the benefits it provides


Luis stepped into his current role with the Outdoor Recreation Industry Office when the agency was established in 2015 via his appointment by Governor Hickenlooper.  With fearless passion and leadership in the mountains, Luis was fortunate to  transfer his skills he honed to a successful career for Colorado state’s flourishing outdoor recreation industry and now currently is the Vice President of Government affairs and Global Impact. He has always focused on teaching as well as serving others. Some of his most rewarding work has been to help create 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. He has also worked closely with Warriors to Summits, a nonprofit focusing on serving returning Veterans by connecting them with the outdoors

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