Luke Smithwick

luke smithwick


What guests say about Luke:

Thanks for guiding me through that world and for giving me the opportunity to have my own experiences.. You have the passion and the skill to excel in those mountains and you did a fine job from difficult start to dramatic finish.. Remember me to your crew and thank them once again. They are great outdoorsmen, as are you.    -R. Cross


The leader (Luke) did not “spoon feed” clients to get to the summit > there was a level of independence for each client to make it happen.  The trip was definitely an adventure – and for me this is what I wanted out of my holiday.  It was great that we never stuck to a pre-prescribed itinerary (adding peaks and destinations).  This was the greatest part of the trip.  Luke’s passion for being in the mountains, combined with the dynamic trip plans, and professionalism in critical times made the trip AWESOME. Thanks Luke. -A. Buckingham


You go to peaks that are off the beaten track, that is your differentiate. Don’t change it. Great job, thanks.  -G. Lombardo


A very good leader, a very good crew.  -F. Lawrence


Luke’s company is different that a lot of the bigger commercial guides – 1) smaller teams, 2) goes to less climbed, less busy Himalayan peaks, 3) has a dedicated solid team of sherpas/support, 4) more flexible/adaptable, less rigid, based on mountain conditions, client dynamics and skills.   It is a more personalized experience, you will not be getting the typical “group think” behavior from a larger guiding company that often leads to frustration and slow decision making.  I would relay my own positive experiences, namely: your appreciation and respect for a client’s independence while climbing (obviously where appropriate) and that there was less hand-holding and babysitting — which is sometimes the trademark of larger companies.  You were similarly respectful of the Sherpas’ talents and leadership, giving them leeway in the fixing and climbing decisions. -T. Hedberg


Great service all around. -S. Raza
The team is very professional and the mountaineering aspect of the trip is both challenging yet appropriately safe. -P. Nilsson


Maybe I am a purist but I like the formula of expeditions without heaters, showers and all this additional, unnecessary stuff.
Your biggest strenghth is experience and willingness to adapt according to situations like during this expedition. You also have  fantastic staff.  -A. Pilarczyk


I like your style of climbing and good consideration of abilities and needs of people on the trip.  Rest of staff is good in that regard as well.  Overall, pace of trip is good, and flexibility.     -J. Clayton


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Luke Smithwick is the owner and founder of Himalaya Alpine Guides. He works for the majority of the year in India and Nepal leading expeditions for Himalaya Alpine Guides. Since the age of 18, his chief profession has been guiding. Now, he is happiest when working in the Himalayan back-country and is equally comfortable leading in trekking shoes, climbing boots, or with skis on. His expedition experience includes Everest from Tibet (North, Northeast ridge), Shishapangma (Northwest buttress), Denali (west buttress, traverse), Himlung, and too many Himalayan 6000 meter peaks to mention. He prides himself on providing top notch trips at international guiding standards with an emphasis on each members personal goals.

Luke Smithwick says: “I see the Himalaya as the most intriguing and interesting place on the planet, and from the high mountains to the deep culture and history, the Himalaya really do have it all. There is no place I’d rather be than in the mountainous regions of Nepal, India, and Tibet.”


    • BA Cultural Anthropology
    • BS Environmental Biology
    • WMA Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician
    • AIARE Level II Avalanche certification
    • WMS Wilderness First Responder
    • Rescue III Swiftwater Rescue Technician
    • 19 Years Guiding Experience



    • Everest – North Ridge
    • Sixty four (64) unnamed Himalayan 6000 meter summits
    • Mount Nun – west ridge
    • Denali – Traverse
    • Denali – West Buttress
    • Shishapangma – northwest buttress
    • Himlung – west face route x2
    • Bhagirathi 2 – northwest ridge
    • Z-1 – west face
    • Saldim Ri – southwest ridge
    • Lungser Kangri – west ridge x2
    • Mentok Kangri 1-6 traverse
    • Nirekha – west ridge
    • Satopanth – northwest ridge
    • Kyajo Ri – Southwest ridge
    • Big Wall – Lost Brother Wall – New route “Call of the Yeti” – Yosemite
    • Hagshu – East Face
    • New Route – Alpine Style – Peak 6410m – “Indifference of the Lammergeier”


Specific Interests in the Himalaya

Luke Smithwick

Luke Smithwick

    • Himalayan Pastoralism and it development along the Changtang plateau
    • The Ancient Salt Trade routes
    • Tibetan language and its dialects
    • Tibetan Antelope in the southern plains of Rupshu
    • Wolves of the Changtang plateau
    • Snow Leopard of Hemis National Park
    • Exploratory climbing and mountaineering in remote Ladakh, Garhwal, and Arunachal Pradesh, and Nepal.


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