November 24, 2020

A big Guy will try to climb mountains for Cayman Cancer Society

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cms-imgWelcome to the Seven Summits Challenge. My name is Guy Manning, and as part of my goal of climbing the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, I will be attempting to climb Mount Everest in 2013 to raise funds for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.

Stage 5: Mount Everest, April and May 2013

I was born in London, and raised in the English Lake District, but I have lived in Cayman since 2005. I work as a litigation partner at Campbells, but my very understanding wife allows me to spend most of my holidays climbing big mountains around the world!

SSCA decade ago, looking for a project which would combine my love of travel and physical challenges, I decided to attempt to climb the ‘Seven Summits’, the highest mountains on each of the seven continents.  To date I have reached the top of Africa (Kilimanjaro, 5,895m / 19,340ft), Antarctica (Vinson, 4,897m / 16,067ft), Europe (Mount Elbrus, 5,642m / 18,510ft) and South America (Aconcagua, 6,959m / 22,830ft).  I have also made two attempts to climb Denali (6,194m / 20,320ft), the highest peak in North America.  In 2009 I was hit by a storm shortly below the summit and forced to turn back by frostbite.  I returned in 2012, but our team was pinned down by a storm for 10 days at 14,000 ft.  When our food and fuel ran out we had no choice but to descend.  Tragically, four climbers from another team descending ahead of us lost their lives in an avalanche.

everestThis Spring I am taking on my toughest challenge to date, an attempt to climb Mount Everest (8,850m / 29,035ft), the highest mountain in Asia and the world, on the 60th anniversary of the historic first ascent by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay.  If I reach the summit then I intend to climb Australasia’s highest peak (Carstensz Pyramid, 4,884m / 16,023ft) in 2014, and complete the Seven Summits Challenge with my nemesis, Denali, in 2015.

Everest 2The Everest expedition has two goals: to put the Cayman flag on top of the world and, in doing so, to raise substantial and desperately needed funds for the Cayman Islands Cancer Society.  I plan to take a coded list of the 56 cancer patients currently supported by the CICS to the summit, which will inspire me, and will hopefully also in some small way inspire them.

The first objective is obviously all down to me.  I have spent the last decade gaining the skills and experience needed to climb Everest, and the last 12 months getting myself in the best shape of my life to maximise my chances of reaching the top.

Everest 1My second objective cannot be achieved without the generosity of others in our community.  I imagine that most of you reading this have had a family member or friend affected by cancer, and I am no exception.  Ultimately, cancer touches all of our lives in some way.  As I take on the highest mountain on earth, please help me to help the patients supported by the CICS with their own, more serious, battles.

My expedition is entirely self-funded, so every dollar donated by you will go to the CICS.   CICSThanks in advance for any donation, large or small, which you are able to give.

Best wishes,


Seven Summits

The “Seven Summits” are the highest mountains on each of the seven continents, namely:

Everest, Nepal / Tibet, Asia (8,850m / 29,028ft)

Aconcagua, Argentina, South America (6,959m / 22,830ft)

Denali (also known as Mount McKinley), USA, North America (6,194m / 20,320ft)

Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Africa (5,895m / 19,340ft)

Elbrus, Russia, Europe (5,642m / 18,510ft)

Vinson, Antarctica (4,897m / 16,067ft)

Carstensz Pyramid, Indonesia, Australasia (4,884m / 16,024ft) or Kosciuszko, Australia (2,228m /7,310ft)

You can read more about the Seven Summits at:

The debate over whether Carstenz Pyramid or Kosciuszko should be included in the list depends on whether one defines the “seventh” continent as comprising Australia (the highest point of which is the summit of Kosciuszko) or the region known as Australasia or Oceania encompassing Australia and the islands of New Zealand and New Guinea (the highest point of which is the summit of Carstenz Pyramid in Irian Jaya on the island of New Guinea).

This issue has led to uncertainty over who was the first climber to complete the Seven Summits and how many have since done so.  In 1985, Dick Bass, a wealthy American businessman, reached the summit of Everest to become the first person to complete the “Kosciuszko” version of the Seven Summits, but he had not climbed Carstenz Pyramid.   In 1986, a Canadian climber, Pat Morrow, completed the “Carstenz Pyramid” version of the list, and proclaimed that he was the first person to climb the Seven Summits.  The debate was kindled, although most climbers now take the view that Carstenz Pyramid (a technically difficult and remote rock climb), rather than Kosciuszko (which can be strolled up in shorts) is the true continental high point. Reinhold Messner, probably the greatest mountaineer the world has ever seen, had completed six of the seven summits (including both Carstenz and Kosciuszko) by 1985, all by hard new routes.  Messner completed the Seven Summits four months after Morrow and would probably have been the first to do so had he not been busy becoming the first climber to scale all 14 of the world’s 8,000 metre peaks!   It is unclear precisely how many people have now completed the Seven Summits, but it is generally estimated to be between 250 and 350, depending on which definition of the challenge is used.

To date I have reached the summits of Kilimanjaro (2004), Aconcagua (2008), Vinson (2010) and Elbrus (2011).   I have also made two attempts on Denali.  In 2009 I was hit by a storm shortly below the summit and forced to turn back by frostbite.  I returned in 2012, but our team was pinned down by a storm for 10 days at 14,000 ft.  When our food and fuel ran out we had no choice but to descend.  Tragically, four climbers from another team descending ahead of us lost their lives in an avalanche.

If I reach the top of Everest this year then I plan to climb Carstenz in 2014 and complete my Seven Summits with Denali in 2015, although next time I am in Australia I will take a stroll up Kosciuszko just to be sure!

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS)

The CICS is a non-profit charitable organisation established in 1995.  It receives no assistance from the government and is entirely reliant on donations which it receives from individuals and corporations.

The CICS uses those donations to help the community in several ways:

1. In partnership with the Health Services Authority, CICA supports large scale public health initiatives. In particular, the CICS:

is in the process of helping the George Town hospital by establishing a new, state-of-the-art Chemotherapy Unit where patients can comfortably receive chemotherapy treatment;

is taking the lead on bringing the HPV cervical cancer vaccine to Cayman for both public and private sector physicians to help reduce the rate of cervical cancer in the next generation; and

is paying the salary of a full-time employee who is creating a National Cancer Registry to provide accurate statistics about cancer in Cayman.

2. The CICS provides those cancer patients with the greatest need for financial help with aid and assistance by:

lending or renting equipment not available elsewhere on Island, such as hospital beds, wheelchairs, and walkers;

providing free counseling to cancer patients and their families and friends;

supplying prosthetic breasts and bras and free mammogram and pap test vouchers;

supplying free prostrate exam vouchers; and

providing direct financial assistance to cancer patients on a case by case basis.  This can include payments for surgeries, treatments, airfare, accommodations or even food, utilities and rent.  We understand that the CICS has seen a dramatic increase in the number of patients who require financial assistance.

3. The CICS also provides education and prevention programmes:

to help prevent cancer through health fairs and presentations to churches, schools, community groups, etc; and

to promote early detection for both female and male cancers.


The expedition is entirely self-funded, so all monies donated will go directly to the CICS.

Ways you can donate:

Credit Card donations

*Note the country code for Cayman is CYM when processing your credit card payment.

Online Transfers: Online transfers can be made with Bank of Butterfield to the following Campbells’ accounts:

KYD 02101030114

USD 01101030114

Cheques: Cheques can be made payable to either Campbells or the Cayman Islands Cancer Society and should be sent to:

Nicole D’Heer Watson, Campbells, PO Box 884, Grand Cayman KY1-1103, Cayman Islands

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