Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Grandfather Phil Drowley targets seven summits 'dream'

Phil Drowley
Image caption Phil Drowley became the first climber from the Isle of Man to conquer Everest in 2008

A Manx climber aiming to complete a challenge to scale the highest peak on each of the world's continents has set off on his final expedition.

Phil Drowley will complete the 'seven summits' challenge if he successfully finishes a 21-day expedition to the top of Australasia's Carstenz Pyramid.

Earlier this week the island's chief minister presented Mr Drowley with a Manx flag to hoist at the summit.

The 46-year-old has already conquered the highest peaks on six continents.

Chief minister Allan Bell said it would be a "truly remarkable achievement."

"I wish Phil the very best of luck and look forward to seeing the Manx flag flying at the top of another of the world's highest mountains".

The acting chief inspector, who became the first Manx man to conquer Everest in 2008, said: "I started this journey in 1999 and to complete it will be a dream come true."

"There are only around 230 people who have done it so I would be very proud," he added.

Image caption Kilimanjaro summit, Africa, February 2000
Image caption Aconcagua summit, South America, February 2004
Image caption Mount McKinley summit, North America, July 2004
Image caption Everest summit, Asia, May 2008
Image caption Vinson summit, Antarctica, December 2010

His final challenge will see him attempt to climb Carstenz Pyramid in Indonesia.

He said: "There is a lot more rock climbing involved in this one but it is one of the most exotic mountaineering locations on earth."

'Life changing experience'

"It is actually the smallest of the seven but will be one of the toughest."

He gained his appetite for mountaineering when, in 2000, he climbed Kilimanjaro with four police colleagues, raising £14,500 for charity.

"It was a life changing experience and I couldn't wait to see what else I could take on," he said.

The grandfather from the Isle of Man has steadily ticked off the continents' highest points since then.

As well as Everest and Kilimanjaro, he has climbed Vinson Massif in Antarctica, Aconcagua in Argentina, Mount McKinley in Alaska and Europe's highest mountain Elbrus in Russia.

He said: "This will be the final leg in a journey that has seen me travel all over the world meeting some great people, some of whom will be life-long friends as a result of the experiences we have shared."

Mr Drowley hopes to raise money for Ronald McDonald House Isle of Man Families and Friends.

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