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Mr. Manuel A. Pizarro was born in Valparaiso, Chile, at the foot of the Andean Mountain Range. He immigrated to Montreal, Canada, with his family in December of 1973. Due to his language limitations, his passion for adventure and the outdoors became a cornerstone of the construction of his character. Over time he became proficient in 4 languages, engaging and devoting his time to martial arts and the Canadian Air Cadets, earning his pilot licence at age 16. During his time with the Air Cadets, he became an instructor, teaching other young cadets the fundamentals of leadership and command, the art of self-expression in large groups, winter and cold-water survival skills, and the theory of flight for aspiring aviators.

In 1991, Mr. Pizarro’s passion for mountains continued to grow when he self-initiated a lifelong project known as “The Quest for the Seven Summits”: To climb the tallest mountain in each continental area of the world. He reached the top of his first major high-altitude summit, Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, standing at more than 22,850 feet above sea level, on January 21, 1995. Other summits soon followed:

 

  • 1995: Summit of Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina (22,837 ft)

  • 2000: Summit of Mt. Denali / McKinley, Alaska (20,310 ft)

  • 2002: Summit of Mt. Aconcagua, Argentina (22,838 ft)

  • 2002: Summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Africa (19,341 ft) 

  • 2007: Summit of Mt. Everest, Tibet, China (29,031 ft)

  • 2009: Summit of Mt. Everest, Tibet, China (29,031 ft)

  • 2010: Summit of Mt. Elbrus West, Russia (18,510 ft)

  • 2017: Summit of Mt. Puncak Jaya, Indonesia (16,024 ft)


These endeavours are extremely demanding on the body and mind, but they have taught him the true meaning of determination, perseverance, teamwork and conflict resolution and, above all, the value of learning from our mistakes. Painful lessons teach us that in order to reach a state of glory, we must sometimes fall from grace, rebuild, and start all over again. At times, Mother Nature was relentless, and retreating from the summit bid was the only way to survive. Manuel sees amazing parallels between climbing mountains and life itself.

In 2007, all the moving parts of his life brought him to Nepal and Tibet where he would deploy every cell in his body to ascend the Mother Goddess of the Earth, (Chomolungma) Mount Everest standing at over 29,031 feet above sea level. A place where there is not enough barometric pressure to inflate your lungs. The mystical part of Manuel's journey began when he trained with Buddhist monks. He was impressed by their laughter, but above all by their ancestral knowledge. "Your life ends up being a reflection of your own fears, your name is your first curse, young man". In particular, Manuel learned lessons that helped him rediscover diaphragmatic and clavicular breathing, a key element in ensuring the overall health of the human body.

 

On May 15, 2007, Mr. Pizarro became the first Canadian to have reached the summit of Mount Everest solo without support from Camp 6. He survived 12 hours near the summit with no food, equipment, or oxygen. He has only one summit left: Vinson Massif in Antarctica (16,050 ft).

 

On May 21, 2009, Manuel became the first Quebecer to reach the summit twice!

Today, Manuel works on building a leadership training facility in East Hawkesbury, Ontario. He endeavours to help our planet one person at a time with his motivation conferences, personalized training and youth development courses. Thanks to his mountaineering experience and exploits, Manuel delivers messaging on self-knowledge, brain chemistry, human stress, performance and resiliency.

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