43 years, Australia
43 years, Australia
This article first appeared on http://www.bbc.com. The original can be read here.
By Stephen Watson
BBC Sport Northern Ireland
An 11-year-old boy from Perthshire has become the youngest person to climb one of the world's most notorious mountains, the Matterhorn in Switzerland.
Jules Molyneaux from Crieff made it to the 14,692ft summit in the Alps in about four hours.
He spent much of the lockdown building up his fitness to be allowed to attempt the rare feat.
The famous mountain is the equivalent height of five Munros.
Jules, a pupil at Ardvreck school, was accompanied by his father Chris, who is from Northern Ireland.
Jules told the BBC: "I feel tired and happy and relieved.
"It was an experience, definitely tiring and my legs felt like jelly after the climb.
"The sunrise is worth it when you go up. Half way up the mountain you can see all the orange behind the Alps, it's amazing."
Jules's climb was inspired by climbing he had done with his school.
"Ardvreck has been so supportive," said dad Chris, "super outdoor focussed.
"Every child in the school climbed a big mountain just before lockdown."
It had been Jules' dream for two years to tackle the Matterhorn.
Chris said: "He kept training and training and then a year ago started to take it seriously, and then six months ago we thought we would give it a shot.
"Where we are based in the highlands of Scotland, we are surrounded by Ben Nevis and all the climbing meccas there, but it's more of a serious game in the Alps."
He said that normally a climber would have to be at least 16 before attempting it so the dad and son duo had to prove themselves with the local guides.
He said: "We did a lot of technical high altitude climbs and Jules aced it so they gave him a shot."
The Matterhorn, shaped like a pyramid, is the sixth highest peak in Europe. Over 500 people have died while climbing the iconic mountain, and sadly there was a tragedy during the Molyneauxs' climb.
"The climbing has just opened as it was pretty dangerous, lots of snow with falling rocks," said Chris.
"On the day of our climb, there were 10 of us and one person died. A guy fell 400 metres and they had to collect him by helicopter."
"The Matterhorn is one of the most deadly peaks in the World," said Jules.
"I felt a bit nervous but you don't really feel scared or anything, you just have to keep focusing, one step after the other. Lose concentration and you slip and fall."
Although there are no official records it's believed Jules is the youngest person to ever climb the Matterhorn. This was confirmed to Chris at the Matterhorn museum in Zermatt.
"They said the youngest person they knew of who had climbed the Matterhorn was 12 years old. That was a local kid who's father is a guide who successfully climbed it a couple of years ago. Jules is a good bit younger."
Despite breaking the record, Jules is taking it all in his stride.
"Its not about being the youngest ever to climb the Matterhorn. It's about doing it together and having as much fun as possible."
Location: Argentina, Mendoza, Mendoza Province, Capital Department
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