Nine-year-old takes on Tower Ridge for charity

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Nine-year-old Marcus Tinley from Bearsden in Glasgow has taken on a mammoth challenge, scaling Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis via the long and technical Tower Ridge, in a climb that took a total of 12.5 hours.

Tower Ridge is one of the longest and most sought-after ridges in Scotland, and a challenge for even the most experienced of mountaineers. Marcus has tackled it head on, roping up with his dad and a small team and striking a line right up the middle to reach the summit following a 24 km and 1550m ascent.

Marcus said:

“I love nature and mountain climbing is fun, it challenges you and makes you fit. I got into because of my dad and I love climbing and spending time with him. It doesn’t ever scare me because I’m on the end of a rope which will save me if I fall!

“I’d love to climb Everest and Mont Blanc one day, and maybe K2 but that is more dangerous.  I met Chris Bonington last year so, after my dad, he’s my mountain hero and he emailed me this year! I’ve met Dani Arnold as well, he’s fast!”

Marcus is no stranger to mountain climbing, having started with the dumpling at Gartocharn at age two! Then moving onto Dumgoyne, Conic and Ben Aan, he climbed his first Munro, Ben Lomond, when he was four years old. More recent climbs include Ledge Route, Aonach Eagach and Curved Ridge.

One of his favourite things about climbing is consuming lots of food for energy.

“After the Tower Ridge climb, I had 20 chicken nuggets, fries and a medium strawberry milkshake. I was so hungry after 12 hours on Tower Ridge, I also ate half a chicken and mushroom pizza in Fort William! My favourite hill snacks are massive cakes like chocolate log.”

Marcus, who attends Bearsden Primary School is now planning a presentation for his school assembly on his climb, and hopes to inspire some younger and older people to take up outdoor adventures.

Asked if he had any advice for would be climbers and anyone inspired by his achievements, Marcus responded:

“Keep on trying and never give up.”

Marcus’s dad, Simon Tinley is a keen mountaineer himself, having climbed all over Scotland in summer and winter, and alpine peaks such as Mont Blanc and Matterhorn.

Simon said:

“I’m very proud of Marcus, and all he has achieved to date.  He’s very enthusiastic and wants to develop so we’ll tackle a few more famous Scottish routes such as A Chir Ridge, An Teallach Traverse, Liathach Traverse, Cuillin Ridge, to name but a few. Next summer might also be his introduction to the Alps. We just need to make sure he has the right equipment as a lot of his potential is being limited as the equipment for kids just isn’t suitable for them if they do want to lead a more extreme outdoor adventure lifestyle.

“We have a great time out climbing and he’s always up for trying something new.  This challenge was especially important as he wanted to raise money for the children’s charity, Variety.

“Marcus chose the charity himself, which funds specialist equipment and fun days out to help disabled and disadvantaged children, because he agrees with their aims – that all children should have an equal opportunity to reach their potential, regardless of their circumstances.”

If you would like to donate to Marcus’s just giving page for Variety, visit:

If you would like to know more about Marcus and what’s he up to next, visit: and

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