A man from Northern Ireland has told of his pride after his 11-year-old son became the youngest person to climb the Matterhorn, one of the world's most formidable mountains.
Chris Molyneaux's youngest son Jules hit the 14,692 feet summit alongside his father in around four hours last Wednesday, July 8, and is already planning an assault on another challenging Swiss peak, the Eiger.
The 43-year-old told the Belfast Telegraph how the preparatory school pupil spent most of the lockdown building up his fitness so as to be allowed to try the complex climb, which is usually reserved for the over-16s.
Speaking from Switzerland, Co Down native Chris, who makes gin at a distillery in the Highlands with Scottish wife Mignonne (43), said he was "unbelievably proud" of Jules' achievement.
"I found some of the sections we were doing technically very challenging and I was wondering how Jules would manage, but he was very good and very sensible, not taking any risks," he said.
"Climbing is a lot of fun. But you also need to really concentrate and focus and Jules did that too."
The Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt told Chris that Jules is the youngest person ever to climb the mountain, but it's not something that the youngster is "hugely bothered" about.
"Jules is just happy to have successfully climbed a mountain that has claimed the lives of adults and professional climbers," the Skettrick Island man said.
"Just to have done it is incredible. It's a nice thing that he's the youngest but he's not fixated on that."
The Matterhorn, shaped like a pyramid, is the sixth highest mountain in Europe. It's also the equivalent height of five 'Munros' (Scottish mountains that are more than 3000ft high).
Over 500 people have died while attempting to climb the peak. Tragically, a 55-year-old man lost his life during the Molyneauxs' climb.
"The Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks in the world," the father-of-two said.
"On the day of the climb it was dangerous. There was more snow than our guide has seen in 30 years, and there were lots of falling rocks.
"There was always a question mark as to whether it would be possible to reach the summit, because it's not easy.
"A lot of people try and fail, and a lot of people obviously die on the mountain.
"One of the 10 climbers who left the hut with us was coming behind us on the way down and he slipped and fell 400m.
"He died and had be collected by helicopter. It's so treacherous."
For two years Jules had been dreaming of tackling the Matterhorn, ever since he competed a school project on the famous mountain.
"Ardvreck School in Perth and Kinross, which Jules attends, is outdoor-focused and it has been so supportive," said Chris.
The former professional snowboarder, who has an older son Louis (12), said he still spends a lot of time in Northern Ireland when he's not at his Scottish distillery base, where Daffy's Gin is made.
"I was born and lived most of my life on Skettrick Island and we were always outdoors in the countryside," he said.
"Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the Mournes. I loved climbing trees and I also used to climb Skettrick Castle."
The Campbell College past pupil said his love for climbing was nurtured "the whole way through school" as a member of the mountaineering club, meaning he's well-placed for his son's next goal.
"Jules is talking about tackling the north face of the Eiger, which is one of the most extreme climbs in the world," he said.
When asked if Jules is a bit of a "daredevil", Chris replied: "I wouldn't say that. He loves climbing. But for now we'll just chill out, enjoy the summer and see what happens."