A BEARSDEN schoolboy has scaled Scotland's highest mountain to raise money for a children's charity.

Nine-year-old Marcus Tinley took on the mammoth challenge of Ben Nevis via the long and technical climb of Tower Ridge.

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 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 in 12.5 hours following a 24km and 1550m ascent.

As well as hitting new heights, Marcus raised £610 for Variety in the process.

Marcus said: “I love nature and mountain climbing is fun, it challenges you and makes you fit. I got into it 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 Bonnington 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. By aged four, he'd climbed his first Munro, Ben Lomond. More recent climbs include Ledge Route, Aonach Eagach and Curved Ridge.

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 replied: "Keep on trying and never give up.”

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

About the Ben Nevis charity climb, Simon said: "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.”

To donate to Marcus' JustGiving page for Variety, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/marcus-tinley. To keep up-to-date with Marcus' adventures, go to facebook.com/carpediemmountaineering.