Two British schoolboys, Patrick Fearon, aged 12 and his eight-year-old brother, Timothy, accompanied by their father, kept up a family tradition, Sept. 20.21 when they conquered the 12,000 ft Swiss peak, Wetterhorn - their first mountain climb.
LV TOWARDS Mr. & Mrs. Fearon set off with the two boys.
REAR V Away towards the Wetterhorn.
LV Avalanche on the Wetterhorn
SCU Climbers' feet.
CU Mrs. Fearon waves.
CU Two boys wave.
SCU Climbers' feet
REAR V. Mr. Fearon and the two boys negotiate a difficult part of their climb with the aid of the guide.
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Background: Two British schoolboys, Patrick Fearon, aged 12 and his eight-year-old brother, Timothy, accompanied by their father, kept up a family tradition, Sept. 20.21 when they conquered the 12,000 ft Swiss peak, Wetterhorn - their first mountain climb.
Wearing windcheaters and jeans, and carrying rucksacks, the youngsters set out with their father, London solicitor, John Fearon, from Grindelwald. After waving an anxious goodbye, their mother returned to the hotel to watch their progress through a telescope.
The boys, fourth generation of the Fearon family to climb Wetterhorn in 100 years, stopped on the mountainside for a picnic lunch. By dusk the party reached the Glockstein shelter at 7,600 feet, where they spent the night with their two guides. 'The scenery was very beautiful and in the moonlight the mountains looked lovely', said hair-haired Patrick. After an exchange of fireworks with the hotel below where we were staying, we went to bed. We got up at two in the morning, had a quick meal and were off at 3.0a.m. Helped by the moonlight we reached the top peak by ten to nine, had a drink and were on our way down. We returned to the Glockstein but where we had lunch (soup and tea) and then set off for Grindelwald.'
The five hours 50 minutes climb to the summit, took them over rock, ice and snow. Red-haired Timothy - believed to he the youngest person ever to make the ascent - said the mountain was 'a bit difficult in places. We saw two Steinbock while we were coming down, a mother and a baby. Going up the last stages, the peak looked like an iceberg. I hope to climb another mountain next year', he added.
'Tired - but very happy', the boys and their father were met by Mrs. Fearon. 'I am extremely pleased and proud of them all, especially the boys, who have had no real mountain-climbing experience', she said.
The boys great-grandfather, Francis Fearon, become the first man to climb the 'family' mountain, on Sept 23. 1859 - but because of school, the youngsters could not make an anniversary ascent. One of the guides on the climb, Samuel Brawand, was the grandson of a guide who accompanied their grandfather 100 years ago. Two of their great-uncles and their guides were killed by lightning on the mountain in 1902. Their father and aunt climbed Wetterhorn in 1938.