Jules Molyneaux, ready to start his ascent.

While most parents were lucky to get a half-hour Joe Wicks workout out of their children during lockdown, one 11-year-old was working towards a rather higher ambition — to climb the most iconic mountain in the Alps, the Matterhorn.

Fueled by Kendal Mint Cake and playing Eminem rap songs in his head, on July 8 Jules Molyneaux became the youngest Brit to scale the 14,700-foot mountain that straddles the Italian-Swiss border. He achieved his goal thanks to a rigorous homemade fitness programme, which he followed with his father, after his school closed in March. “It was train, train, train, six days a week,” says Jules, who lives in the Cairngorms National Park, where his parents own a gin distillery. “Some days it was chin-ups, an abs and core workout, followed by going up and down the stairs a hundred times. Other days we’d go out for a 30km [nearly 19-mile] hike.” And what of schoolwork? “Well I did a bit,” he jokes.

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