Boy’s record bid on Old Man of Hoy

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 May 2016

Oliver Buckle who is hoping to become the youngest person to scale the Old Man of Hoy.

Oliver Buckle who is hoping to become the youngest person to scale the Old Man of Hoy.


A 10-year-old boy from Flax Bourton is hoping to set a world record by becoming the youngest person to scale the Old Man of Hoy.

Oliver Buckle, who attends 1st Backwell Scouts, is preparing to climb the rock on Sunday, before his 11th birthday.

The record is currently held by Oliver’s hero, British climber Leo Houlding.

Oliver said: “To just have the chance to climb to Old Man of Hoy is a real privilege and if I can beat Leo Houlding’s record, it will be an added bonus.

“Leo is a hero of mine and to follow in his footsteps is a dream come true. I can’t wait now for the climb and what will be a huge challenge.

“I’ve been climbing for about seven years but this will be a huge challenge, even for my dad.”

Old Man of Hoy sits on the island of Hoy in Orkney off the north coast of Scotland and stands 137m above sea level.

It is classed as an E1 – extremely severe – grade climb and was first scaled in 1966. Since then, it has become one of the most sought-after challenges from rock-climbers all over the world.

Oliver’s dad Ben first took him climbing at an indoor climbing centre in St Werburghs, in Bristol, just before his third birthday.

Oliver then caught the climbing bug and he began tackling outdoor routes at the age of seven.

When he turned nine, he led his first proper climb and has since scaled climbs in the Lake District, Wye Valley, Cornwall, the Peak District and Fontainebleau near Paris.

Last winter he tried out ice axe arrests in the snow in the Brecon Beacons.

A recent lecture led by Leo Houlding inspired Oliver to attempt the Old Man of Hoy and try to beat his record.

Oliver will also be raising money for WaterAid and has collected £1,235 so far.

He said: “£472 will provide a new well with rope pump to provide clean drinking water for 120 people. I’m hoping to raise enough money for two new wells.”

To sponsor Oliver visit

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