The Old Man of Hoy must have felt very, very old last week. It was climbed by a 7-year-old boy.
The Old Man of Hoy is a 450-foot pinnacle of treacherously loose sandstone, rising sheer as the Seagram Building from Hoy, one of the Orkney Islands of the North Atlantic. Sir Walter Scott called it "rude, bold and lofty." They said it couldn't be climbed.
When, two years ago, it finally was conquered, it took a party of crack English mountaineers three days. Last year another party did it carrying television cameras, which recorded the struggle.
And last week 7-year-old Roy Clarkson and his father, Arthur, 31, of Lancashire, did it in five hours. "It was great fun," said Roy of the Hoy climb. "I'd like to do it again."
But what can he do when he's 8?