Jake and Fraser on Tower Ridge

Photo taken by a fellow climber of us on the summit of Ben Nevis after we’d finished the climb

This is a painting in oils on canvas size 80cm x 65cm.  It came about because a while ago I climbed Tower Ridge on the north face of Ben Nevis with Jason, a close friend and old climbing companion and his son Fraser who was just 14 years old at the time.  We did the climb, which is some 600 metre in length and offers a lot of exposed climbing, moving together and roped alpine style.  The weather and conditions were perfect and it made for a most memorable and quite exceptional day.

I led the climb and stopped from time to time to take some photographs of the route and my companions.  I was later commissioned to make a painting of the event as a birthday present for Jason.  This led to some difficulties because the reference photographs were never taken with such an end in mind.  The main problems arose because both of the proposed subjects were, on all shots, always grinning like Cheshire cats and were wearing sunglasses.  Fortunately I know these two characters well and, having spent many long days in the mountains in their company, had other references to work with.  I hate painting teeth but in the end had to go with the grins.  I did manage to do away with the ‘shades’ though.