A Moray climbing enthusiast will embark on a new challenge when he undertakes a gruelling run to raise money for a charity close to his heart.
Andrew Tassell spends much of his time scaling cliffs around the region’s coastline, and has even created a climbing wall at his family home in Keith to practice his favourite hobby.
However, his feet will remain firmly planted to terra firma when he embarks on one of his toughest ventures yet.
Mr Tassell has signed up to take part in the Baxters River Ness 10k at the end of September.
He was motivated to participate in the fundraising of a desire to amass cash for the Climbers Against Cancer charity. The international organisation helps fund research projects on all five continents.
It was established just four years ago, by climbing ace John Ellison after he learned he had a terminal form of the illness.
Mr Ellison has since passed away, but his fellow enthusiasts are determined that his name lives on through the worthy cause he set up.
And Mr Tassell wanted to challenge himself this year to mark his 50th birthday, and duly decided to try something new while assisting Climbers Against Cancer.
He said: “Climbers, regardless of nationality, creed or colour, have a real togetherness.
“Being involved in the sport is like having an extended family, and we have the power to deliver a message across the globe and to help find a cure for cancer.
“Most of the fundraising events the charity stages are based around climbing, so running is something a little bit different.”
The organisation hands out donations in £10,000 intervals, and believes that, by spreading research funds across the globe, it is maximising the potential for a cure to be discovered.
Mr Tassell, who is the head gardener at Gordon Castle in Fochabers, has been climbing for many years and his son is also dedicated to the pursuit.
However, his primary passion has taken a back seat as he ramps up his training for the River Ness 10K – which is part of the Baxters Loch Ness Marathon and Festival of Running and will take place in Inverness on Sunday, September 25.
He added: “The scenery up there is beautiful, it’s a relatively flat course and it’s also close to where I live.
“I’m now out running two or three times a week and really looking forward to it.
“I’m delighted to be able to combine doing something a bit different for my 50th birthday with raising money for a charity that means so much to climbers.”
Entries for the Baxters River Ness 10K, along with the accompanying 5K and Wee Nessie event for pre-school children, remain open until midnight on Monday, September 5.
The finish line is based around the Event Village at the Bught Park in Inverness, where runners and spectators can enjoy a food and drink fair.
There will also be sports exhibitions, live music and activities for children.
People can enter at www.lochnessmarathon.com, and Mr Tassell has set up an online fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Andrew-Tassell.