On Top of The World
Teddy McDonald hand-painted the protective helmet worn by world-leading British mountaineer Kenton Cool when he achieved his record-breaking 16th summit of Mount Everest in the early hours of 15 May 2022.
A historic achievement for Kenton Cool, who has also been a guide to Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Ben Fogle, the date was also significant to Teddy McDonald, being precisely six years to the day of his painting with members of the British royal family at the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
"Its awesome!" - Kenton Cool
Kenton Cool's hand painted protective headwear features stylised buddha eyes, an earth symbol and the five colours of Buddhist prayer flags, each one representing an element. The top of the helmet features the traditional buddhist mantra, ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ often translated as 'The Jewel is in the Lotus' referring to the cleansing of the mind and body, replacing bad with good.
Prior to Kenton Cool's climb, the hand painted helmet was blessed in a traditional buddhist ceremony. On reaching the summit, Kenton Cool told Sky News it was, "arguably one of the best days I've ever had" and later sent Teddy McDonald a text expressing his belief the painted helmet made his success possible. Teddy McDonald naturally took this as a rather 'tongue in cheek' comment but, nonetheless, was proud to have played a very small part in Kenton Cool's achievement.
Photo (c) Kenton Cool