Climber, 82, completes 282 mountain challengeon August 13, 2022 at 1:53 pm

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Nick Gardner climbed Scotland’s Munros after his wife developed Alzheimer’s and went into care.

Nick at summitImage source, Nick Gardner

An 82-year-old man has completed his attempt to climb Scotland’s 282 Munros – mountains higher than 3,000ft.

Nick Gardner, from Gairloch in the Scottish Highlands, set himself the challenge after his wife Janet went into full-time care.

He was devastated when she developed Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis and wanted a challenge to keep him going.

The grandfather-of-four began in July 2020 and reached his final summit, Cairn Gorm, on Saturday afternoon.

Mr Gardner was joined by family and friends for the 1,245m (4,085ft) climb in the Cairngorms, near Aviemore.

The former physics teacher had never climbed a Munro previously.

Nick with friends

Image source, Nick Gardner

After scaling Cairn Gorm, he has now climbed more than 500,000ft (152,000m), the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest about 17 times.

He has walked 2,000 miles (3,218 km), a similar distance to hiking from Edinburgh to Greece.

Mr Gardner said he had developed immense respect for mountains while completing his challenge.

“I have never conquered or beaten a mountain, I have climbed them,” he said.

“If you start trying to conquer them, they will get their own back.”

Nick Gardner

Image source, PA Media

Nick Gardner

Image source, PA Media

Mr Gardner was raising money for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society.

He said: “I don’t climb in a rush, and after the first two or three Munros I just started stopping people on the hill to tell them what I was doing.

“People couldn’t believe it, and they started joining me and donating money.”

One of his two daughters, Sally McKenzie, has nominated him to the Guinness Book of World Records for the oldest person to climb Scotland’s Munros.

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