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Octogenarian Climbs 282 Mountains

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 himself going.

The grandfather-of-four began in July 2020 and reached his final summit, Cairn Gorm, on Saturday afternoon. He was met at the top by a guard of honour of supporters and family.

Nick Gardner climbing the last of the 282 Munros
Credit: Nick Gardner

"I'm on cloud nine, it's absolutely surreal," he said. "I have never experienced anything quite like it - it's like a little boy opening his Christmas presents. I was walking through the archway thinking, it's all for me."

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.

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 also managed to raise more than £60,000 ($73,000) for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society through the challenge.

There's hope for us all!



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