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He’s 81 and he’s climbing every Scottish mountain for his wife


He’s 81 and he’s climbing every Scottish mountain for his wife

After his spouse developed Alzheimer’s, he began mountaineering for his mental health. Now he’s also raising money

Natalie Thomas

At the windswept summit of Buachaille Etive Mòr, a Scottish peak more than 1,020m above sea level, 81-year-old Nick Gardner stops to gaze down at the rugged peaks, lochs and valleys visible through the drifting clouds.

“It’s so exciting every time I still feel like a little boy,” he said. “I need my hat and gloves on, and my windproof jacket, but it’s absolutely magnificent. I’d much sooner be here than in a centrally heated house.”

For Gardner, who moved with his wife Janet from suburban England to a remote corner of the Scottish Highlands at the age of 50, climbing mountains has become more than just a boyhood dream...

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