Bagging Series

Moving Mountains - All the Munros Aged 80+

Faced with his wife Janet's life-changing diagnosis of Alzheimer's Disease, Nick Gardner felt the pull of the hills. Channelling grief into positive action, he's attempting to climb all the Munros as an 80-plus-year-old. This film, made by students at Stirling University, tells the story so far.

"I would like to do something to benefit sufferers and carers everywhere"  © Dan Bailey
"I would like to do something to benefit sufferers and carers everywhere"
© Dan Bailey

"I was 80 in April 2020 and my challenge is to raise £50,000 for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society by climbing all 282 Munros in 1200 days" he says.

"I am an experienced walker and climber, and I adore the Scottish mountains... and despite my grand old age, I think I have the mountaineering skills, experience and fitness to succeed!"

This film is a gentle portrayal of his love and determination.

White-bearded and ruddy-cheeked, Nick Gardner looks the archetypal jolly octogenarian, a wiry and soft-spoken Father Christmas. But he is also very driven.

Thanks to this focus and determination the challenge is going well, with more than 220 summits now in the bag and over £35,000 raised so far.

Climbing all the Munros, starting in his 80th year, has, he says, given Nick an unexpected lease of life, refuting through literal get-up-and-go the expectation that old age must always mean the decay of ambition and ability.

"I decided to do the challenge" says Nick, "But the challenge is now pushing me. It's giving me a purpose to carry on living. I can't believe what I'm doing."

"I'll carry on walking until my legs give up."

For more about Nick and his challenge, see our interview:

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