He’s Done It: 82-year-old Nick Gardner Completes Scotland’s 282 Munros

Yesterday afternoon, 82-year-old Nick Gardner finished climbing the last of Scotland’s 282 Munros. These are all the Scottish mountains 3,000 feet (914m) or more high.

The former physics teacher from Gairloch, Scotland walked 3,200km, climbed over 152,000m, and finished a few hundred days earlier than expected. This is all in honor of his beloved wife Janet, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and osteoporosis in a care home.

Nick Gardner raises his arms in victory at the top of his final peak

Nick Gardner on top of Cairn Gorm, his final Munro. Photo: Jane Barlow/PA


Gardner found this newfound hobby and lifestyle as a way of coping with his wife’s condition. However, he did not undertake this project alone. He had a solid support system of friends, family, guides, and fellow hikers in the area. As he approached the top of Cairn Gorm, his last peak, they all joined in forming an archway with their hiking poles, which he walked through like the conquering hero he was.

Gardner on a rope, climbing

Gardner on one of the more technical Munros. Photo: Nick Gardner


The Munros have gained a cult following since they were first catalogued in 1891. In 2020, a climber named Stephen Pyke set a record of 39 days for climbing all of them. Gardner had no intention of setting any spectacular times. He simply wanted to give himself a project to set his life back in order. However, he might be the world’s oldest person to climb all of them. It is especially impressive considering that he only summited his first Munro in July 2020, at the age of 80.

Along the way, he has raised over £60,000 for Alzheimer Scotland and the Royal Osteoporosis Society, the two groups that helped him and his wife in their struggle.

The 82-year-old intends to conquer the coastal mountains of Devon and Cornwall next.

Kristine De Abreu

Kristine De Abreu is a writer at ExplorersWeb.

Kristine has been writing about Science, Mysteries and History for 4+ years. Prior to that, Kristine studied at the University of Leicester in the UK.

Based in Port-of-Spain, Kristine is also a literature teacher, avid reader, hiker, occasional photographer, an animal lover and shameless ramen addict.