At the windswept summit of Buachaille Etive Mòr, a Scottish peak more than 1,020 metres 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 says. “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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