Pensioner climbs all Scotland’s Munros for record third time

Elsa Yates, 76, has now completed all the Scottish Munros three times. Picture: Contributed
Elsa Yates, 76, has now completed all the Scottish Munros three times. Picture: Contributed
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A super-fit pensioner has finished climbing all 282 of Scotland’s highest hills at the age of 76 – for the third time.

Passionate Munro-bagger Elsa Yates started her labour of love back in 1988 with late husband Bobby when she scaled Ben Lomond for her first 3000-feet plus ascent.

She and Bobby, who have two sons and a daughter, managed to complete their first round of Munros within four years.

The enthusiastic pair from Edinburgh then went on to complete all 282 for a second time by 1996.

Bobby passed away in 2005, but Elsa’s love of hillwalking continued and she became a “triple Munroist” in June this year.

She finished with two peaks in the Big Six at Fisherfield in the north west of the country.

While Elsa says she cannot imagine life without the hills, she does not think she will make it up and down them all again for a fourth time.

Retired English teacher Elsa continues to walk regularly with the Polmont Hillwalking Club in Falkirk.

She said: “You don’t really start out to do them all, but the next thing you know it’s in sight.

“I absolutely love the hills and can’t imagine life without them.

“When Bobby died it became a lifeline for me, it kept me going and the Polmont club is amazing. It’s very social, it’s hard work, but its relaxing getting away from everything.

“It’s impossible to pick a favourite but I do love the hills in the north-west.

“I will keep going but I don’t think I’ll manage them all a fourth time.”

Secretary of Polmont Hillwalking Club, Andrew Govan, said that Elsa is an inspiration to everyone in the group.

He said: “Elsa has great experience of walking in the Scottish mountains and is a great inspiration to us all, particularly to new or younger members thinking about hillwalking.

“We are planning an informal celebration on September 20 to mark her remarkable achievement.”