A PENSIONER has just completed climbing the Wainwright fells for the 10th time – six years before his goal.

Michael Coates, a former nurse at Prudhoe hospital, is 65.

Climbing has always been a passion and while it has taken him all over the United Kingdom, it is the Lake District that keeps calling him back.

“I love climbing mountains. I love the Lake District. It is my favourite place in the country and perhaps the world," he said.

He started recording his climbs in 2007 and decided that he would try and do the 214 climbs 10 times in 20 years.

There are 214 Wainwright climbs which means he has done 2,140 in total - and is about to start round number 11.

He completed the last one on Sunday, 14 years, eight months and 18 days after his first recorded climb.

Mr Coates said he has always been fit: “I have never had a sick day.”

He was always fascinated by the hills and mountains and, in his younger days, enjoyed them as a fell runner.

“I still walk fast and jog sometimes but I would not do fell running now. I would be too worried about getting hurt at my age and not being able to climb.”

Mr Coates has also completed 350 mountain marathons as well as 100-mile challenge events non-stop throughout the night.

His wife, Mary, 62, shares his love of climbing and has nearly completed four Wainwrights.

Her story is all the more remarkable, however, since she had a full knee replacement three years ago. It has not stopped her. It just means now she climbs without pain.

Mr Coates has other hobbies. Photography is one that complements his climbing. He loves photography and has many, many photos of the views he has enjoyed both in the Lake District and across the United Kingdom.

His other hobby is rock music, especially Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, the Who and Neil Young.

The couple have two children, James and Angela, who appear to have inherited their parents’ love for the outdoors.

Instead of climbing mountains, however, they are racing down, around and up them on their mountain bikes – and anyone who watched the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo would understand why climbing seems like a Sunday stroll compared to the apparent dangers of mountain biking.