‘Top of the world’: Oban girl, 8, summits highest mountain for nana

Eight year-old Mollie Mackay from Dunollie climbed Ben Nevis on Sunday May 15, supported by her mum Claire and dad Allan, to fundraise for a charity close to the family's hearts.

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An ‘amazing’ eight-year-old girl from Oban climbed Britain’s highest mountain at the weekend, smashing her fundraising target for Alzheimer Scotland.

Mollie Mackay, a pupil at Park Primary School, reached the 4,413ft high summit of Ben Nevis on Sunday, supported by her mum Claire and dad Allan, in aid of a charity close to their hearts.

‘We are on a joint fundraise,’ Claire explained. ‘Her nana has Alzheimer’s. I am doing a sky dive on July 31. When Mollie found out I was fundraising, she wanted to do it too. I did tell her it would be very tough, but because it was her nana, she was determined to do it.’

When Mollie got out the car at 8.30am on Sunday, ‘she was raring to go’ up Ben Nevis.

There were a few nerves before the climb, but when they got out the car around 8.30am, ‘she was raring to go’, Claire said. ‘We went at her pace. There were so many people cheering her on.

Mollie and her dad Allan on the path up Ben Nevis. ‘At one point on the way up she did have a wee cry, but she was fine,’ her mum Claire said.

‘Half way up she did have a “I cannot do this”, and a wee tear.’ But Mollie’s mum and dad told her: ‘Just think what you are doing, and all the people who have donated money and believe in you.

‘That perked her up to the top,’ Claire said. ‘I heard her saying: “I am just so proud of myself doing this”.

‘It took us four hours 20 minutes to get up, and then three hours down,’ Mollie’s mum Claire said.

When finally, after four hours and 20 minutes, they reached the mountaintop, ‘she felt on top of the world,’ Claire said. ‘It was so hard going through the snow, but we had lots of fun going down.

As a surprise, more of her family were waiting at the bottom, with a banner saying: ‘Well done Mollie!’. ‘They were all clapping for her,’ said Claire. ‘I was all emotional: I was in tears.’

Mollie Mackay’s welcoming party at the foot of Ben Nevis. Left to right: her granda Allan, sister Carley, granny Tricia, granny Vivien, Mollie, nana Rena, grampa Rab, brother Conor, mum Claire, and dad Allan.

Among them was her nana, 85 year-old Rena Smith. ‘She knew Mollie was climbing Ben Nevis,’ Claire said. ‘She gave her a big cuddle, and said: “Well done!”‘

Mollie’s target was £300 – and she smashed it, six times over, raising a total of £1,810.92 so far.

‘She was amazing,’ Claire said on Monday. ‘We knew she would do it. She was so determined. We are just the proudest parents in the world.

‘She has very sore legs today.’