Sky News –
A church service will take place in Chamonix later to remember nine climbers, including three British men, who died in an avalanche in the French Alps.
One of the UK’s most respected climbers, Roger Payne, was among the victims, who were traversing Mont Maudit – or Cursed Mountain – in the Mont Blanc range when the died.
Steve Barber and John Taylor, both from the village of Upper Poppleton, York, also lost their lives in Thursday’s disaster.
Among the other victims were three Germans, two Spaniards and one Swiss climber.
French authorities believe wind triggered the avalanche, caused by heavy snow.
The families of Mr Taylor, who was originally from Manchester, and Mr Barber both said they were devastated.
Mrs Taylor said her husband, who was father to Emma, 10, and Louise, eight, had climbed Mont Blanc twice previously.
She said: “We are all truly devastated about this loss.
“John always had a keen interest in outdoor activities taking up mountaineering in 1998 and was a highly regarded and very active member of mountain rescue teams himself.
“John had climbed several challenging mountains across the world, including Mont Blanc on two previous occasions.
“He was a highly respected climber and this event represents a significant loss to the UK climbing community.”
Mr Barber’s long-term partner Donna Rogers, with whom he had a daughter, 10-year-old Francesca, said: “As might be expected, the family and I are all devastated at the loss of Steve and his close friend John.
“Steve has lived in Poppleton most of his life. His parents ran the
Category: World News