Service for climbers killed in French Alps avalanche
A MEMORIAL service was held yesterday for nine climbers, including three Britons, killed in a huge avalanche in the French Alps.
Steve Barber, John Taylor and Roger Payne died as they traversed Mont Maudit – or Cursed Mountain – in the Mont Blanc range near Chamonix in the early hours of Thursday morning. The other victims were three Germans, two Spaniards and one Swiss climber.
French authorities believe wind triggered the avalanche.
At 1pm yesterday a memorial service was held at the Eglise Saint-Michel in Chamonix.
During the service, the name of each of the victims was read out and a candle lit for them.
Payne was one of the UK’s most respected climbers and former general secretary of the British Mountaineering Council.
Barber, 47, and Taylor, 48, lived on the same street in Upper Poppleton, a village to the north-west of York, and both had children at Poppleton Ousebank School.
They were attempting the climb to raise money for St Leonard’s Hospice in York.
Yesterday it emerged that their deaths have prompted a surge in donations to the fund-raising effort.
Before news of their deaths emerged, there had been about 20 donations on Barber’s page on the JustGiving website, totalling about £300. More than 88 people have now promised money, with the total last night topping £2,393.
The families of Taylor, who was originally from Manchester, and Mr Barber both said they were devastated by their loss.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: West