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Kilimanjaro climb in memory of York mountaineer

Former colleagues of a North Yorkshire climber who died during an avalanche in the French Alps are preparing to scale mount Kilimanjaro in his memory.

John Taylor and his friend Stephen Barber - who lived on the same street in Upper Poppleton near York - were among nine people who died following the tragedy in the Mont Blanc range. And as Matt Price reports, John was preparing to take part in this latest charity trek himself.

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John Taylor family tribute

John Taylor

John’s wife, Karine Taylor, 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.

“He had climbed several challenging mountains across the world, including Mont Blanc twice. He was a highly respected climber and this is a significant loss to the UK climbing community.

“In his personal life, John was a finance director, working within the public and private sectors. He will be sadly missed by his work colleagues. The family would like to pay tribute to the Mountain Rescue teams based in France and elsewhere that tried to save John and his good friend Steve.

“They would also like to thank the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the assistance offered and provided at this time.”

John, originally from Manchester, moved to Poppleton in 2003. He leaves behind his wife Karine and his two daughters, Emma,10, and Louise, eight.

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Tribute to fathers killed in avalanche

The headteacher of Poppleton Ousebank School, Estelle O’Hara, has written to parents of pupils at the school paying tribute to the two climbers who were killed in the avalanche in the French Alps. Steve Barber's son and John Taylor's two daughters attend the school.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to both Donna Rogers and Karine Taylor who have both lost their life long partners.

– Estelle O'Hara, Headteacher, Poppleton Ousebank School, York

Frankie Barber is in year 5 along with Emma Taylor, her sister Louise is in year 3. Teachers say children have been informed and school staff have been supporting them throughout the day, providing a caring shoulder and answering any questions that children may have.

We would ask that people respect the families’ privacy at this sad time. We understand that the climb was to raise money for St Leonard’s Hospice and so we will be collecting on their behalf.

– Estelle O'Hara, Headteacher, Poppleton Ousebank School, York