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.
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.
According to the Prefecture de la Haute-Savoie it also claimed the lives of two Spaniards, three Germans and one Swiss,
A church service is to be held in Chamonix tomorrow afternoon in memory of the dead climbers, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said.
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.
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.