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.
Donna, Steve’s partner, 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 village Post Office before retiring several years ago.
“Steve, like John, loved the outdoors and was a keen walker. He always wanted to climb Mont Blanc, an ambition that this trip was to fulfil. He had been training hard for the ascent and had successfully completed several challenging climbs in Europe and in the UK prior to this trip.
In his personal life, Steve was a Company Finance Accountant with a Leeds-based finance company.
“The family wish to express their sincere thanks to the men and women of the Mountain Rescue teams who tried so hard to save John and Steve.
“The family also wish to thank friends and close family who have been so supportive at this time.
Steve leaves behind his long term partner Donna and their daughter Francesca, 10, his parents and sister Julie.
The charity Stephen Barber had decided to raise funds for by completing an ice-climb at Mont Blanc in the French Alps, today expressed their thanks and regret over his death, and the deaths of his fellow British climbers John Taylor and Roger Payne.
In May St Leonard’s heard from his partner Donna that Steve Barber intended to do an ice-climb on Mont Blanc and had chosen to raise funds for St Leonard’s Hospice in York as an important local charity. We are devastated to hear of Steve’s death and the deaths of John Barber and Roger Payne, as well as of the other victims. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and friends today.