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Family of critically ill British snowboarder fly to France

Emily Watts' parents, Nicky and Dominic, along with her 27-year-old brother Rory, have all travelled to the hospital in Annecy where she is being treated.

It took several days for French authorities to notify her parents because she was not wearing any form of identification.


British student fighting for life after snowboarding accident

A British student who was left critically ill after a snowboarding accident in the French Alps is still fighting for her life, her family said today.

Emily Watts, known as Mimi, fell headfirst into a snowdrift and was stuck for about 45 minutes following the fall in Chamonix on Saturday.

By the time emergency crews arrived, the 26-year-old, from Lavenham, in Suffolk, had suffered a cardiac arrest, prompting fears of brain damage.

Memorial service held for nine killed in Alps avalanche

A memorial service has been held 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.

The other victims were three Germans, two Spaniards and one Swiss climber.

During the memorial service at the Eglise Saint-Michel in Chamonix the name of each of the victims was read out and a candle lit for them.

Surge in donations for climbers' charity

The deaths of two friends attempting to climb Mont Blanc have prompted a surge in donations for the charity for which they were fund-raising.

Neighbours Steve Barber, 47, and John Taylor, 48, were killed in an avalanche in the French Alps, alongside fellow Briton Roger Payne.

Mr Barber and Mr Taylor were attempting the climb to raise money for St Leonard's Hospice in York.

Before news of their deaths emerged, there had been about 20 donations on Mr Barber's page on the JustGiving website, totalling about £300. 149 people have now promised money, with the total now topping £2533.50.


Climber dreamed of reaching Mont Blanc summit

Steve Barber, 47, was attempting to climb Mont Blanc for the first time. His long-term partner Donna Rogers said:

As might be expected, the family and I are all devastated at the loss of Steve and his close friend John.

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.

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