British climbers Steve Barber and John Taylor, who died in an avalanche in the French Alps, were killed while raising money for a hospice in their home town, it emerged today.
Mr Barber and Mr Taylor, who lived in the same street in the village of Upper Poppleton in York, were among nine climbers to die after a snow slide believed to be caused by a dislodged slab of ice. They had planned to ascend the Mont Blanc range in France to raise funds for St Leonard’s Hospice in York, where patients with life-threatening illnesses can receive care.
Janet Morley, director of fund-raising at St Leonard’s Hospice in York, said: “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.
“As far as we are aware he had no direct link with the hospice, so we were very pleased to hear that he recognised the important part the hospice plays in York and the surrounding area, and we were looking forward to the photographs he promised to bring back from this adventure to use on the hospice’s website.