00:00 13 July 2012
Names have been released from the recent Mont Blanc avalanche that killed nine climbers and among them were three Britons, the Foreign Office have revealed.
Steve Barber and John Taylor, both from York, were crushed when ice fell onto a group of climbers above the French alpine town of Chamonix.
Also killed was Roger Payne, who was already named previously. Payne was a veteran mountain guide and was also the former general secretary of the British Mountaineering Council.
The avalanche occurred in the early hours of Thursday morning when ice from a cliff on "cursed mountain" Mont Maudit fell on to the highest of a group of 28 mountaineers of different nationalities, knocking them off.
Their fall in turn set off a 'slab avalanche' some 150 metres wide which then struck those lower down. Nine further people were injured. In addition, two Swiss, two German and two Spanish people were also killed.
Sir Chris Bonington, the UK's premiere mountaineer, was quoted on ITV's Daybreak show stating that no one could have predicted the avalanche: "Roger [Payne] was an expert on avalanche danger, he actually taught it, instructed it, but that doesn't make any difference. They are unpredictable.
"Roger was both a colleague, a friend, and of course a fellow climber as well. He did a terrific amount of work for the international mountaineering community, he did a terrific amount of work for the environment, and, when he went to K2 some years ago, did work for the local community as well. He is a huge loss to all of us."
The climb up Mont Blanc is regarded as standard and hundreds of climbers from different skill levels have successfully completed it in the past.
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