Friends and colleagues of the British Mountain Guide who died in the Mont Maudit avalanche are inviting the public to celebrate his life at three services.
Roger Payne, a former general secretary of the British Mountaineering Council, was one of nine climbers including two other Britons, who died in the incident last Thursday in the French Alps.
A church service will take place in the village of Leysin in Switzerland on Saturday at 2pm. The following Saturday, 28 July, a memorial service will be held in Shepherd’s Bush, London and a third memorial event will take place in Manchester at a date still to be arranged.
British Mountain Guides, of which Mr Payne was a key member, said: “The breadth of his contribution to life in general and mountaineering in particular was extraordinary.
“Anyone is welcome to any or all of these events as Roger touched the lives of so many people in so many different ways.”
The organisation said his widow Julie-Ann Clyma would welcome either flowers or a contribution to the Roger Payne Memorial Fund, which will support international mountain training.
The BMG added: “He had a capacity to bite off life in big chunks and then wash them down with vast quantities of climbers’ rehydration fluid and so the people wishing to celebrate a truly great man are diverse, both socially and geographically.”
This Saturday’s ceremony will take place at 2pm at the small church of Leysin, Vaud.
A BMG spokesperson said: “The church has a capacity of about 140 people, so there will be a PA system to transmit the proceedings to anyone we are unable to fit into the church.
“There will be a reception at the nearby Fromagerie immediately after the service from 3 to 6 pm, after which a previously arranged Festival de Musique will recommence.
“We are sure Roger would thoroughly approve of loud music and drinking.”
On 28 July the memorial service will again start at 2pm at the URC Methodist Church in Askew Road, Shepherds Bush, London and will be followed by a reception.
The British Mountaineering Council and BMG will jointly organise the Manchester event in the coming weeks.
Mr Payne’s two clients, Steve Barber and John Taylor from Upper Poppleton, York, also perished in the incident, along with two Germans, two Spaniards and two Swiss. The climbers were making the ascent of Mont Blanc via Mont Maudit when they were hit by the slab avalanche.
More details are on the British Mountain Guides website.