Colleagues of John Taylor who died in the Mount Blanc avalanche to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in his honour

A NORTH YORKSHIRE man tragically killed in an avalanche will be remembered when his colleagues scale Mount Kilimanjaro in his honour.

Experienced mountaineer John Taylor, from Upper Poppleton near York, was one of nine people to die in the Mont Blanc avalanche in July 2012.

Before his death, Mr Taylor had been instrumental in organising a fundraising trip to scale the 20,000ft Mount Kilimanjaro in aid of Daisy Chain, a Teesside charity that provides support for autistic children and their families.

Now, his colleagues at the Vela Housing Group are taking up the challenge and hoping to raise over £20,000 for the charity.

Dave Pickard, Group Director of Operations at Vela, said the team would be taking a banner featuring Mr Taylor’s picture and would unfurl it at the top of the mountain.

He said: “We are doing this to raise money for Daisy Chain but it is also done in memory of John. There will be time at the top for a moment of reflection as a mark of respect for him and his family.”

He added: “He would be laughing at us doing this and how much training we have had to do as he was an experienced climber and it would have been a breeze for him. He would be pleased we are still doing this.”

The team, which also includes Vela Group Chairman Mike Clark, Board Director Johnny Lighten and Customer Service Advisor Paul Cornforth, had their final training session at Roseberry Topping, near Great Ayton today (Wednesday February 6) and will set off this weekend.

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