Sad news as BMC stalwart and mountaineer dies with eight others in Mount Maudit avalanche tragedy.
We only briefly met Roger Payne - ex BMC general secretary and National Officer - who died in last week's Mont Maudit avalanche tragedy, but it's a measure of the respect and affection in which he was was held that his death has hit British mountaineering so hard.
There was general shock and sorrow among the British outdoors industry gathered at the OutDoor trade show in Germany last week, both over Payne's involvement and, of course, over the other climbers involved and the sheer scale of the tragedy which killed nine in total including two other Britons.
We'd like to express our condolences to Roger's partner, friends and family and to those of the others involved in the incident. Of course risk is an inherent part of mountaineering and one that anyone who goes into the mountains accepts as part of the activity, but that doesn't of course, make loss any easier to bear.
Dave Turnbull, the BMC chief executive summed it up thus in a statement on the organisation's web site:
“The mountaineering world is shocked and saddened to learn of the tragic death of Roger Payne, former BMC general secretary and former president of the British Mountain Guides. Roger was one of the UK’s most enthusiastic and respected climbers with a track record of Alpine and Himalayan mountaineering stretching back to the 1980s. Our thoughts are with Roger’s friends and family – in particular his wife Julie-Ann.”
There's also an excellent summary of Roger's life and times by Ed Douglas, again on the BMC web site plus an obituary - again by Douglas, in yesterday's Observer newspaper.
'Payne's infectious enthusiasm and warm smile were matched by his relentless energy. As a guide and ski mountaineer, he inspired others to appreciate the mountains as much as he did. As a sports administrator, he transformed the institutions that underpin climbing. As a campaigner, he brought attention to the social and environmental problems affecting the world's mountain regions.' - Ed Douglas
The Independent also carried an informative obituary by Alpine Journal editor, Stephen Goodwin.
'The avalanche that killed nine climbers on Mont Maudit deprived contemporary mountaineering of one of its most able practitioners and broadest smiles'. - Stephen Goodwin.
Alan Hinkes wrote on twitter: 'Roger Payne RIP never forgotton Good times together lovely bloke always a smile passionate about mountains & people..'
Finally, there's a very moving online Book of Condolence for Roger at the British Mountain Guides web site.