A tribute to British Mountaineer Roger Payne

Roger Payne

Roger Payne (1956 – 2012) was a celebrated mountaineer and mountaineering advocate who made many first ascents in the Alps

Mountain guide and former General Secretary of the British Mountaineering Council Roger Payne has died following a major avalanche in the Chamonix region in France.

Payne was confirmed as one of nine people including three British climbers tragically killed as a result of the avalanche, which occurred shortly after 5am on Thursday 12 July at around 4000m on Mont Maudit in the Mont Blanc Massif.

We wish to express our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Roger Payne and our thoughts are with our friends at the BMC and also with the families of the other climbers, and their families, during this very this difficult time.

Director of Ramblers Scotland Dave Morris, a close friend of Payne said:

"Roger Payne was an outstanding mountaineer whose contribution to the sport and the mountain environment was felt worldwide. He had a profound influence on the development of mountaineering, on fellow mountaineers and on the organisations and institutions who he sought to influence.

Walkers and climbers who today enjoy rights of access to land both in the UK and elsewhere will remember the contribution that Roger made in his BMC and UIAA (Union des Association d’Alpinisme) days to the efforts being made to secure such rights.

Along with Alan Blackshaw, another British mountaineer and President of the UIAA, they were the leading voices who promoted the concept that a right to enjoy nature should be a fundamental human right for all citizens and be recognized as such by the United Nations.

Roger was one of the most active mountaineers and skiers of his generation, from the Scottish Highlands to remote parts of the Himalaya. His enthusiasm and ability to stimulate and encourage others to get out and enjoy the outdoors was infectious.”

full tribute to Roger Payne by Dave Morris can be found in our Media Centre or visit the BMC website for a reflection on Payne’s life and achievements by alpine journalist and mountaineer Ed Douglas.