Alpine funeral held for North East skier killed in avalanche

A procession of skiers weaving through the Alps marked the funeral of tragic David Tapsfield who died in an avalanche a week ago

Friends and family of David Tapsfield at his funeral in Chamonix
Friends and family of David Tapsfield at his funeral in Chamonix in the decommissioned church Les Praz de Chamonix.

A procession of skiers weaving through the Alps marked the funeral of tragic David Tapsfield who died in an avalanche a week ago.

More than 100 people gathered at the peak of Flegere in the resort of Chamonix to ski down to the 28-year-old’s funeral service on Sunday.

David’s parents William and Virginia of Brierdene, Whitley Bay, two of his sisters, family and school friends from the North East were there to meet mourners assembled in their brightest ski attire in his honour.

The former Marden High School pupil died in an avalanche as he was about to descend Mont Buet last Tuesday during an off-piste skiing trip.

Friend Lorne Cameron, 29, dug through the snow to get to him and he carried out CPR for 40 minutes before the air ambulance arrived.

However he had been carried for more than a kilometre during the incident and was pronounced dead at a hospital in the Chamonix valley.

David Tapsfield just hours before he was killed by an avalance in an accident near Chamonix in France
David Tapsfield just hours before he was killed by an avalance in an accident near Chamonix in France
 

Lorne, 29, said: “His friend gave a speech and it was exactly as a best man’s speech would have been. There were a few tears but there was so much laughter and smiles.

“We heard stories from his godfather from when he was growing up and when he lived in America. It’s exactly as David would have wanted.”

The funeral was held at 5pm on Sunday at a decommissioned church, Les Praz de Chamonix, and his family are due to bring back his ashes to the North East.

Several friends from school flew out to the service as well as his uncle and godfather and other members of his family. They are expected to fly home from France this week.

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