Peter Fairclough passed away on 29th April 2020, he was 83.
Peter and Jane met in 1982 and very quickly realised a mutual interest in skiing and in Zermatt. Peter’s mother moved to live in Zermatt because of his sister’s poor health and Jane had spent many years skiing there. He joined the Ski Club of Manchester in 1983 and remained a member until 2019. Having grown up with a love of the Swiss Alps, Peter and Jane enjoyed many adventures both off piste and ski touring, but Peter always had a love for speed skiing and for 14 years from 2000 he competed in the Inferno race in Murren. They both joined the DHO (Downhill Only Club) in Wengen and Peter raced for their team and he loved it, many times completing the race when it finished in Lauterbrunnen no mean feat for someone in his 70’s.
Their love of the Alps also took them there in the summer to walk. After a heli-skiing holiday in Zermatt, their guide persuaded them to go back in the summer with the hope of climbing the Matterhorn which Peter had already climbed aged 18! However at the first attempt the weather closed the mountain so they climbed Monte Rosa instead but the following summer the weather was kind and they climbed the Matterhorn. In later years they also climbed Kilimanjaro and walked down to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and up again which was a very spectacular experience. He has left many happy memories and we hope he is now at peace enjoying the memories
Alan Brown writes:
I was very sad when Jane told me Peter had died. He had been declining for some time and had recently spent time in a care home, so it wasn’t a complete surprise.
I have known Peter for many years. In fact, it was he and Jane who introduced me to the Ski Club of Great Britain back in the early eighties, and then into our Club soon after.
Peter had skiing in the blood having been at school in Switzerland. (That was why Jane would always explain that he had no style (no instruction!) but was safe and fast on any slope in any conditions. They made a wonderful pair as off piste enthusiasts. He was also a keen racer, particularly in the Inferno race in Murren.
(For those who don’t know, it’s the largest and longest amateur race in the world which has been going for almost 100 years and is now limited to 1850 competitors).
Peter was always a quiet gentle calm gent who you could rely on to entertain other skiers with his stories for hours. He was the perfect foil for Jane who has organised so many social events over the years. He will be sadly missed by many in the Club.