THE ashes of a former mountaineer who was left paralysed after diving into the River Dee to save a friend will be scattered at the top of Snowdon.
Mark Boniface, 44, from Chester, who was paralysed from the neck down, died from an infection on May 24.
In July 2006 the father-of-two – who had worked as a mountain guide and climbing instructor for 23 years – broke his neck and almost drowned after leaping into rapids near Llangollen, North Wales, believing a friend was in trouble.
Mark, who lived in Pinetum care home based at the Countess of Chester Health Park, slowly began to regain some movement in his arms and was preparing to climb Snowdon once again next month with the aid of an all-terrain wheelchair.
He was due to tackle the mountain with up to 40 friends, including close pal Bill King, of Mold, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease in 2007.
Bill says the charity challenge on August 18 will still go ahead as a ‘celebration of his life’, with Mark’s ashes being scattered at the top by his family.
“He lived in Llanberis for a long period of his life,” said Bill. “He loved the mountains, they were his religion.”
Mark, who had two sons – Jack, 16, and Josh, five, was the first ever resident at Pinetum when it opened in 2009.
Deputy manager Linda Speed said: “Mark was a real character who managed to get the best out of people.
“His determination to overcome great tragedy is a trait that will be missed.
“I know that each member of our team who cared for Mark will have their own special memory of a truly great guy and we all miss him very much.”
Money raised from the trek will be split between spinal injury charity Aspire and the Spinal Injuries Association.