Darren Kelly, 45, and his brother Vincent, 50, died in the plane crash in Kathmandu, Nepal, as they made their way to Mount Everest Base Camp.
Mr Kelly lived on Isle of Whithorn, Dumfries and Galloway, with his wife Jannine, where they worked developing disused buildings into flats and holiday homes.
He was an assistant diving instructor at the village's Newton Stewart Sub Aqua Club and a trustee of the Island Futures environmental charity.
Friend Chris Harrison, 56, said: "I saw Darren the day before he set off. He was really looking forward to the trip.
"He had been planning it for over a year and had planned to go last year but it had been cancelled because of bad weather.
"They wanted a holiday to remember, something a little bit different – so they decided to climb a mountain.
"Darren was a larger-than-life character. He was the kind of person you would want with you in difficult times. He was a very good friend. It's hard to believe he's gone."
Mr Kelly had been due to spend three weeks in Nepal and had been training for the trip by hiking in the local area.
Marion Sunderland, of the Isle of Whithorn Community Council, said: "The community will be feeling much the same as me – devastated.
"He was a trustee with the Isle Futures charity in the village and we are dedicated to regeneration.
"Our biggest project is the village hall. He was to be the project manager."
It is understood Mr Kelly, originally from Bolton, had grown-up children.
Harbourmaster Shaun McGuire, 54, said: "I knew Darren well. He was a really fine fellow and mixed with everyone.
"He enjoyed having banter with the chaps in the pub, especially about football – he
was a Bolton Wanderers fan.He loved scuba driving," said Mr McGuire.
"He was a keen member of the diving club in the nearby town of Newton Stewart and used to explore wrecks around the coast. He went to Scapa Flow last Year.
"He sponsored a local bowling competition in memory of a local fisherman who lost his life in the Solway Harvester tragedy. The village is devastated by Darren's death and our thoughts go out to the family."
Family members at the home of Vincent Kelly, a company director of Lostock, Bolton, were too upset to talk about the tragedy.
He was described as a "most prolific and well respected" supporter of Bolton Lads' and Girls' Club.
The brothers were part of a group of British trekkers who arrived in Nepal on Wednesday with Hampshire-based travel company Explore Worldwide.
The group had been due to take to the mountains today.
Ashley Toft, Explore's managing director, said: "Our thoughts are with the families of those affected, both in the UK and in Nepal. We are sending a senior manager out to Nepal. The basic facts are that Sita Air operates scheduled flights and is approved by airline authorities.
"The weather was good. The plane was departing for Lukla and our passengers were heading for Everest Base Camp."
Also heading on the trek were mountaineer Timothy Oakes, 57; Raymond Eagle, 57; Christopher Davey, 51, Stephen Holding, 60, and Benjamin Ogden, 27.
A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "Our priority is to provide consular assistance and offer help to the families involved."
Five Chinese people, three Nepalese passengers and four crew members were also killed.
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