Matchless mountain job

Published on: 23 Oct 2014

Currently recruiting for a new Fell Top AssessorThe search is on for one of the country's most bizarre and high-level life-saving jobs.

As Britain braces itself for the onslaught of winter, a Lake District fell top assessor is needed to record weather conditions on 950 metre peak Helvellyn. A seven-day shift is equivalent to almost reaching Everest's summit.

Running from December to Easter, the role sees a team of two working alternate weeks for Weatherline (opens in new window). The phone and online service helps protect nearly 15 million visitors and locals from conditions that can change rapidly and fatally on the fells.

Long-standing assessor and mountain man, Jon Bennett, needs a 'running mate' to brave driving rain, snow drifts and wind chill temperatures plummeting to minus 16C.

He explained it was vital in winter months to check conditions underfoot and assess risks, including potential avalanches, and that their daily reports were a lifeline.

Winter mountaineering and weather buff, Jon, of Ambleside, has been doing his 'dream job' for eight years and says 'it's awesome being the eyes and ears of Helvellyn'.

Applications are now sought from those with considerable winter experience on the fell tops and preferably a mountaineering qualification.

Tens of thousands use Weatherline and when it was threatened with closure three years ago, a raft of sponsors came to the rescue. Money-making ventures include offering a day with the assessors on Ebay.

Head of Lake District National Park commercial services, Liz Moss, said the service was almost beyond value.

She added: "We have some of the world's most spectacular mountains and keeping those venturing on them as safe as possible is paramount.

"Our communities and farmers also make good use of Weatherline. Assessors' reports are combined with Met Office mountain forecasts to give the fullest possible picture.

"We get incredible feedback from grateful users, especially those looking for a great days out in breathtakingly beautiful places."

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