The ‘best’ job in the Lake District is up for grabs

Published on: 12 Aug 2019

Fell Top Assessor Zac Poulton on Helvellyn with Red Tarn in the background

The Lake District National Park is currently recruiting for a new Fell Top Assessor to join its expert team.

Applications are being invited from mountain professionals who want to provide first-hand, boots on the ground weather updates and safety advice for fell-walkers during the winter months.

Each day from December to April - including Christmas day - one of the Park’s Fell Top Assessor team will ascend one of England’s highest peaks, Helvellyn, to take weather readings and assess winter walking and climbing conditions.

They share their reports on the Park’s trusted Weatherline website which has provided invaluable advice for over 30 years and on twitter @lakesweather to over 13,000 followers.

Additionally the new Fell Top Assessor will instruct winter skills courses throughout the season to ensure that people are as safe as they can be on the fells, so applicants will need to have a Winter Mountain Leader qualification and ideally be a Winter Mountaineering & Climbing Instructor.

The successful candidate will join another two Fell Top Assessors and will work on a part time rotational basis over the winter months.

Zac Poulton has been one of the National Park’s Fell Top Assessors for the past two years. He says: “I get a great sense of job satisfaction knowing that I am helping to keep people safe on the fells. Every day is different and, as Helvellyn is ‘my office’, I often think how lucky I am. It’s definitely the best job in the Lake District in my opinion.”

Fell top facts

  • The three fell top assessors work alternative shifts to make the walk up Helvellyn (950m) every day during the winter, including Christmas day
  • In addition to being lucky enough to take in the breath-taking views every day, the assessors brave the rain, snow and wind chill as low as  minus 16C to record temperature, snow depth, wind speed, underfoot conditions and assess risks, including potential avalanches
  • The phone and online service helps protect 19 million visitors and locals from conditions that can change rapidly and fatally on the fells
  • Although Helvellyn is not the highest peak in the Lakes, it was selected as it is the most popular fell and has a large east facing headwall that retains the snow and ice
  • Assessors’ reports are combined with Met Office mountain forecasts to give the fullest possible picture.
  • Weatherline is also available by phone, on 0844 846 2444 (calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company's access charge)

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