The mountains are calling, let the winter adventure begin and #summitsafely

Published on: 02 Dec 2016


As the Lake District National Park’s fell top assessors return this week to make their daily trek up Helvellyn, this winter they will share even more top tips using #summitsafely to help walkers stay safe on the fells.

In addition to the vital Lake District Weatherline winter weather reports, #summitsafely is a new campaign that will run for the 20 week duration of the fell top assessors’ season, from December to Easter. Assessors, Jon Bennett and Graham Uney, will be tweeting their top 20 safety tips from @LakesWeather, sharing short videos on, and running special safety kit giveaways. And for those who feel inspired to take to the snow-topped high fells, Graham will be returning with his popular one-day Winter Skills courses, for walkers looking to learn the basics of how to use an ice axe and crampons.

Ambleside-based Jon Bennett is celebrating his tenth year as a Weatherline fell top assessor.

Jon’s top safety tip is: ‘if in doubt, turn back’, he explains: “The mountains will be here another day, it’s more important not to put yourself or others at risk. This is what the #summitsafely campaign is all about – we want people to have an amazing adventure and share their inspirational #summitsafely photos – it doesn’t matter whether it’s a walk round Ullswater or a hike up Helvellyn. In return, we’ll be sharing a range of simple, effective tips, such as taking a spare hat and gloves, through to using a GPS, in a bid to keep Lake District winter walkers safe this winter.”

Graham Uney is returning for a third season, running his Winter Skills courses alongside his daily fell top report.

Graham says: “As a National Park, the Lake District is everyone’s to enjoy, but during winter, it’s important that people take a moment to prepare for a range of weather conditions. The reports that Jon and I share on Weatherline every day help people take a boots-on-the-ground view of the fells, and our Winter Skills courses will add to their preparation.”

Watch out for the top quality giveaways each week from a number of different outdoor brand partners including Paramo, Salomon, Petzl, Aiguille Alpine, EDZ Clothing, Hydroflask, Expedition Foods and Outdoor Research.

Follow the fell top assessors on Twitter @LakesWeather and visit daily fell top reports.

Fell top facts

  • The two fell top assessors will be working alternate shifts to make the 950-metre walk up Helvellyn every day during the winter, including Christmas day
  • A fell top assessor’s nine-day shift is equivalent to reaching higher than Everest’s summit
  • 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 17 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.
  • The Lake District Weatherline service is part funded by our sponsors EDZ Clothing, Mountain Run, George Fisher and Lake District Estates
  • The fell top assessors are kitted out by our Weatherline clothing sponsors Paramo, Salomon, Aiguille Alpine, EDZ Clothing and Asolo, ensuring they have the right gear to #summitsafely
  • 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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