Mountaineer Zac Poulton is swapping the Himalayas for the Lake District in a new role aimed at keeping walkers safe on the Cumbrian fells.
Each winter a team of professionals hike the heights of Helvellyn, one of England’s highest peaks, to provide daily weather updates and safety advice for walkers, and this year they have a new recruit.
For the next season, which runs from December 2017 until April 2018, Jon Bennett and Graham Uney will be joined by mountain instructor Zac Poulton, the newest Fell Top Assessor to be hired by the Lake District National Park.
Zac has 25 years experience to draw upon having led worldwide expeditions including peaks in Antarctica, Greenland and the Himalayas, even with a successful Mount Everest summit to his name.
Originally from Australia, Zac now lives in Caldbeck in Cumbria and has called the Lake District home for seventeen years, having moved to the area due to his love of the great outdoors.
Zac said: “I’ve always known of the role of Fell Top Assessors and thought it’d be a job I’d really enjoy so close to home, so I’m really looking forward to joining Jon and Graham next season. I’m very familiar with Helvellyn and I’m looking forward to helping walkers explore the Lakes safely.”
As well as daily their treks, the National Park’s mountain experts also deliver Winter Skills courses to those keen to tackle the fells during the winter months, and this is an area of expertise that Zac is particularly keen to bring to the role.
Zac added: “In recent years I’ve spent much of my time working with TV production teams to advise on mountain safety when filming in potentially dangerous settings, so I’m pleased to be applying that experience to this role.”
Most notably Zac has consulted on Planet Earth II, Countrywise, Sport Relief and even Yorkshire Dales and The Lakes, a programme that featured his now colleague Jon Bennett talking about the Fell Top Assessor role.
Jon Bennett said: “The safety of our visitors is our top priority so we’re thrilled to have someone as experienced as Zac joining the team. His extensive background in mountain training and expeditions is just what we were looking for and we’re now all set for the new season.”
The new team of assessors will be kitting up in December, ready to provide live weather and walking condition reports via the Lake District Weatherline service and their avid Twitter followers (@lakesweather).
Photo shows Zac Poulton, the newly appointed Fell Top Assessor for the Lake District National Park, at the South Pole.