Want to climb a mountain every day – for a living?

Posted by Carey Davies on 20/10/2014

A vacancy has opened for arguably one of the most enviable jobs in Britain – being the “eyes and ears of Helvellyn.”

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

The two fell top assessors are essentially mobile weathermen, climbing Helvellyn or a similar-sized mountain every day from December to Easter for the Lake District’s Weatherline service.

Now one of the positions has become available. It would involve working alternative weeks with current assessor Jon Bennett, going up high every day in driving rain, whiteouts, blizzards and whatever other types of winter weather the Lake District can provide.

The phone and online service helps keep nearly 15 million visitors and locals informed about the fickle and potentially deadly conditions on the winter fells. The assessors check conditions underfoot, take temperature readings and report on potential hazards.

Sound too good to be true? Well, Jon describes it as his “dream job” and says “it's awesome being the eyes and ears of Helvellyn”.

But that’s not to say the job is without hardships. A seven-day shift climbing 950 metre / 3116 feet Helvellyn is equivalent in height to climbing a decent-sized Himalayan mountain, and during their shift the assessor must be on the hill each and every day, even in the teeth of ferocious winter conditions that would make others stay at home.

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

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

She said: "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."

Weatherline was threatened with closure three years ago, but following an appeal a raft of sponsors came to the rescue.

Find out more here.


We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.

From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.

Did you know that we've launched a U27 membership offer for just £1.50 / month? And with full membership from £2.50 / month, it's never been easier to join and support our work: 

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/join-the-bmc-for-1-month-U27-membership


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