'It’s awesome being the eyes and ears of Helvellyn': Fell top assessors begin work to record weather on Lake District peak (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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'It’s awesome being the eyes and ears of Helvellyn': Fell top assessors begin work to record weather on Lake District peak
2:37pm Tuesday 3rd December 2013 in News
FELL top assessors have started their annual scaling of Helvellyn to record weather conditions for walkers and climbers.
Jason Taylor and Jon Bennett will brave driving rain, snow drifts and wind chill temperatures plummeting to minus 16C to check conditions underfoot and any risks, including avalanches.
Nearly 40 years-old, Weatherline helps protect nearly 15 million Lake District visitors and locals from conditions that can change rapidly and fatally on the fells.
Working alternate weeks, their daily reports from December until Easter are a lifeline.
“We get incredible feedback from grateful users, especially those looking for great days out in breathtakingly beautiful places," said head of the Lake District National Park Authority's visitor services.
“For our communities and farmers, it’s also a much used and valued service. Assessors’ reports are combined with Met Office mountain forecasts to give the fullest possible picture."
He added: “We can’t over estimate its value. We have some of the world’s most spectacular mountains and keeping those venturing on them as safe as possible is paramount."
Jason, who has travelled to country's including Bhutan, Bangladesh, Iran and India, is in his fifth season. With a second baby due in January, the mountain leader and navigation trainer from Kirkby Thore is expecting a ‘hectic winter’.
Ambleside’s Jon Bennett, a winter mountaineering and weather buff, has been doing the ‘dream job’ for seven years and said 'it’s awesome being the eyes and ears of Helvellyn'.
Tens of thousands use the sought-after service and when it was threatened with closure two years ago, a raft of sponsors came to the rescue.
Check out www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk and see the top tips for keeping safe on the fells.
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