It’s been described as a dream job, but others would view it as a nightmare.
The post involves strapping on a 15kg rucksack every day and clambering up one of the Lake District’s highest mountains in snow, wind and rain – and its latest recruit is delighted.
Weatherline's Jon Bennett: dream job on the fell tops
Former hotel manager Jon Bennett has joined the two-man team that produces the Lake District National Park’s daily Weatherline fell-top reports. Next month, he’ll team up with ex-commando Craig Palmer, with whom he will share the task of making the ascent of the 950m (3,117ft) Helvellyn to make weather observations for the region’s fellwalkers.
The Weatherline service has run for 33 years and provides both online and telephone reports of summit conditions during the winter months. More than half a million people use the service each year. Jon will work alternate weeks with Craig, making the ascent each day and using 15kg of gear to make recordings of conditions on the peak.
Jon, a keen fellwalker and paraglider, is overjoyed at the prospect. He said: “I'm still pinching myself – I've landed my dream job.
“Carrying all the recording equipment up Helvellyn isn't going to be a problem as I'm used to having 15 kilos of paragliding kit on my back.”
The hotel and catering graduate has extensive winter mountaineering experience in both the Lake District and Scotland, is a keen on- and off-road cyclist and regularly paraglides. He has also backpacked in the Swedish Arctic. He says he is also interested in the science of weather conditions and its effects.
Other duties include informing and helping fellwalkers he encounters. Jon, who was brought up in Buckinghamshire but moved to Cumbria so he could enjoy the fells, worked latterly as an information advisor at the Lake District Visitor Centre at Brockhole.
He said: “I have a lot of experience dealing with the public and can be diplomatic yet firm.
“Obviously safety on the fells in paramount and I want to carry on the tradition of being the eyes and ears of the mountain when I'm up there.”
So put the Weatherline number in your mobile now: it’s 08700 550575. It could just save your life.