Wes Hunter, who is joining the felltop assessor team

Wes Hunter, who is joining the felltop assessor team

A seasoned mountaineering instructor has bagged a top job in the Lake District.

Wes Hunter will join the team of felltop assessors who make the ascent of England’s third-highest peak in the winter to provide weather and ground-condition reports.

Mr Hunter replaces Graham Uney, who stepped down from the job at the end of last winter. He will work with the other two assessors Jon Bennett and Zac Poulton from December to April, walking to the summit of Helvellyn to gather information for the Lake District National Park Authority’s Weatherline service.

The reports help walkers and climbers with ‘boots on the ground’ condition details and weather readings.

Mr Hunter, who grew up in Cumbria, attended school in Keswick and considers the northern fells to be his old stomping ground. He said he’s super excited to be back in the area and taking up his new role with the national park.

He has has been working in the outdoor sector since 1996. He says climbing and mountaineering have dominated his life and is a qualified Winter Mountain Leader and Winter Mountaineering and Climbing Instructor. He also founded the Adventure Hunter outdoor activities company.

The new assessor said that, whether you’re venturing out onto the highest fells or trying something more low level, it’s important to be prepared. “It’s all about being aware of the conditions and the forecast before you set out, and using this to make an informed decision about whether it’s safe, and within your capabilities.

“I’ve used the Weatherline service lots over the years and think it’s an invaluable service.

“The felltop assessor rota suits me down to the ground as I run my own business and I have a three-year-old daughter who keeps me busy the rest of the time. I’m looking forward to the variety, from leading winter skills courses to doing the actual weather readings.

“I know every day will be different, but I’m up for the challenge. I can’t wait to get started.”

Mr Hunter’s adventures have taken him as far afield as Europe, Morocco, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal. He has twice scaled the 3,000ft-tall El Capitan in Yosemite in the USA.

However, he said one of the most rewarding aspects of his career to date has been working with disadvantaged children and those with special needs to ensure that they had a taste of the great outdoors.

Andy McGirl, the Lake District national park’s retail and commercial manager, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Wes as a felltop assessor and are sure he’ll be an asset to the team.

“All we’re waiting for now is some wintry weather.”

The reports will appear on the Lake District Weatherline website.

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