Page 3 Profile: Jon Bennett, fell-top assessor

 

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The Independent Online

Want to escape the rat race?

This Cumbrian mountaineer hikes up the third-highest peak in the Lake District on a daily basis – and now he’s searching for a “running mate” to share the burden. Jon Bennett, a fell-top assessor, is responsible for making the daily climb to the top of Helvellyn, reporting on the weather conditions and evaluating how safe it is for other mountaineers. Bennett, who lives in Ambleside, has held the post for eight years but Weatherline, a Lake District weather forecasting service, is now looking for a second assessor.

That must make for an odd job spec…

With seven days on and seven days off, the successful candidate will take it in turns with Bennett to ascend the 3,118ft (950m) peak. The job advertisement says applicants must have “considerable winter mountaineering experience and skills, preferably with a mountaineering qualification”. They must also be able to write concise reports, assess snow and ice conditions and be confident using a map and compass.

What will the role entail?

The post-holder, who will have to brave temperatures as low as -16C, will have a salary of up to £25,240 pro rata in a role that runs from December to April to check conditions underfoot and assess risks including potential avalanches.

Job satisfaction guaranteed?

Bennett, who secured his “dream job” after spending years in the hotel industry, said: “It’s awesome being the eyes and ears of Helvellyn. To be out in the hills doing something as worthwhile as this is a perfect combination.”

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