To Helvellyn and back… 600 times! Man, 57, scales the same Lake District peak over and over again – to check weather
- Man climbs England’s third highest mountain 600 times to check the weather
- Jon Bennett is one of three fell-top assessors on Lake District’s Helvellyn peak
- He scaled the peak, one of the district’s most popular attractions, for 600th time
The temperature was below freezing, the hail was stinging and the wind howled at up to 37mph as he reached Helvellyn’s ruggedly beautiful peak… for the 600th time.
It was all business as usual for Jon Bennett, one of the Lake District’s three fell-top assessors.
They take it in turns to hike up the 3,117ft mountain during the winter months to provide vital daily weather updates and safety advice for walkers.
Jon Bennett, 57, now in his 12th season braving the mountain for his job, can do it in around two hours on a good day
‘It was what I like to call ‘character-building conditions’, but pretty much average for this time of year,’ he said of the weather at the peak on his milestone ascent.
About 250,000 people climb Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain and one of the Lake District’s most popular attractions, every year and take an average of three hours to reach the summit, depending on the route.
Mr Bennett, 57, now in his 12th season braving the mountain for his job, can do it in around two hours on a good day.
‘A main part of the job is to assess the ground conditions,’ he said.
‘We are looking at the snow conditions as we go up, whether it’s hard or soft, stable or unstable. There hasn’t been a computer invented yet that can do that.’
Daily Mail photographer Bruce Adams accompanied Mr Bennett on his 600th ascent on February 19.
Well-trodden route: Mr Bennett on his way to the summit. About 250,000 people climb Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain and one of the Lake District’s most popular attractions, every year