As most of you no doubt already know, Graham started a new job as felltop assessor on Helvellyn at the beginning of December. It’s one of the most sought-after jobs in the UK mountaineering world (if a ‘UK world’ isn’t a contradiction in terms) and he was very chuffed to get it. He’s also like a pig in muck, as you can tell if you follow him on Twitter (@grahamuney and @lakesweather) or Facebook (Graham Uney) and look at any of his pictures.

For the benefit of those who don’t know, the job involves climbing Helvellyn in the Lake District every day for seven days on the trot (the equivalent of climbing Everest, so they say), in order to take weather readings for the benefit of walkers in the Lakes; then he comes home for seven days while his colleague takes over. And so they take it in turns, until Easter, when they pack up their ice axes until next winter.

Anyway, his most recent shift started on Boxing Day and went through to New Year’s Day, so I took the opportunity to join him and have myself a holiday in Cumbria. While Graham was climbing Helvellyn on the first day, Bert and I went to Long Meg and her Daughters, a rather good neolithic stone circle.

It was a fabulous, frosty morning, and I particularly love the mad old tree in the middle of the circle that looks like it’s a giant witch that has just lost a bewitching competition and has been turned into a tree just as she was about to cast a spell…

On the second day, we joined the newest felltop assessor at his office to see what his working day what was really like…

He’d had some gloriously fine, sunny days – with the added treat of lots of snow – but it was a bit murky and grey for us that day, though the cloud moved off as we came down. Still, a great day on a mountain. And the highest one Bert has climbed yet!

On our last day, Bert and I went to Aira Force – a bit of a trip down memory lane for me, as Graham and I used to go there quite a bit when we lived in Cumbria – and we’d often go to the Royal Hotel in nearby Dockray for a pint of Cumbrian beer.

It was all very lovely, and I enjoyed revisiting the Lake District, but it all seemed very busy compared with Snowdonia…


3 thoughts on “CUMBRIAN HOLIDAY

  1. The lakes are busy but I never mind that – it’s always useful in case you’re walking alone and break a leg and can’t get a phone signal. At least you know you’re never going to lay there for long 😉

    I think if I had the felltop assessor job, I’d have to keep doing Helvellyn from the west – I defo wouldn’t want to do ‘the edges’ in snow and ice!

    Great photos,

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