Meet Graham Uney, who has completed his first month as Weatherline’s new fell-top assessor for the Lake District National Park Authority.
Working alongside Jon Bennett, fellow assessor of 8 years, Graham is rightly proud to have landed one of the most unusual jobs going, climbing Helvellyn daily.
Requiring a love of the great outdoors, in all weather, and mountaineering experience, Graham beat over 100 candidates to land the top job.
Wanting to see what it was like for myself, I spent a day with Graham on the beautiful Lakes mountain.
Starting at 9am, Graham phones his colleague, Jon Bennett, assessor of 8 years, detailing his route up one of the Lake District’s most popular mountains, Hellvelyn. Packing vitals, including crampons and ice-axe if there’s snow and a flask of coffee and a sandwich.
Working alternate weekly shifts alongside John, Graham will climb Hellvelyn’s lofty 950m (3,117ft) daily. During the climb, Graham’s job is to take note of conditions underfoot, windspeed and temperature. Surrounded by stunning scenery, Graham captures photographs and speaks to to fellow climbers.
An assessors’ job means no break for Christmas, with colleague Jon working Christmas day. And instead of partying over New Year Graham will working that too.
Graham will be battling extreme conditions; with wind chill temperatures can reach as low as minus 16C, often competing with snow drifts and driving rain. Requiring good stamina, over the 7 days shift Graham will ascend a height just short of Mount Everest.
A qualified Winter Mountain Leader and member of the BMC, Graham beat all other candidates with his experience and enthusiasm for the Lakes.
The vital service was threatened with closure three years ago. It has provided a vital service for 40 years, and fortunately sponsors came to the rescue.
Thanks go to Graham Uney and the Lake District National Park Authority for providing this service and letting this shoot happen.
See below for more images from the photo piece, which appeared in The Times newspaper on the 31/12/2014.
I do this as a job, so if you’d like to commission something similar, do not hesitate to get in touch. Or if you’d like to licence these images for a piece, the same applies.
My number is +44 (0) 7901 617571 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m based in Manchester, England.
For the Weatherline site, go to: http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/
For Graham’s blog Wild UK, head to: https://grahamuney.wordpress.com/
Finally, if you want to go to the Lake District (you should!), head to: http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/
All images are copyright Jonathan Pow and are not to be used without permission/valid licence
Enjoy the rest of my climbing/walking photographs!