Page last updated at 10:09 GMT, Friday, 25 December 2009

Climb put on hold for Christmas

Fell top assessors scale Helvellyn daily throughout the winter months

Weather conditions at the top of one of the UK's highest peaks will not be reported on Christmas Day for the first time in 34 years.

During winter, one of two fell-top assessors makes a daily ascent of Helvellyn in Cumbria to report on wind, snow and ice conditions.

The 3,114ft (950m) climb takes place throughout the festive season.

However, due to one of the posts becoming vacant, the tradition will be broken for one day only.

The information forms the basis of the Lake District National Park's Weatherline phone and online reports, which are used by 500,000 people a year.

It is hoped to have a second assessor in place by the end of January, but until then national park rangers have been providing cover alongside Jon Bennett, from Ambleside.

Making daily ascents over a seven-day shift pattern, he will be on duty on New Year's Day.

He said: "What better way to start 2010.

"Fell-top assessing is the best job and to be out in the hills doing something as worthwhile as this is a perfect combination."

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