Wansfell

Date: 14 May 2018 Weather: 14’C, sunny, light wind
Height gain: 1,165 ft Distance: 4.4 miles
Time taken: 4 hours Wainwrights: 47 of 214

Route:  From Low Fold near Troutbeck up Nanny Lane onto the footpath to the top and back same way, taking a detour towards Wansfell Pike and the the views towards Ambleside on the way back.


It’s another beautiful day and we want another relatively small mountain for today.  Wansfell isn’t a hill we’ve particularly enjoyed in the past – our first ascent was on a cold, wet and foggy day at the end of December way back in 1997.  We then abandoned mission on a very snowy day in March 2013 when we wanted a walk at the start of an Ambleside holiday but didn’t want to drive due to snow (our holiday cottage was up a steep hill).

So we decide to shake things up a bit – first of all it’s a lovely warm day and secondly we decide to try it from the Troutbeck side.

We park in Low Fold, again a very short drive from our holiday cottage.  We head up the Nanny Lane track.  The high stone walls either side of us trap the sunshine and it’s proving to be a warm walk, but the views we can see over the walls are very pretty:

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We take our time – partly due to still being out of condition (no big gains from our walk yesterday, unsurprisingly) and partly because we want to enjoy the weather.  The views down over Ambleside are lovely as we gain the ridge and we pause for quite some time to sit and enjoy the views and the warmth on our faces.

We finally drag ourselves back up again and, about an hour and a half after we set off we reach the top and the lovely views towards Windermere:

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To the north east we can see Caudale Moor, Threshthwaite Mouth and Thornthwaite Crag – as we could from Troutbeck Tongue yesterday:

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The best views are to the west where Grasmere is shimmering beneath us with all the great mountains above it – the ridge starts with Wetherlam on the left with Black Crag in front of it then Crinkle Crags, a glimpse of Scafell then Bowfell and a little further forward are the Langdales and on the right you can see Great Gable sticking his distinctive head up.  Lovely little Loughrigg is in the foreground below Pavey Ark:

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We sit and enjoy the views for quite some time and it’s relatively quiet here – most people have come up from Ambleside and only get as far as Wansfell Pike to the east of us.  When we decide it’s time to start down we head off east towards Wansfell Pike with the intention of going there as well, but it’s heaving with noisy people and when we meet the footpath heading back down to Troutbeck we take it.

The descent is very straightforward and we’re soon back at the top of Nanny Lane.  It’s even warmer now in the afternoon sunshine and we’re sweaty heaps by the time we get back to the car.

This has been our best ascent of Wansfell so far – undoubtedly helped by the weather but we really enjoyed the quieter path from Troutbeck and the great “reveal” of the views once the ridge is gained.