Most walkers are unaware that there is a excellent approach to Wansfell from Troutbeck. The views over Windermere are better and Troutbeck makes an attractive base.
1597′. The popularity of Wansfell lies from its proximity to Ambleside and Windermere. A direct ascent from Ambleside the most common route up. However the appeal of Wansfell lies in the excellent views south down Windermere and the wandering ridge linking Wansfell Pike with the highest point to the north (Baystones). Wansfell is a bulky mountain which lies on a wide ridge leading south from the main massif of the Far Eastern Fells. It has a lumpy appearance from all directions.
The undulating ridge though offers an interesting 20 minutes, particularly so if Baystones is climbed first. This leaves the walk along the ridge in a southerly direction. This opens up the views impressively over the lake before arriving at the excellent viewpoint which is Wansfell Pike. I have always preferred climbing Wansfell from Troutbeck as it is quieter and less steep. The views also open up more impressively near the summit. Wainwright does warn that Nanny Lane can become wet in the wrong weather but I have not encountered this on my visits to Troutbeck.
Take some time to explore Troutbeck. The section where the walk starts is quieter and more interesting than the area on the main road.
The highest point on Wansfell is Baystones, the northerly of the twin peaks. Follow the wall along the ridge and cross to the cairn. There is no need to recross the wall. Stick to the north and then east of the boundary back towards Nanny Lane.
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