Hills: Troutbeck Tongue and Wansfell (Baystones and Wansfell Pike)
Date: Thursday 28th December 2023
Company: Just myself
Distance: 16.9km, Ascent: 665m
Time: 4Hrs 40Mins
Thanks to Storm Gerrit, the only mountain I tackled
yesterday was a mountain of food. Unfortunately, the forecast for today
wasn't much better but I couldn't face a second day stuck in my hotel. I
therefore decided to ascend a low Wainwright; Troutbeck Tongue looked ideal.
The MWIS forecast suggested, "50-60mph winds, challenging wind even at
mid elevations, showery rain merging into more constant precipitation. Heavy
bursts, risk of hail, isolated thunder. Fairly extensive cloud, little if
any sun and windchill between -12 to -15C." With the exception of no
thunder, it was correct - thoroughly minging!
The drive to the starting point was 'interesting'. Significant rain on
the road with rain falling at times so heavy that the wipers struggled to
clear the windscreen. As I was driving, I was thinking I must be mad.
On arrival at Troutbeck, I parked in a small off-road area at Town Head.
Parking at Troutbeck Town Head:
Once suited and booted, I set off towards Troutbeck Tongue. As the walk
was low and fairly short, I had a good drink before setting off and didn't
bother carrying my rucksack.
As I walked along Ing Lane, I passed a
guy with three dogs. One of the cocker spaniels was real friendly
As Ing Lane is a tarmac road, I made fast progress towards the base of
Approaching Ing Bridge:
Troutbeck Tongue beyond Ing Lane:
On reaching a wooden waymarker for 'High Street', I followed a sodden
grassy track through a field.
Crossing a grass field to reach the
base of Troutbeck Tongue:
Herwicks sheltering from the wind:
I then commenced my ascent of Troutbeck Tongue.
along Trout Beck:
Troutbeck Tongue is so low, it didn't take long to reach the flat summit
Ascending Troutbeck Tongue:
View towards the summit:
I first visited the cairn and then the grassy knoll which is apparently
At the cairn atop Troutbeck Tongue:
Looking back to the cairn from the summit grassy knoll:
It had been my intention to only ascend Troutbeck Tongue however seeing
nearby Wansfell made me realise it was not far off and could be ascended
from the same starting point without having to move the car.
from the summit of Troutbeck Tongue:
I returned via the same route.
Before also ascending Wansfell, I took a short detour back to the car to
have a good drink and some food. I would then also ascend Wansfell without
carrying a rucksack.
From the parking area, I followed the roadsign
marked 'Troutbeck Ambleside'.
Ascent to Troutbeck:
On reaching the sign marking the start of the public footpath to
Wansfell Pike and Ambleside, I set off along Nanny Lane.
Nanny Lane leading to Wansfell:
Nanny Lane is a motorway of a path. While I didn't encounter anyone
ascending Troutbeck Tongue, there were numerous walkers ascending Wansfell.
I was surprised to find that most walkers were ascending Wansfell Pike
rather than Wansfell (Baystones). Wansfell Pike is five metres lower than
I decided to first ascend Wansfell (Baystones)
and then traverse across to Wansfell Pike.
Wansfell beyond Nanny
Cross the stile to reach Wansfell (Baystones):
Beyond the stile, the terrain was fairly wet underfoot.
Shortly before reaching the summit, the heavens opened. The rain was now
I visited the summit cairn and then continued along the
ridge to the 487m top marked on the map.
At the summit of Wansfell
I was suprised to find cattle taking shelter literally next to the 487m
point marked on the map.
Cattle sheltering from the wind just below
the 487m point marked on map:
I then returned to the summit and followed the wall out to Wansfell
Pike. As well as being wet, it was really windy. I was glad not to be much
Following the wall towards Wansfell Pike:
On reaching the summit of Wansfell Pike, the rain had changed to hail
and thanks to the wind this was somewhat exfoliating.
At the summit
of Wansfell Pike:
Ordnance Survey plate at the summit:
During the descent, I managed to miss a track junction and didn't
realise my error until walking about 500m in the wrong direction. On seeing
Windermere in front of me, I realised my error and then backtracked to the
correct route. On the plus side, thanks to going the wrong way, I met three
horses. I have marked the map with a yellow "X" where I went wrong.
Once back onto Nanny Lane, I returned to the car as per my inbound
On reaching the car, despite wearing waterproofs, I was soaked to the skin.
Two wainwrights ascended but can't say the walk was enjoyable.