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Kirkstone and Wansfell

Kirkstone and Wansfell

Postby nigheandonn » Fri Dec 27, 2013 1:20 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Wansfell

Date walked: 07/04/2013

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(I'm still trying to catch up tidily from the start of the year before I get into the next one...)

The main problem with this day may have been that I knew I'd chickened out of walking down over snow the day before. It started off nicely, with a walk along the back way from Patterdale to Hartsop, where there were pretty houses and daffodils - but looking up to Hartsop Dodd I could see that although most of the path was clear it got worse towards the top, and I had no way of knowing what the ridge up to Caudale Moor would be like, or what it would be like trying to get down to Kirkstone from there.

Hartsop Dodd

Half of me wanted to go for it, but the closer I got the more it just looked like hard work - maybe the first big walk of the year the day before had been too much for me, but a Sunday stroll sounded much more appealing! So I wandered on along the road, and admired the reflections in Brothers Water, and had coffee at the hotel, sitting outside as it was about the first day of the year when that had been possible, and tried to decide whether to go up over the Scandale Pass, which looked appealing and would still be a hill walk, or stick to Kirkstone.

Reflections, Brothers Water

Scandale really won in theory, but Kirkstone won in practice simply by being the path I was already on - I wandered along through the fields for quite a while, but eventually the road looked easier, and it was fairly quiet. Towards the top the snow was piled up high on either side of the road.

Looking back towards Patterdale

A small bridge

The Kirk Stone

I stopped at the Kirkstone Inn for lunch (and a half pint of Red Screes beer) - a nice place, and busy, but slightly odd - people in full walking gear, and tourists, and then a lady in a floaty dress and stiletto heels and a man in a suit wandering in.

The Struggle

From here I was back on track, more or less, and heading for Wansfell, with a view of the Ill Bell ridge and the Garburn Pass over to the left, still looking a bit more snowy than I would have liked when I was hoping to get up High Street the next weekend. It was another lovely day, though.


For a little hill (climbed from near the top of a high pass), Wansfell seemed like surprisingly hard work, but I quite often find that with small hills - I suppose I fool myself into thinking they'll be no work at all. And it's a fairly dull climb, following one wall and occasionally crossing stiles over others.

Wansfell summit

The summit is a bit of a mystery, with Wainwright's map showing it on the far side of the last wall but the OS map putting the spot height on the near side, mixed up in a muddle of little mounds and rises. I clambered about on all the likely ones, and then when I got to the last wall discovered that I'd lost my hat (which I'm quite attached to, as I'd already lost and rediscovered it at least twice). After some fruitless clambering and trying to work out where I'd been, I found it close to the previous stile, which was a relief.

I'm with Wainwright, for what it's worth - the cairned summit looked higher than the rest both looking at it from over the wall and standing on it - but I suppose the OS should know...

It's quite a nice viewpoint, if you like the low summit feeling of being among friends, rather than above them.

Towards the west

From there it's a surprisingly long walk over to the second summit of Wansfell Pike, which has a nice rocky summit and an unexpected view of the Angletarn Pikes.

Wansfell Pike summit

Kirkstone and the Angletarn Pikes

From there it was downhill to meet the walled track of Nanny Lane, which was the only part of the walk where I had trouble with snow underfoot - it was piled up and packed in the lane, at least where it wasn't just mud, and at least gave me a chance to try out my new yaktrax.

Nanny Lane

Coming into Troutbeck

And from Troutbeck it was just a case of hurrying down the road towards Windermere, as I wasn't quite sure what time the train went. And there were 8 days for some of the snow to melt from High Street, and let me get up there...
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Re: Kirkstone and Wansfell

Postby ChrisW » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:16 am

Another beauty with excellent shots accompanying. I love the very last one as you enter Troutbeck it's so typical of the english hills :clap:
a nice place, and busy, but slightly odd - people in full walking gear, and tourists, and then a lady in a floaty dress and stiletto heels and a man in a suit wandering in.

Sounds like that scene from the film "An American Werewolf in London" :shock: ..... :lol: :lol:
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