Date & Time: Saturday 16th September 2006. 10.40 am start. ( NY 411 0135 )

Location of Start : Troutbeck Village (parking near the Mortal Man Hotel), Cumbria Uk.

Places visited : Troutbeck, Town Head, Ing Bridge, Troutbeck Tongue, Troutbeck Park, Hird Wood, Idle Hill, Baystones, Wansfell Pike, Nanny Lane and back to Troutbeck.

Walk details : 8 mls, 1900 ft of ascent , 5 hrs 55 mins.

Walked with : David Hall, Ann and the dogs (Harry and Bethan).

Weather : Fine and clear to start, but getting very hot and muggy as the day progressed.

The Mortal Man, a classic Lakeland hotel.


Today's plan was originally to climb Troutbeck Tongue, but it is a simple short-ish walk and a small climb to a fell that occupies a lowly position below the Kirkstone Pass. We decided to add a second fell, Wansfell, to the walk to make a circular trip starting and ending at Troutbeck village.

David was keen to join us today as the combination of fells sounded attractive, and the walk would take us to parts of the Lakes we hadn't seen in detail.

Down in the valley, aiming for Troutbeck Tongue, the low hill behind the barn.

What was in prospect was the opportunity of viewing the high fells from a central vantage point, a bit like Haystack's location in Buttermere Valley.

Ing Bridge on the valley road.

The view from Hagg Bridge as we turn right across the fields and make for the start of the climb up the Tongue.

The old Roman Road along the side of Troutbeck Tongue.
The climb began after the gate hidden by the tree in the opposite photo.

Looking back from the summit explains why we were feeling tired already.

The cloudless sky, and a sudden change of air, heralded the start of the hot and humid conditions that would become a major feature of this walk.

Fine views up along the Troutbeck fell, all the way to Threshthwaite Mouth, the col in the distance.

To the left, Coledale Moor, to the right Thornthwaite Beacon, Froswick and Ill Bell.

Dodd Hill, Baystones and Idle Hill.

To combine the today's two fells we had to get over there . . . Wansfell Pike was hidden behind the slightly higher central top of Baystones. In between was the Troutbeck Valley, a route somewhere through the green bracken opposite, across the A592, and then a steady moorland climb to Baystones.

First we walked more or less the length of Troutbeck Tongue and then dropped down to Trout Beck itself.

In the sun and the high humidity, this was now hot walking . . . To get an idea of how hot, move your curser on and off the picture a few times !!!

A backwater pool on Trout Beck.
Harry finds a different pool to cool off in his own way.


Walking down the valley now we noticed a footbridge below.

It carried the right of way down the western side of the fell, across towards the farm, and down towards Windermere, in the same way that the Roman Road took the eastern side.

But look at that bridge.

It was a stone bridge but six slabs wide.

We went down to check it out.

The fine stone bridge across Trout Beck.

The five fine stone spans looked old and its six stone width was very unusual, more than would be required for a Lakeland packhorse bridge.

Could this be the work of an enthusiastic local farmer or was it something to do the many Roman routes that cross this area ?

It deserves further investigation sometime.

I was looking for an interesting foreground to compliment the high fells behind

when these inquisitive cows came along and I think fitted the bill nicely. Hope they don't get too inquisitive.

We then had a short climb up through the rough hillside towards the road. The map shows waterfalls in Hird Wood so I popped over the wall to take a look.

The falls were a delightful series of rapids deep down in a ravine but difficult to photograph. However these toadstools were a lot easier to record.

A bright red Rowan at the top of the woods.
David pausing after crossing the Kirkstone Road.

From now on it was onward and upward, with rough moorland grass and damp ground underfoot.

There were no paths but several walls and fences which needed care to cross so as to avoid damaging them or us.

Ann climbing steadily up.

The strong sun, but chiefly the warmth and humidity, was making this a longer and more and strenuous walk than we could ever have imagined at the start just a few hours earlier.


A lack of route and difficult access was almost emphasised in reverse by this new and functional crossing of the final wall before the top.


Oh for a few more of those lower down.

The summit of Baystones, the northern end of Wansfell, and higher than the southern pike by a mere five metres.

Near the top we had noticed a couple who had been sitting down in one spot for quite some time.


I imagined that they were enjoying a late lunch, just like the one we were contemplating after our long climb, but it turned out they had been combining their love of fellwalking with their second hobby of Amateur (or Ham) Radio.


The oversize trekking pole was in fact a radio mast and their pack contained a small but powerful short wave radio.


On the top they also found a treasure cashe left by another member of SOTA, the "Summits on the Air" group.

Click below to find out more about their hobby.



Late lunch gave us chance to recover

after the rather hot and strenuous climb !


On the top here we saw more people in ten minutes

than we had seen in the rest of the day.


After lunch the ridge spread out in front of us as we walked south into the haze.

The background almost gone now. The air was so thick you could almost reach out and grasp it !

Navigation was easy as we followed along the wall.

Ahead was Wansfell Pike.

The classic top of Wansfell Pike with this stile on the path up from Ambleside.

Rydal Water is down there somewhere.

Windermere, but it was difficult to make out the boats now at half past three or so in the afternoon.

Turning for home now, we took the good path down eastward towards Troutbeck Village.

A classic view of Nanny Lane, the double walled drovers lane down to the valley below.

Back to the village and the prospect of re-fuelling after drinking the last of our water on this rather hot day in September.

"O, mortal man, that lives by bread,

What is it makes thy nose so red ?

Thou silly fool that looks't so pale,

'Tis drinking Sally Birkett's Ale "


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . a jug of Sally Birkett's

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Previous walk - 13th September 2006 Arnison, Birks and St Sunday on Wednesday

A previous time in the area - 6th May 2006 The Kentmere Round with the OFC

Click here for the link to David's pictures from today