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Wansfell has an extensive summit ridge with two tops, the highest point of the fell is called Baystones with a height of 488 m (1,601 ft) while Wansfell Pike, which lies a kilometre to the south west reaches an altitude of 482 m (1,581 ft). Of the two summits Wansfell Pike is regarded as the “true” summit of the fell by many fell walkers because of its superior view, even though it is the lower of the pair.
Despite its modest altitude, Wansfell has significant topographic prominence being linked to the higher fell of Caudale Moor by a col near the Kirstone Pass road (A 592) with the height of around 338 metres giving the fell prominence of approximately 150 metres, which makes it just a Marilyn. Originally the hill was thought to just fail in being a Marilyn, but subsequent updates to Alan Dawson's list have revealed that the summit has been relocated to 488 m at NY403051, making the prominence 150 m.
Wansfell has strong connections to Ambleside and is seen as very much belonging to the town, with Bill Birkett saying “Wansfell is to Ambleside what St. Pauls is to London”. The popularity of the ascent from Ambleside led to severe erosion which became so bad that the path underwent restoration work in the late 1990s using stone blocks and sections of the path now resemble a stone staircase.
The fells name is thought to originate from the Old Norse language and can draw a parallel with Wansdyke in Somerset in that it is named after the main Norse god and means “Wodens Fell”.
Wansfell hosts a popular short fell race which takes place annually between Christmas and the New Year, the winning runner usually takes around 20 minutes to complete the four kilometre course.
The fell is predominately ascended from Ambleside using the road which leaves the town centre and goes past Stockghyll Force waterfall before bearing right onto the restored footpath which is followed to the summit. An ascent is also possible from Troutbeck, on the eastern side of the fell, following a farm track called Nanny Lane until the open fell is reached from where it is an easy climb to the summit.
The fells two summits are linked by a dry stone wall, Wansfell Pike is the lower of the two but has a more attractive rocky top and a better view, with Windermere looking particularly attractive to the south. The highest point (Baystones) is a grassy hummock marked by a few stones.

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