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Hart Fell et al

Hart Fell et al

Postby BoyVertiginous » Tue Jun 02, 2015 9:43 pm

Route description: Hart Fell ridges horseshoe, near Moffat

Corbetts included on this walk: Hart Fell

Donalds included on this walk: Hart Fell, Swatte Fell, Under Saddle Yoke

Date walked: 19/05/2015

Time taken: 3.5 hours

Distance: 13.5 km

Ascent: 950m

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After giving in to the weather forecast a fortnight prior, we decided we'd go for the Hart Fell ridges Horseshoe regardless this time. The forecast wasn't very much better when it did come around but, there was enough of a glimmer of it missing us and, more importantly, getting some good views around the ridge.

And so, arranged to meet Avocetboy at the start point for 3.30pm. I got there a few minutes before, having narrowly avoided a wet start thanks to a neatly placed lay-by with ample tree cover (bizarrely, a porcelain lavvy pan had been dumped here by fly-tippers...how considerate) :wink: !


AB pitched-up shortly afterwards, after a long drive up from Lincs and, after a quick change, we were on our way.


Once over the fence at the Hang Burn, the start up towards Swatte Fell (although it doesn't look like it here) felt ridiculously steep and, partly from thinking we'd read about heading East and the sub-conscious desire for a break from the leg burn, we followed an animal track heading East that eventually felt all wrong as we approached a slope beneath the early crags of Black Craig above the Blackhope Burn so, retraced our steps and continued on the steep line up the Hang Burn to gain the ridge. There followed a good degree of tussock and heather-bashing over some damp ground before the final, and again, steep approach to Swatte Fell.

Showers were forecast and the air clarity was good so we could see a few blowing around nearby but, we didn't encounter any until close to the top of Swatte Fell, when we had some light rain at first, followed by a few snow flakes.

Tussocks, sheep and a shower on Saddle Yoke...

AB, gingerly testing his vertiginousness...

After sampling the airy outcrop on Swatte Fell (with good views of Saddle Yoke and the valley below) and wandering over Upper Coomb, we were struck by how much distance it seemed we still had to cover to complete the horseshoe and put a bit of a spurt on across the plateau.

A rainbow beneath Upper Coomb...

Swatte Fell plateau towards Hart Fell...

The slope down and up on to Hart Fell didn't look particularly steep from across the Swatte Fell plateau but, the final push up Hart Fell along the fence line was a real leg-burner, we copped the edge of a hail shower here but, were pleased to see it move off in the other direction as we were taking a fair pelting in the face, even from the little we got of it. As we sumitted Hart Fell, there was a noticeably significant drop in temperature and then, as we headed off across Hartfell Rig, we could feel it rise again (only for it to drop again on the approach to Under Saddle Yoke).

Hart Fell summit...

In between the occasional shower of rain, snow or hail, none of which lasted for any great length of time, the sun would come out and light up the hillsides and the views from the higher points on the route were pretty spectacular in the varying light.



We encountered some goats...

Unfortunately for them, so did they...

The views over to Saddle Yoke on the early part of the walk keep you going as, although not the highest, it's certainly the more impressive hill on this circuit. It's an excellent hill/ridge to finish the circuit on, with great views of the horseshoe, up the valley and down to the start point below.




View back to Swatte Fell...

The horseshoe around Blackhope Burn...

And with the descent from Saddle Yoke...

With such an inviting ridge line, we were back at the car within 30 minutes of leaving Saddle Yoke, making it a little over 3hrs for the circuit.

Down here to the cars, at the nearest white cottage, there's a stile over the fence at the base of the hill (roughly in line with the circular sheepfold) or a gate nearer the course of the burn and a clear walk out from there...Image

Hart Fell and Co. ... a rewarding circuit.
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Re: Hart Fell et al

Postby Avocetboy » Wed Jun 03, 2015 12:43 pm

Excellent walk and we did not see a soul. The walk back from Saddle Yoke along the ridge is fantastic. Pretty impressive pace, too!
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Re: Hart Fell et al

Postby basscadet » Thu Jun 04, 2015 9:18 am

That looked like a fun legstretch in record time :clap:
I did the same circuit recently in very similar conditions, and my photos werent nearly as good :wink:
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