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Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist

Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist


Postby Gordie12 » Sun Aug 09, 2015 2:03 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: Hart Fell

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

Date walked: 08/08/2015

Time taken: 4.5 hours

Distance: 14.8 km

Ascent: 1083m

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Another day of chasing the weather and MWIS seemed to favour the south. This will be a first for me, other than finishing the Pennine Way in Kirk Yetholm in June I've never walked in this part of the country.

Leaving the house at 5.15am it was blue sky all the way down the road and when I was about half a mile from the start of the walk I could see all the way along the ridge to Hart Fell and it looked stunning - today was going to be a good day.

I parked up just beyond Blackshope cottage and was ready to start walking at 7.50am. In the ten minutes it took me to get ready the sky had turned grey and the cloud base was lowering.

1.jpg
Parking area on the other side of the track from the cottage


A short walk west back along the road to Moffat and a right turn through a gate into a field and I'm now face to face with a steep start to the day. I nipped over the fence to walk up the bank of the burn to avoid some curious cows and came out at the same gate had I taken the field option.

Now things were about to get interesting. Without the ferns there is probably some sort of path up the steep slope but with the ferns, it's just a case of looking for the best route up. It is slow and hard going, I couldn't be bothered putting on waterproofs so my trousers were soaked but they would soon dry out once I got past this first bit. A combination of the steep climb and the difficulty in keeping my balance on the damp underfoot conditions meant that I was knackered by the time I reached the end of the ferns and the gradient eased. If I was doing this again I would have contoured about 100 yards to the east before starting the climb and I could have avoided the ferns.

2.jpg
Looking down to the start


3.jpg
Fern time


My first view ahead is of Nether Coomb Craig and the clag is down (a long drive to be in clag all day :shock: )

4.jpg
Approaching the clag


I read in the WH report that I had to climb over an electric fence, it clearly is an electric fence but it doesn't seem to be working.

In the gloom I could see a fence line way over to my left and decided to follow this through the clag as there were no views to be had to my right (over towards Saddle Yoke).

5.jpg
The "view" ahead


I found the initial climb quite hard going and my pace was slow as I plodded through the combination of heather and grass to pick up the fence line, the heather was now behind me and it was just grass underfoot. Eventually the fence line turned straight left and I was now on the plateau where I picked up a path heading along the line of crags. After a couple of hundred yards I decided to leave this path as it didn't seem to be taking me to the top of Swatte Fell so I worked my way back over to the fence line and followed it along the plateau to the top. Absolutely nothing to see at this point other than swirling mist.

I followed a fence and wall directly towards Hart Fell, the drop down off Swatte Fell is very gentle and I start to get some energy back after the difficult start.

6.jpg
Goats in the gloom


7.jpg
Something's appearing out of the mist


8.jpg
The easy climb up to Hart Fell


For the first time since I started there are now brief breaks in the cloud giving a hint to the views I have missed - hopefully there will be a decent break otherwise this would be really frustrating.

9.jpg
Hart Fell summit


A very brief stop on the top of Hart Fell and then I head off for the final climb of the day (Under Saddle Yoke). There is a faint grassy path and on checking the Garmin it's taking me directly towards Hartfell Rig so I'm heading the right way. The mist is finally starting to clear and the views slowly start to open up.

11.jpg
Under Saddle Yoke


The path runs parallel with the fence down off Hartfell Rig then it's time to head towards the corrie of Whirly Gill. The easier route seemed to be to head to the left and to try to gain the higher ground, it looked like it was going to be really wet underfoot but it was actually okay.

The climb up Under Saddle Yoke was easier than it looked and I seem to have decent energy for the first time since the initial climb of the day. One final surprise left, there is a short descent and reascent that I hadn't noticed on the map.

12.jpg
The climb up Under Saddle Yoke


13.jpg
The sting in the tail


14.jpg


15.jpg
Under Saddle Yoke


16.jpg
Looking over towards the starting point of the walk


A lot of the low cloud has now gone, the views open up and I can finally see the horseshoe I've just walked round and it looks really impressive as does the south ridge which will be my descent route.

17.jpg


18.jpg


19.jpg
South ridge


20.jpg


21.jpg


22.jpg


I followed the south ridge down to the point where there would be a short climb, I saw a feint path heading right and decided to follow it as it looked like it would take me down to the valley floor but on reflection it might just be sheep that use it. Anyway, I was committed so carried on, it's fair to say it was steep and slow going but I made it down to the grassy track that runs up the glen.

24.jpg
View up the glen


It's now an easy mile back to the car along the grassy track with good views and the sun on my back.

The pic below is just to show the patch of ferns close in to the ravine and that by coming further round the hill there would be a clear steep climb on grass.

25.jpg
View of the initial climb


26.jpg
View from the car


The last hour of sunshine allowed me to appreciate the views, a really good group of hills these and well worth the journey.
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Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1869
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
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Re: Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist

Postby rockhopper » Mon Aug 10, 2015 1:14 pm

It's a nice round though think you got better weather than me :crazy: Also possible to add on the donalds Cape Law and Whitehope Heights if feeling energetic :shock: - cheers :)
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rockhopper
 
Posts: 6486
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Location: Glasgow

Re: Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:05 pm

rockhopper wrote:It's a nice round though think you got better weather than me :crazy: Also possible to add on the donalds Cape Law and Whitehope Heights if feeling energetic :shock: - cheers :)


Thanks RH - you must have had a pretty rubbish day!!

I didn't consider adding anything on as I couldn't see anything, it was only for the last hour that I got a proper look around.

I'm looking to head back to this part of the country soon, really enjoyed my day.
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Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1869
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:14 pm

Hi Gordie there has been far to many days of low cloud this Summer, it's nice to see it lift at least for some part of the day. We were lucky with Sail Mhor at the weekend, had nearly forgotten what it's like to see summit views :lol:
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The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
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Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

Re: Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist

Postby Gordie12 » Thu Aug 13, 2015 9:50 pm

The Rodmiester wrote:Hi Gordie there has been far to many days of low cloud this Summer, it's nice to see it lift at least for some part of the day. We were lucky with Sail Mhor at the weekend, had nearly forgotten what it's like to see summit views :lol:


I know what you mean Rod - I've done the odd Corbett recently just to try and stay under the clouds, Beinn Mheadhonach from Bridge of Tilt worked out well last Friday but prior to that it felt like most of the hills seemed to be shrouded in clag.

From the photos, looks like you enjoyed yourself at the WH meet - did you nick that bike of a 9 yr old girl on the drive up??? :lol:
User avatar
Gordie12
Mountaineer
 
Posts: 1869
Munros:112   Corbetts:62
Grahams:18   Donalds:21
Sub 2000:35   Hewitts:24
Wainwrights:24   
Joined: Sep 6, 2012
Location: Nr Forfar

Re: Hart Fell Horseshoe in the Mist

Postby The Rodmiester » Thu Aug 13, 2015 10:13 pm

Gordie12 wrote:
The Rodmiester wrote:Hi Gordie there has been far to many days of low cloud this Summer, it's nice to see it lift at least for some part of the day. We were lucky with Sail Mhor at the weekend, had nearly forgotten what it's like to see summit views :lol:


I know what you mean Rod - I've done the odd Corbett recently just to try and stay under the clouds, Beinn Mheadhonach from Bridge of Tilt worked out well last Friday but prior to that it felt like most of the hills seemed to be shrouded in clag.

From the photos, looks like you enjoyed yourself at the WH meet - did you nick that bike of a 9 yr old girl on the drive up??? :lol:

Had a great time at the meet, Four wee Corbetts, all with views, the wee folding bike came in very handy, but could have done with some front suspension, the arms were nearly shaken off :lol: :lol: Saddle and handlebars fully adjustable, so handy for Anybody :D
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The Rodmiester
Walker
 
Posts: 3390
Munros:107   Corbetts:196
Grahams:45   Donalds:13
Sub 2000:76   Hewitts:3
Wainwrights:1   Islands:16
Joined: Aug 15, 2012
Location: Carnoustie

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