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Around Blackhope Burn

Around Blackhope Burn


Postby dav2930 » Sun Nov 22, 2015 11:49 pm

Route description: Hart Fell ridges horseshoe, near Moffat

Corbetts included on this walk: Hart Fell

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

Date walked: 21/11/2015

Time taken: 6.5 hours

Distance: 14.8 km

Ascent: 1110m

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Wall-to-wall sunshine was forecast for Saturday 21st, with promise of light snow on the ground. Sounded like a good day for walking in the Tweedsmuirs - a surprisingly neglected area (at least by Karl and myself) considering the quality of the scenery and walking. :o

The plan was to bag the Corbett of Hart Fell via the horseshoe circuit around Blackhope Burn, taking in the three additional Donalds of Under Saddle Yoke, Cape Law and Swatte Fell. Hopefully we'd be back in time for a brew in Moffat!


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Parked up just east of the bridge over Blackhope Burn and set off walking at 9.15am. We'd decided to go anti-clockwise as we liked the look of the ascent up the ridge of Saddle Yoke.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 001.JPG
Looking up the Blackhope valley to a snowy Hart Fell, from the track at the start.

A gate with a sign warning that dogs might be shot opens onto a vehicle track heading up the Blackhope valley. After a few hundred yards is a second gate giving access to the open hillside. We struck off right here to gain the ridge. There wasn't much evidence of a path (maybe the dusting of snow helped to conceal it), so we just followed our noses up, which was fun. A clear path emerged on the little 494m top.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 002.JPG
Looking across to Black Craig from the 494m top.

There was a stiff breeze up here so on went the windproofs (it was pretty cold too), but according to the forecast the wind would ease off as the day progressed.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 003.JPG
Hart Fell at the head of Blackhope Burn


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 004.JPG
Saddle Yoke ahead


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 005.JPG
The wonderfully named Carrifran Gans peeping above the east ridge of Saddle Yoke


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 006.JPG
Looking south to Croft Head and the Knowes


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 007.JPG
East to the Bell Craig ridge on the far side of Moffat Water


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 008.JPG
View south-west, Criffell on horizon

The wind was very keen and we wondered if the forecast would be right.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 010.JPG
Hart Fell above Cold Grain


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 011.JPG
White Coomb etc. across a nameless valley.


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 012.JPG
On the surprisingly narrow ridge of Saddle Yoke


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 015.JPG
The Bell Craig hills from Under Saddle Yoke

Heading down to the col from Under Saddle Yoke and up towards Cape Law was fairly rough going on tussocky grass, but things improved as a faint path emerged near the fence higher on Cape Law.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 016.JPG
Heading for Cape Law

We expected it to be blowing a hoolie up here, but there was only a gentle breeze. Looked like the forecast was right after all. :)

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 017.JPG
Summit of Cape Law

More tussocky going down from Cape Law and back up towards Hartfell Rig - rather tiring in fact.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 019.JPG
Saddle Yoke from Cape Law

Smoother walking from here on.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 020.JPG
Approaching summit of Hart Fell


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 021.JPG
Summit of Hart Fell

Time for sandwiches and a hot drink in the partial shelter around the trig point.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 025.JPG
View south-east from Hass o' the Red Roads


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 026.JPG
Summit of Swatte Fell


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 029.JPG
South-west Swatte Fell, Criffell on horizon


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 030.JPG
Head of Blackhope valley


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 032.JPG
Saddle Yoke from Nether Coomb Craig


Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 033.JPG
Looking down Nether Coomb Craig

The views down Black Craig were spectacular.

Hart Crag etc. 21-11-2015 034.JPG
Saddle Yoke from Black Craig

The descent from Black Craig was very steep towards the bottom, with only the vaguest of paths to follow among the sheeptrods. But this had been a fascinating walk with some impressive scenery, extensive views and grand walking in big, open country. Very enjoyable. :D

We were back at the car by 3.45pm - would we make the teashop in Moffat before it closed? Yeah, no problem; and a fine brew it was too!
User avatar
dav2930
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1415
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:164
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Around Blackhope Burn

Postby Silverhill » Mon Nov 23, 2015 11:03 pm

What a great walk in fantastic conditions! :D The dusting of snow gives these hills a completely different character, they seem much wilder.
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Silverhill
 
Posts: 1284
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Re: Around Blackhope Burn

Postby dav2930 » Tue Nov 24, 2015 12:15 am

Silverhill wrote:What a great walk in fantastic conditions! :D The dusting of snow gives these hills a completely :D different character, they seem much wilder.

Thanks Silverhill! :D
My first experience of this area was on White Coomb less than a year ago, and it was a revelation. I just didn't realize how wild and dramatic these hills are. Considering how close they are to my home that's really quite shameful! :oops: As you say, a dusting of snow seems to exaggerate their wildness! The sunny, crisp conditions were such a pleasant contrast to the abysmal weather we'd been having up until then.
User avatar
dav2930
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1415
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:164
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Around Blackhope Burn

Postby Nige R » Sun Feb 21, 2016 10:34 pm

Am planning on going to do this route in May/June. Have had good reports on its' quality, from your pictures and report it seems to be true!
Nige R
 
Posts: 38
Munros:13   Corbetts:3
Grahams:2   
Hewitts:97
Wainwrights:39   
Joined: May 13, 2009
Location: Mold,North Wales

Re: Around Blackhope Burn

Postby dav2930 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:13 pm

Nige R wrote:Am planning on going to do this route in May/June. Have had good reports on its' quality, from your pictures and report it seems to be true!

Sorry to have missed your comment Nige, not sure what happened there, but thanks :D
We were surprised at the quality of the scenery in these underrated hills. It is indeed a good walk, though Cape Law was a bit of a drag and the views from it rather drab. Missing Cape Law out would actually make a better (and shorter) walk, though if you're ticking Donalds then you'll probably want to include it. Good luck with your trip in May/June. :)
User avatar
dav2930
Munro compleatist
 
Posts: 1415
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:164
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

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