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The Moffat Hills

The Moffat Hills

Postby MacAoidh » Mon Mar 09, 2009 6:19 pm

Corbetts included on this walk: White Coomb

Donalds included on this walk: Under Saddle Yoke, White Coomb

Date walked: 01/01/1970

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Hills climbed : Saddle Yoke, Under Saddle Yoke, Firthhope Rig, Donald's Cleugh Head, Great Hill, White Coomb and Carrifran Gans.
Date : Monday 5th January,2009.
Distance : 17.9km (11.1miles)
Time taken 7hrs 50min
Weather : Cold and sunny.
Attendees : MacAoidh and Robin.

Over the past few months my pal and I have been enjoying stravaiging in the Southern Uplands. This is a report of one of our visits to the Moffat Hills.
We had been in the same area the week before when we did the round of Swatte Fell, Nether Coomb Craig, Falcon Craig, Hart Fell and Whitehope Heights. We got an early start and drove to Moffat and parked at the start of the track next to Capplegill (NT147098) on the A708 Moffat to Selkirk road. The residents of Capplegill park their vehicle's to the left of the gate; but there is enough space for about 3 cars to the right of the gate.

Heading up the steep grassy ridge on Saddle Yoke.

It was quite chilly at -3c when we arrived at Capplegill, so we quickly suited and booted and set off at 8:40 up the steep grassy ridge on Saddle Yoke.

Looking towards Carrifran Gans.

Although it was steep it made a very pleasant ascent when the sun came out and the views opened up.

Robin heading along the ridge to Saddle Yoke

Looking over to Black Craig

Looking towards Hart Fell from Saddle Yoke

We had a stop at the summit of Saddle Yoke to enjoy the view of the hills that we had been on the previous week.

MacAoidh on the summit of Saddle Yoke

Robin nearing the top of Under Saddle Yoke

A short descent from Saddle Yoke and up onto Under Saddle Yoke and another wee stop

Leaving the summit of Under Saddle Yoke

Following the dyke/fence to Firthhope Rig

We followed the boundary dyke/fence to the bealach at Rotten Bottom and up to the summit cairn on Firthhope Rig.

6,000 years ago,in the peat bogs of Rotten Bottom a yew hunting bow was abandoned,for reasons we shall never know. There it remained, preserved in the peat, until it was found by a hill walker in 1990. The bow is the oldest ever discovered in Britain and is now on display in the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh

Looking towards Carrifran Gans

Robin on the summit of Firthhope Rig

For our next hill we had to make a wee detour over the gentle slopes of Donald's Cleugh Head to Great Hill.

Heading towards Donald's Cleugh Head

Looking towards Great Hill

Great Hill is listed as a Donald top in the SMC list of 140 Donald tops. This is the list that we are ticking, so it was worth the 30 minutes each way to bag it and enjoy the view.

Robin at the summit cairn (2 stones) of Great Hill

We retraced our footsteps back to Firthhope Rig and a short gentle slope takes you to the summit of White Coomb

Looking towards Lochcraig Head from Firthhope Rig

Heading towards White Coomb

We arrived at the summit of White Coomb at 1:15 and enjoyed a bite to eat while sitting the sunshine enjoying the view.

MacAoidh at the summit of White Coomb

We sat for quite while and began to cool down, so we were glad to start moving again to build up a heat. We now headed over to the Donald top of Carrifran Gans.

MacAoidh on the summit of Carrifran Gans

Descending Carrifran Gans

Carrifran Gans is cared for by "The Borders Forest Trust which works to conserve, restore and manage woodland and other natural habitats for the benefit of people and wildlife.

Looking back to the steep heather slope on Carrifran Gans

The Wildwood project aims to re-create in the Southern Uplands of Scotland an extensive tract of mainly forested wilderness, with most of the rich diversity of native species present in the area before human activities became dominant.
With the major archaeological discovery of the yew bow on the plateau at the head of the Carrifran Valley has helped realize this aim. It dates from 6000 years ago, placing it in the very early Neolithic, before agriculture had started to make an impact on the vegetation. Core sampling of the peat on the plateau where it was found, organized by the Museum of Scotland, yielded a uniquely detailed pollen record. Each species of tree or shrub planted in the valley has been selected on the basis of this pollen record or other evidence that it would have formed part of the original wildwood.


After a short road walk (2.5km) we arrived back at the car at 3:50. It was another very enjoyable day in this lovely area.


Here is a link to the wildwood project. http://www.carrifran.org.uk/
Last edited by MacAoidh on Fri Feb 11, 2011 10:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Moffat Hills

Postby Paul Webster » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:21 pm

Great report - beautiful light and the youtube vid and music is a nice touch :D

Brings to mind a weekend in Moffat quite a few years back when we did White Coomb (from the Grey Mare's Tail) one day and the Hart Fell horseshoe the next. Don't think we got such great weather - my main memory is of an old-fashioned sweet shop in Moffat which Helen was very fond of :o The hills were certainly much quieter on a Bank Holiday than the Lakes, which was where we usually headed at the time.
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Re: The Moffat Hills

Postby mountain coward » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:49 am

Great report and photos - I was surprised to see it was only 11.something miles as, looking at the photos it looks a huge distance across each hill. Looks a lovely walk though. Didn't think there'd be so much snow in the Lowlands still! I stay at Moffat quite a bit on the way up to Scotland so must take a look at those hills...
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Re: The Moffat Hills

Postby GarryH » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:20 pm

Super report and beautifully photographed.Must pay that area a visit sometime and save on the petrol going further north!
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