Hart Fell and Black Hope

Route: Hart Fell ridges horseshoe, near Moffat

Corbetts: Hart Fell
Donalds: Hart Fell, Swatte Fell, Under Saddle Yoke

Date walked: 19/06/2022

Time taken: 5.5 hours

Distance: 14.6km

Ascent: 995m

Ode to the Hills of Moffat, by John Gregor

Swatte Fell made a smell
Hart Fell did as well
Saddle Yoke got the boke
and White Coomb left the room

Lochcraig Head went to bed
Cape Law did an' aw
Andrewhinney Hill popped a pill
Like Ettrick Pen, now and then

Herman Law doesnae knaw
Bell Craig is rather vague
Croft Head's unsure it's said
and Capel Fell has Nowt to tell

Molls Cleuch Dod was seen to nod,
But Bodesbeck Law just said "naw"
Skeen is fine when feet are sair,
But Rotten Bottom - don't go there!

Last time we were in this area and north of the Moffat Water we were on neighbouring White Coomb - and nearly got blown off it. This time conditions looked to be more favourable.

The first part of the walk was the hardest - climbing the steep lower slopes of Black Craig by the Hang Burn. Fortunately the bracken wasn't too high yet.

Hang Gill - steep

Course of the Hang Burn

Bodesbeck Law on the other side of the Moffat Water

Idyllic waterfall and pool at the top of Hang Gill

After that the going became easier.

Following the Hang Burn up steam, becoming less steep


We followed the western edge of the Black Hope valley, making a sleight detour west to bag the summit of Swatte Fell. It's one of those rather flat, indistinct Donald summits common to the area. With no obvious marker that we could see, we wandered about a bit on the other side of a gate and stood on the highest looking tussock.

Looking down at the Blackhope Burn from Black Craig

Under Saddle Yoke and Saddle Yoke seem almost to be touching the clouds

Looking towards the head of the Blackhope glen


From there we followed the fence north up onto Falcon Craig, then headed north-west down into the intriguingly named Hass o' the Red Roads - the bealach between Falcon Craig and Hart Fell.

Looking towards Hartfell Craig from Falcon Craig

A very old wall at Hass o' the Red Roads

From there it was a short hop up to the top of Hart Fell, the highest point of the walk at 808m (2651 ft). We stopped here for lunch and a chance to enjoy the excellent views in every direction.

The summit of Hart Fell

View south from Hart Fell - the Solway Firth and Cumbrian mountains beyond are just visible in the distance

Looking south-west at the Lowther Hills

View north

Looking north-east into the hills south of Peebles

View south-east towards the border

From here we headed over the head of the Black Hope valley in a roughly easterly direction. Around here were a herd of wild goats in addition to the ubiquitous sheep. I wonder if they're descended from escapees from the Goat Prison seen on the map just the other side of the Moffat Water? Maybe, but fortunately these desperados didn't attempt to hold us up at horn point, and we continued on our way.

Fruid Reservoir

Path across to Hartfell Rig

Looking down the glen of the Blackhope Burn


Having crossed over Hartfell Rig at roughly the half way point of the hike we descended into an area where many of the tributaries of the Blackhope Burn have their springs, and so was fairly boggy. Here we turned south and were soon ascending again, on the hills on the east side of Black Hope.

Cloud shadows on Hart Fell

Up on the ridge near the summit of Under Saddle Yoke we had views west to the Blackhope Burn below and the outward route beyond. To the east we could see over the Carrifran Burn and across to White Coomb.

The ridge up to Under Saddle Yoke


Looking over to Saddle Yoke from Under Saddle Yoke

The adjoining valley of the Carrifran Burn

It was a short down and up again from Under Saddle Yoke to it's (confusingly lower) twin Saddle Yoke. And from there it was mostly down hill back down to the Moffat Water.




Looking up the Moffat Water towards Moffat

Back to Blackhope

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This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Grahams: Dun Rig
Donalds: Birkscairn Hill, Dun Rig, Glenrath Heights, Stob Law
Date walked: 19/03/2022
Distance: 23.5km
Views: 52


Munros: 9
Tops: 1
Corbetts: 7
Grahams: 9
Donalds: 23
Sub 2000: 17
Islands: 9

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Trips: 18
Distance: 200.45 km
Ascent: 11340m
Munros: 8
Corbetts: 3
Grahams: 4
Donalds: 13
Sub2000s: 6


Trips: 15
Distance: 113.15 km
Ascent: 7014m
Corbetts: 4
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 11
Sub2000s: 4


Trips: 1
Distance: 5.25 km

Joined: Apr 22, 2015
Last visited: Jul 03, 2022
Total posts: 34 | Search posts