Walk: Hart Fell horseshoe - vintage Moffat Dale
|[There's a great view down Nether Torr Gill to Blackhope Burn and the west side of the horseshoe]|
If the Southern Uplands have a stereotype of gently rolling hills then Moffat Dale must be an exception, steep slopes rising 500 vertical metres or more on either side. After an immediate energy-sapping climb (nothing gentle about this!), the grassy ridges surrounding the tributary of Blackhope Burn form Scotland's best horseshoe route this side of the Central Belt. Hart Fell at the head of the valley is the highest summit but Saddle Yolk is the most dramatic, with a very short but airy ridge to reach it.
|[The Saddle Yokes from Black Craig]|
Name: Walk: Hart Fell horseshoe - vintage Moffat Dale ★★★☆☆
Length: 13 km / 8 miles
Ascent: 890 metres
Main summits: Swatte Fell (729 metres, Donald); Hart Fell (808 metres, Corbett / Donald); Under Saddle Yoke (745 metres, Donald)
Start / finish: Small layby at Blackshope cottage, A708 5 miles northeast of Moffat, G.R.: NT 147098 / gulped dimension engages
Route: Layby - cross Blackhope Burn on A708 - Hang Gill north side - Black Craig - Swatte Fell - Falcon Craig - Hart Fell - Hartfell Rig - Under Saddle Yoke - Saddle Yoke - start
Terrain: Faint paths most of the time, potentially soggy in places. Some pathless sections including initial (very steep) ascent and above Whirly Gill.
Wildlife today: Sheep and annoying heather flies on ascent; a few wild goats on Swatte Fell.
Weather today: Cloudy at start, becoming sunny. Moderate winds, fairly cool for August.
|[Looking down Moffat Dale on the final descent - aim for the track (centre right)]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)