Hartfell via the Black Hope Horseshoe

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Having left the road the walk starts gently along a farm track. The twin peaks of Saddle Yoke are high to the right as the waters of the Blackhope Burn hurry away below to the left. Shortly the route is barred by a gate. Negotiate this and strike out up the grassy slope to the right which forms the shoulder of the Yoke. There is no path as such, just 600m of tendon twanging, ham stringing and lung bursting incline. At 494m a short remission can be found. The gradient eases off and incongruously there is a small pond, paradise if you are a dog.

Continue onwards and upwards for 200m and eventually the summit of the Yoke is achieved. The view from here is unsurpassed whether it be back down to Moffat Dale, across to the brooding craigs of Carrifran Gans or down into the Black Hope Glen.

Dropping down into the saddle the path follows the narrow edge between Saddle and Upper Saddle Yoke. This is an airy spot with the Black Hope Glen some 500m below to the left and similarly the Carrifran Glen far below to the right.

Past the Yoke the landscape opens out and is quite flat until it dips down into Whirly Gill. Skirting the top of Saddle Craigs follow the fence to Hart Fell. Though a Corbett the summit of Hart Fell is totally flat and of little interst, but given good weather the distant fells of the Lake District are clearly visible over the Solway. The route continues along the western edge of the Black Hope Glen. The fence line can be followed but it is preferable to keep close to the cliff tops, obviously taking great care, as the view into the glen below is stunning. Look out for the pinnacle on Black Craig. There is a short edge at right-angles to the main cliff which culminates in a grassy knoll. The view from this mighty pulpit is heart stopping. Do take care it is a long way down. From here it is a short walk back to the road.

Scotland - South Scotland - Dumfries and Galloway - Countryside


Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mountains, Wildlife
5/17/2022 - ruth day

We did this walk on 28/04/2022 sunny good walking weather. Good start did not have to hunt for parking place. point 2 very steep we followed fence up. point 3 no sign of any pond followed along the ridge then down onto Whirly Gill a bearing would have been handy here if there was low cloud followed fence up to point 8 a trig point then followed fence line until we arrived at electric fence ( no power) but sundry signs saying electric fence, again a bearing would have been useful, found Hang Gill and scrambled slowly down very steep hill, point 14 compiler of walk gave up here no more notes. My partner suffers from vertigo and found this very steep slope somewhat alarming, the walk took us rather a long while which proved we are not mountain goats and getting old , views were worth the effort.