The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday 8 November 2014

GT Day 13: A Hart Fell Circuit

Saturday 8 November 2014

I’m sure that today’s walk was full of gorgeousness and was spot on target for being the sort of walk that I really like. From what I could see it certainly appeared that way. Unfortunately, most of the walk was done blind, so I’m only going to be able to prove that theory by returning in better weather.

The conditions were rendered even more unfortunate by the MWIS forecast giving an 80% chance of cloud-free summits for this area today. That was the exact same chance of cloud-free summits as was given for the Cairngorms on Wednesday, when I was on Cairn Lochan, so I have to deduce that I am just languishing in amongst the unfortunate 20% this week.

A shower, which started just as I was buying a map in Moffat this morning, was just dying off as we parked at Capplegill, and with blue sky being seen in the distance we weren’t put off by the cloud shrouding our objective:


As we quickly gained height, the blue was soon above us and many an appreciative comment was made about our surroundings:


It didn’t last. By the time we were atop Saddle Yoke, the cloud had again descended and it stayed down for the rest of our outing, so the views from the top of Hart Fell were notable by their absence.


Hiding behind the shelter, just as a prolonged shower petered out, an early lunch was enjoyed, before onwards we went to complete our circuit by following the top of the crags which line the west wall of the Blackhope valley. I know there were crags there, because the map told me so; we didn’t actually see them!

Descending the end of the ridge, we finally dropped back below the cloud at 600m (our high point having been at 808m), by which time we had made the wrong choice at a fork in the path, and took what we believe to have been something of a non-standard descent route:


It still got us to the right place, and just as another shower came through we reached the road where a few hops, skips and jumps (the latter occurring when four farm dogs in a nearby truck set up a sudden racket which took me by surprise) took us back to our start point.

Many thanks go to TVPS for suggesting this route. It wouldn’t have jumped off the map at me, appearing on paper to be a completely pathless circuit. As it turns out, it was far from pathless*, and was good walking. I very much look forward to walking around there again sometime in better visibility.

The stats for the outing were smack on 9 miles walked, with somewhere in the region of 3000’ of ascent (I can’t be doing with counting contours, nor re-plotting the route in Memory Map; when I have Anquet back up and running I will import our track and get an ascent figure).

(*Mick would like me to clarify, in case anyone is using this page as a resource, that when I say ‘path’ I mean a trod which varied from a vague line in the grass, to an obviously well-trodden line, both of which gave a sensible route and (relatively) easy walking. We’re not talking engineered paths or tracks here!)


  1. Well, if nothing else it will supplement the data on one or more of you graphs.

    1. It supplemented my graphs, and gave a couple of ticks on the Hill Lists App :-)