Hills: Saddle Yoke, Under Saddle Yoke, Cape Law, Din Law, Hart Fell, Swatte Fell
Date: Tuesday 28th April 2009
Company: Just Me
Time: 6Hrs 20Mins
Dog friendly: No (“No Dogs” sign and several fences)

Parked beside the gate at the start of the Blackhope burn track. There is room here for three or four cars. Despite the weather forecast advising that Tuesday would be a ‘nice’ day, unfortunately it proved to be another day of low cloud with disappointing views however at least it was dry.

‘Dog friendly’ sign at Blackhope:

A708 towards Moffat from lower slopes of Saddle Yoke:

The first 350m up Saddle Yoke is a bit of a steep plod. After passing the 490m top the ridge becomes a bit narrower but is less steep.

A misty Saddle Yoke from 490m top:

It is perhaps understandable that the farmer doesn’t want dogs on the hill as there were sheep and young lambs pretty-much all the way from the gate, at the starting point, to the summit of Saddle Yoke. Given the number of fences encountered during the walk it would be difficult, if not impossible, for a large dog to complete this walk anyway.


On reaching the summit of Saddle Yoke, I got the camera out to take a photo but it was so misty that I ended up just taking a photo of my archaic ‘brick-like’ GPS on the cairn.

Saddle Yoke summit:

The ridge from Saddle Yoke to Under Saddle Yoke is the narrowest bit of ridge of the horseshoe. No need however to get hands out of pockets. There was no cairn at the summit of Under Saddle Yoke.

Ridge from Saddle Yoke to Under Saddle Yoke:

Summit of Under Saddle Yoke:

On reaching Under Saddle Yoke I decided to extend the standard horseshoe route by adding in Cape Law (Donald) and Din Law (New Donald). I was glad that I did as the view from Din Law proved to be the best of the day. The walk from Under Saddle Yoke out to Cape Law seemed to take a long time. I followed the fence (from between Priest Craig and Raven Craig) and then the dry-stane dyke.

A distant Cape Law:

To reach Cape Law I passed over both the 685m top and then the 709m top.

Dyke leading to 709m top of Cape Law:

Looking towards Cape Law:

Cape Law is another cairn-less summit. Was surprised at just how close Din Law was compared to looking back to Saddle Yoke. Din Law was an easy ‘New Donald’ tick.

Din Law from summit of Cape Law:

By the time I reached Din Law clouds were beginning to lift and I was fortunate to get views across to Gameshope Loch and down to the Fruid reservoir.

Gameshope Loch from Din Law:

Fruid Reservoir from Din Law:

I hadn’t decided before-hand how I would get from Din Law to Hart Fell. With visibility improved I picked out a good-line descending Din Law and skirting round Cape Law to reach the Fruid water at approx. NT126146.

Hartfell Rig from Din Law:

Crossing the Fruid water:

The ascent of Hartfell Rig was quite straight-forward, however, by the time I got to the top of Hartfell Rig I was back in low-cloud.

Ascent of Hartfell Rig:

Looking back from Hartfell Rig to Din Law:

On reaching the top of Hartfell Rig, I was fortunate to meet ‘R’. We walked together onto Hart Fell and back out to the starting point near Capplegill.

R at summit of Hart Fell:

From the summit of Hart Fell we followed the fence along to the 724m top and then on to the summit of Swatte Fell.

724m top en-route to Swatte Fell:

Swatte Fell crags:

From Swatte Fell we descended towards the starting point, down past the East-side of Hang Gill. The final 150m of descent was very steep.

Looking down on shieling near base of Swatte Fell:

It was nice to get a good view of Saddle Yoke from the bottom of Swatte Fell.

Saddle Yoke now clear of mist: