Monday, 24 April 2017
On 1st April, Biggar Ramblers headed for the hills. Starting from Moffat Well, a small select party followed the track to Blaebeck Farm, and then ascended Greygill Head, from where Moffat and the hills beyond were faintly discernible through the rolling mist. On the way up the hill, one of the party laid claim to an interesting animal skull which he carried for the rest of the walk, to the slight discomfort of the group. A steady drizzle set in as the party trudged across rough terrain towards Blue Cairn and Swatte Fell. The tops of the hills were hidden by the mist and low cloud which sometimes enveloped us and sometimes parted briefly to reveal the way ahead. But at the top of Swatte Fell, the weather shouted "April Fool" and the clouds cleared away to reveal stunning views down into the deep canyon of Black Hope and across to Saddle Yoke and the hills towards the Grey Mares Tail. The ground fell away sharply and the walkers had to be careful not to stray too near the edge. While lunch was being enjoyed, the party spotted a flock of feral goats who kept a safe distance but did not seem too bothered by our presence. The party then headed to the top of Birnock Cloves, on the way encountering a friendly toad whose posed considerately for photographs. The sun was shining as the party made the short steep descent to the narrow valley of the Birnock Water and joined an easy track to the start.