A Winter Walk for 2004, in the valley of the Blackhope Burn, off the Moffat Water in the Scottish Borders.

1. The view of the Blackhope Valley from our start point, by Blackshope. From foreground to background, the peaks in view are Saddle Yoke, Under Saddle Yoke and Hartfell Rig.  1 Start Here.JPG (82441 bytes)
2. Looking up the valley to see the rain coming down to meet us.  Fortunately it didn't last for long; just long enough to prompt everybody to don overtrousers. 2 Up there somewhere.JPG (94331 bytes)
3. This conveys the speed and enthusiasm applied to the first part of the climb, knowing as we did that it contained the major part of the days ascent .  .  . 3 Lets Go.jpg (102938 bytes)
4  .  .  .  and this is about halfway up.  Speed and enthusiasm are a little blunted now. 4 Car Still There.JPG (79539 bytes)
5. From the same point as the last shot, the shoulder of Saddle Yoke, looking at the peaks.  Hart Fell and Falcon Craig are still in cloud, although it has stopped raining.  Its getting ready to hail/snow on us instead.   Stitched together from two shots, taken from the same place but the auto-exposure system has made the pictures difficult to merge cleanly. 5 Approaching Saddle Yoke.jpg (103075 bytes)
6. A panorama from the top of Saddle Yoke. Under Saddle Yoke (which is higher) is ahead, Cape Law and the valley of the Carrifran Burn on the right.  This is a poor effort at stitching together three shots, but I moved in between them!

The lower picture is saved at a lower resolution, to allow the whole panorama to fit into a browser window.

6 Under Saddle Yoke.jpg (172148 bytes)

6 Under Saddle Yoke-s.jpg (47070 bytes)

Here are the three shots individually; are they better on their own? USY-left.JPG (361077 bytes)USY-center.JPG (401355 bytes)USY-right.JPG (381480 bytes)
7. The lunch spot, by Whirly Gill, out of the wind and next to running water.  Hound Bank is visible in the distance 7 Lunch.JPG (87179 bytes)
8. This is the fence on top of Hart Fell, which stayed in cloud nearly all day.  The disadvantage of eating lunch at the bottom of a climb is that you get slowed up while you digest it - or at least I did.  So there are no photos of the climb up Hartfell Rig. 8 Ice on Hart Fell.JPG (170653 bytes)
9. A slightly better panorama, with four shots in it.  Falcon Craig, Swatte Fell and Hound Bank on the right, the Saddle Yokes on the left with Carrifran Gans beyond and the east side of the Moffat valley in the background. We are just under the cloudbase. 9 Downhill now.jpg (208126 bytes)

9 Downhill now-s.jpg (54607 bytes)

10. Looking across to the Saddle Yokes from Falcon Craig.   10 Blackhope Valley from Falcon Craig.jpg (90640 bytes)
11. Three shots in this panorama of Coomb Craig, showing what looks like the remains of a cornice This is from the unnamed small summit above Hound Bank. 11 Cornice2.jpg (207768 bytes)

11 Cornice2-s.jpg (51610 bytes)

12. Pushing my graphic editing skills to the limit, this wide (120) panorama of the Blackhope valley is made from four shots.  From right to left we have the shoulder of Hound Bank, Falcon Craig, Hartfell Rig then the Saddle Yokes on the north side.  All taken from a natural stance that juts out of Hound Bank a little below the summit.  Irresistable.  Hart Fell is now out of cloud . . . quick, lets go back!  12 Blackhope Valley panorama.jpg (213797 bytes)

12 Blackhope Valley panorama-s.jpg (57223 bytes)

13. And this is the stance showing just how attractive it was! 13 Panoramapoint (top of Hound Bank).JPG (83202 bytes)
14. Dramatic shot of Dave and the Saddle Yoke twins beyond. 14 One Man and his Mountains.JPG (69280 bytes)
15. This shot from earlier in the walk shows Hound Bank and Black Craig from the shoulder of Saddle Yoke.  The stance can just be seen, below and to the left of the summit of Black Craig where the slope levels out briefly. 15 The stance from Saddle Yoke.jpg (394019 bytes)
16. Heading down a farm track to Cappelgill after a steep knee-testing descent, dog-legging to avoid the Hang Gill gully.  It is almost sunset and we are weary.  The Cappelgill collies gave us a good shouting-at. 16  Approaching Cappelgill and Collies.JPG (87455 bytes)
17. The view of St. Mary's Loch from the Tibbie Shiels Inn, very well placed to act as a source of anesthetic for tired legs.  But we did get down in daylight :) St Marys Loch from the Tibbie Shiels Inn.JPG (93456 bytes)
A guide to the locations of these photographs Blackhope Burn Map.jpg (166175 bytes)

Here are some more panoramas, produced using the very wonderful and free panotools from Helmut Dersch

http://www.path.unimelb.edu.au/~dersch/

They aren't quick and they don't have a flashy front end, but they do a pretty good job, don't you think?

They can be set to deliver the stitched images as a set of layers and masks, allowing final editing in Photoshop to each image individually. This is particularly valuable to me when correcting exposure values between images.

5: Approaching Saddle Yoke: Panotools has stitched the two images together down the middle of the ridge in the mid-ground, showing Dave in a different pose.  Direct comparison of the two versions here. 5pt Approaching Saddle Yoke.JPG (135554 bytes)
9 Downhill Now: A fine job by panotools, but needing extensive editing. The left and center pics were stitched across Dave's image: by modifying the mask I made him whole again! The right-hand image has so much depth of field that it has been tilted quite a lot to fit, a sort of semi-fisheye effect. Much fiddling has gone on in the lower right corner.  Direct comparison here. 9pt Downhill Now.jpg (203992 bytes)

9pt Downhill Now-half.jpg (64246 bytes)

11 Coomb Craig A lot of exposure variation (the lefthand image is almost into-the-sun) made the colour matching difficult. Panotools has done a very good job of stitching the three images together. Direct comparison here. 11pt Cornice.jpg (164057 bytes)

11pt Cornice-1024.jpg (76746 bytes)

12 Blackhope Valley: There are now five images in this panorama, covering about 180 degrees. The right-hand image is overexposed compared to all the others. Panotools has done a very good stitching job, leaving me the final colour matching to do in Photoshop. Direct comparison here. 12pt Blackhope Valley panorama.jpg (229589 bytes)

12pt Blackhope Valley panorama-half.jpg (65054 bytes)

12pt Blackhope Valley panorama-1024wide.jpg (36028 bytes)

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