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Bealach Druim Uachdair EarthCache

Hidden : 07/08/2008
1 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size:   other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Drumochter Pass is where the A9 crosses from Perthshire into Highland. It is one of the highest places in the country accessible by road. The temparature can drop drastically here and the mist suddenly descends, even in the middle of the summer. The coordinates are for layby 81 heading north. However there is a layby opposite heading south, from which you are welcome to take your photo from.

There is ample parking at the coordinates. Please watch your children/dogs as this is a busy and fast stretch of road.


It is the high point on the A9, at 460m (1508 ft.) where not only the road passes through but also the Highland Main Train Line, the railway between Inverness and the south of Scotland and the Sustrans National Cycle Route 7 between Glasgow and Inverness.

In winter it can be subject to severe weather conditions. Routine winter patrols take place between November and March and the road is occasionally closed with snow gates near Dalwhinnie and Dalnacardoch.


The summit of the railway line is 452m (1480 ft.), making it the highest in Scotland and the UK. The pass is probably the most isolated stretch of both road and rail. The route through the pass has been used since prehistoric times. It is extremely isolated, and the nearest settlement of any size is Dalwhinnie, a small village.


The highest point on the pass marks the boundary between Perth and Kinross and the Highland Council area. This very typical scottish pass was caused by glacial action during the ice age. Before glaciation, mountain valleys have a characteristic "V" shape, produced by downward erosion by water. However, during glaciation, these valleys widen and deepen, forming a "U"-shaped glacial valley.


Besides the deepening and widening of the valley, the glacier also smooths the valley due to erosion. In this way, it eliminates the spurs of earth that extend across the valley. Because of this interaction, triangular cliffs called truncated spurs are formed. Many glaciers deepen their valleys more than their smaller tributaries. Therefore, when the glaciers recede from the region, the valleys of the tributary glaciers remain above the main glacier's depression, and these are called hanging valleys.


In parts of the soil that were affected by abrasion and plucking, the depressions left can be filled by lakes, called paternoster lakes. At the 'start' of a classic valley glacier is the cirque, which has a bowl shape with escarped walls on three sides, but open on the side that descends into the valley. In the cirque, an accumulation of ice is formed. These begin as irregularities on the side of the mountain, which are later augmented in size by the coining of the ice.


Once the glacier melts, these corries are usually occupied by small mountain lakes called tarns. There may be two glacial cirques 'back to back' which erode deep into their backwalls until only a narrow ridge, called an arête is left. This structure may result in a mountain pass.


Along this valley the River Garry flows to the south, and River Truim to the north.


1. In order to log this, please take a photo of yourself/GPS at the pass to add to your log.


2. Please message privately the answer to the following BEFORE you log online .....



Looking around you pick out one of the hills and explain what type of glacial feature it is. Thank you for visiting my earthcache.


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