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Duchal Dilemma Mystery Cache

Hidden : 07/18/2005
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Duchal Moor

The Duchal Moor is an area of upland moor in Inverclyde. Its ringed by hills of the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park including Hyndal Hill, Dunnairbuck Hill, Laird's Seat, Knockminwood Hill, Creuch Hill, North Burnt Hill and South Burnt Hill. To the south is Queenside Muir and to the north the Loch Thom and Gryfe Reservoirs.

Duchal Moor Railway

Constructed in 1922 by the Lithgow shipping magnate to keep men employed after a drop in ship orders following the war, this railway runs uphill from the Kilmacolm High Dam into the wilds of Duchal Moor. It provided rail access to the shooting butts for field sportsmen from all over Britain who descended on the moors to test their shooting skills against the fast-flying game birds which skimmed low across the heather to escape the cracking guns.

The railway is narrow gauge. There was a station (parts of the platform still exist) and locomotive shed (still standing) by the reservoir. The route to the north of Hardridge Hill is lifted; the rest of the route appears to be intact. Much of the track is obscured by moor and can only be detected as a depression in the peat. The eastern triangular junction is largely complete and crossed by a recent dirt road. There is a siding at Lairds Seat.

Supported on wooden sleepers, the line had three branches - one northward to the Laverock Stone, another westward to the Laird's Seat and the third southward to Smeath Hill. The line started at Hardridge Farm, where the engines and passenger-wagons were stored in a corrugated iron shed. The 24-inch gauge tracks were a combination of ex-First World War and former colliery light railway lines. The sleepers were from dismantled warships while the two petrol-driven engines had been in use at an ordnance factory at Gretna. Among the many visitors said to have ridden on the Grouse Railway was King Edward VIII during a shooting excursion to Scotland. The line remained in use until the 1970’s. The engines and wagons remain preserved, and sections of track, points and buffers remain in place.

Grouse hunting Season from 12th August to 10th December. Be aware of shotgun pellets coming towards you at a pile of knots. The noticeboard and rangers at Muirshiel Country Park (01505 842803) may be able to help you to be aware of what hunting is happening and where.

The Cache!

Solve the puzzle to find the cache co-ordinates and a series of co-ordinates that you can use to walk a good part of the railway. This walk will take about 5 hours and goes across rugged moor. Good boots are a must. Please take great care where you are placing your feet as there are many holes and potential holes - you will see what is meant!

Suggested parking at Muirshiel Country Park: N55°49.943 W004°41.836
See also nearby caches:
The Barytes Side of Life (GCP7A7)
Windy Hill (GCA3ED)

Follow the road from Muirshiel heading north past Craig of Todholes. You will pick up the railway between Coplie Hill and Smeath Hill where the waypoints start.

The Puzzle

Using the Digits 0-9 only once, generate four numbers of lengths 1 to 4, each of which is a square number.
Hint: A=1

Final cache location N55°KJ.FAH W004°FF.EHB

Some waypoints on the track to follow:
1 N55°KA.FDC W004°LJ.JFD
2 N55°KA.MKH W004°LN.DHF
3 N55°KA.CGN W004°LN.EJD
4 N55°MA.GAA W004°FJ.CHN
5 N55°MJ.HFN W004°LN.DHA
6 N55°KJ.AEA W004°LN.DFM
7 N55°KN.BHG W004°FN.GAG
8 N55°MJ.BEN W004°LB.ADN
9 N55°KJ.FCE W004°FB.NCE
10 N55°KJ.LCE W004°FB.BAB
11 N55°MJ.BHM W004°FB.CNJ
12 N55°KN.AGC W004°LB.GCB
13 N55°KN.BJK W004°LF.AAM

Alternative Parking N55°52.467 W004°40.728
Railway from alternate parking N55°MN.JEE W004°LA.ECF

Additional Hints (No hints available.)