It is the high point on the A9, at 460 m (1508 ft), and in winter can be subject to severe weather conditions. There are routine winter patrols from November to March, and the road is occasionally closed with snow gates near Dalwhinnie and Dalnacardoch. The summit of the railway line is 452 m (1480 ft), making it the highest in the UK. It is used by the RAF as a main route for low level flying and Tornados and other fast jets may often be seen here.
Train near Drumochter Summit in 1957
It is isolated, and the nearest settlement of any size is the small village of Dalwhinnie, some 10 km to the north.