This large, round cairn has sadly had to suffer the indignity of having a large portion of its western arc removed at some time or other.... leaving it with a footprint perhaps reminiscent of a giant 'Pac Man' frozen mid gulp upon this uncompromising hillside. Needless to say the true effect would only be apparent from the air. A Nasca-style monument for the jilted 80's Atari generation.....
Such damage notwithstanding, the cairn remains architecturally impressive measuring - according to those intrepid Ordnance Survey people (WDJ, 1960 and J M, 1976) - "about 19.5m NW-SE by 18.5m". What's more, there is the remains of an arc of kerbing to the east.
As is often the case, however, it is the placement of the monument which impresses this traveller the most. Located upon a low spur above the western bank of the Torrish Burn, the cairn was clearly orientated to overlook the River Helmsdale, the site possessing a wondrous view eastwards and westwards along the strath. Incidentally the river deviates sharply southward at the point where the Torrish Burn adds itself to its seemingly inexorable flow... the thought momentarily occurs that perhaps the tributary is more than capable of - quite literally - punching well above its weight when flash floods visit these hills? Whatever, best not to be around to test the theory when such deluges sweep across the landscape.
Despite the relative proximity to what is, after all, an A-road (honest, it's the A897) there is a great 'upland' vibe here enhanced by distant Ben Uarie keeping an eye on proceedings upon the south-western skyline. That such impressive, yet unassuming stone piles can be found in such easily accessible locations is, for me, truly one of the joys of northern Scotland.