Truly Accidental

Ali Cashman climbing the second pitch of Truly Accidental (III,4) on Stag Rocks. This three-pitch route climbs directly up the buttress between The Accidental Tourist and Truly, Madly, Chimbley. (Photo Martin Holland)

Every so often I receive an email from Martin Holland letting me know about his recent explorations. These are often in the Southern Highlands, and although not often in the highest grades, Martin’s choices are often well chosen and in venues a little off the beaten track.

Taking advantage of the strong southerly winds last week, Martin was one of the first to realise that Stag Rocks on Cairngorm would be a good and safe venue. On Thursday February 17 he visited the Cascade area with Ali Cashman and climbed a new 140m-long line up the buttress between The Accidental Tourist and Truly, Madly, Chimbley.

“It’s not a major route,” Martin explained, “but the first two pitches had interest. The first was particularly worthwhile and following a natural line. It was climbed mostly on ice, snow and frozen turf with the odd rock move. It felt quite bold in places on the day as the ice and snow was quite cruddy and soft, but I’ve graded it assuming good ice in the groove.”

They called their route Truly Accidental (III,4). Martin did not let on whether they actually meant to go that way, but mistake or not, its nice to see a medium grade route being added to a reasonably accessible area such as Stag Rocks. It just goes to show that the Cairngorms are far from being worked out!

About Simon Richardson

Simon Richardson is a passionate Scottish winter climber
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1 Response to Truly Accidental

  1. Simon Richardson says:

    Martin emailed me tonight with an explanation about the name:

    Regarding the route name we’d been hoping to do Devil’s Delight, but due to some car trouble we were late and ice was falling off it in the sunshine; then Bruce, the third member of our party, dropped a dry bag with his belay jacket in it whilst gearing up, he spent a fruitless time looking for it down by Loch Avon and didn’t get to climb at all; finally I headed straight up an obvious groove rather than left, as Ali and I set off on what we thought was The Accidental Tourist. It soon became clear it wasn’t The Accidental Tourist and Truly Accidental nicely fitted the route names either side and our day!

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