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Home>Outdoor Website Directory > Paul Pritchard

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Paul Pritchard

Disabled Climber

Pritchard was born in Lancashire, in 1967 and, at age 16 began a life of climbing. He soon moved to North Wales and that Mecca of rock climbing, Llanberis. By 1986 Paul had made a name for himself by climbing many extremely bold ascents on the sea and mountain cliffs of Snowdonia. He began a life of big-wall mountaineering that would take him to the Indian Himalaya, the Karakorum, Patagonia, Baffin Island, The Pamirs and the American Rockies.
When Pritchard won an award for mountain literature, with in 1997 he spent the prize money on a world climbing tour that found him in Tasmania, climbing a slender sea stack known as The Totem Pole. It was here that his life changed forever.
On Friday the 13th of February a TV sized boulder falling from 25 meters inflicted such terrible head injuries that doctors thought he might never walk or even speak again. Pritchard spent the next year in a wheel-chair, struggling with his speech and memory. The book of these events, The Totem Pole, won him an unprecedented second B/T award and a Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize.
The exciting thing about head injury is that you never stop recovering and although disabled, Pritchard is re-directing his life in continually inspiring and rewarding ways. He is rock climbing again and, in 2005, was part of an all disabled ascent of kilimanjaro. Pritchard is tricycle racing, white water rafting, sea kayaking and raising a family in Tasmania.


1997 - Deep Play - Boardman/Tasker award for mountain literature.

1999 - The Totem Pole Boardman/Tasker award and The Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize.

2004 - The Longest Climb - Banff Grand Prize Nominee.


In his inspiring show, featuring several of his most serious climbs, Pritchard reflects on the lessons he has learned from his climbing life and his journey into disability: He maintains that what saved his life was treating his disability as the longest expedition he had ever been on.

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