Eighteen years ago, Paul Pritchard stood at the base of the ‘Totem Pole’, a sea slate in Tasmania, and planned his route to the summit.
For climbers like Pritchard, who travel regularly between Patagonia, Kyrgyzstan and other iconic mountains, this would be a fairly normal start to the day of finding a spot, setting up and beginning the climb. This particular morning would prove to be a pivotal moment for Pritchard however. Before he began his climb, he swung out and a boulder struck him on the head, leaving him unconscious on the rock for seven hours until emergency services could rescue him.
When he woke from a come, eight days later, the head injury had left half of his body paralysed and his thoughts and speech affected.