Ex-local and climber, Paul Pritchard is trying to raise funds for an epic journey across the Himalaya on a recumbant tricycle. Paul rose to fame in climbing cirlces during the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, when he put up a few new bold and ultra serious routes across North Wales and the World.
Paul wrote at the time for On The Edge magazine, and many of his articles were touched up and put inside his first book ‘Deep Play’, which showcased his extreme life as a rock climber and mountaineer. He was one of my motivations for climbing when I started out, reading his account of the slate and north wales, made me move to Bangor, where I have lived everysince. One of the most moving pieces from this book was ‘A Game, One Climber Played’, which was a very evocative account of a near death experience Paul had when he fell of the route, Games Climbers Play in Wen Zawn at Gogarth. If you haven’t read this book then I advise you to do so.
It was nothing short of a miracle that he survived, but he went onto to climb hard again, and travelled the world on a trip with his then partner Celia Bull. During this trip Paul again had a brush with death, when he pulled a block off onto his head on the Totem Pole in Tasmania. The epic build up and recovery from this horrific accident is captured in his second book ‘The Totem Pole’.
This accident left him with similar disabilities to a stroke victim, in that one side of his body is partially paralyse. This has never seemed to put him off from challenging himself, and has climbed Kilimanjairo with another disabled mountaineer Jamie Andrew.
More recently he has been climbing again, and Hot Aches made a short film about his ‘Return to the Rainbow’, and emotional return for paul to a slab where he established a few very hard routes. In this film he followed Johnny Dawes up an E1 on the slab, and a few years back I went to see it premiere in the Fricsan with live narration from Paul. read the post here
Anyway Paul’s latest challenge is to cycle 1100km along the ‘Friendship Highway’, he is looking for support on this website, and they hope to make a documentary about the journey, to help motivate other disabled people to get out there and explore what is still possible. If you can spare a few quid, I am sure he would appreciate it.