The Totem Pole

And a Whole New Adventure

  • 208 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-696-4
  • Sep 30, 1999


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* Winner of the 1999 Banff Mountain Book Festival Grand Prize
* Gripping mountaineering literature and inspirational, true-life drama
* Chronicles one athlete's struggle to give up the sport that defined his existence

After winning the 1997 Boardman Tasker Award for his first book, Deep Play, climber Paul Pritchard used the prize money to kick off a world climbing tour in Tasmania, on a slender sea stack called the Totem Pole. However, a chance rockfall inflicted such terrible head injuries that Pritchard spent the next year in and out of hospitals, relearning basic thinking processes and muscle movements.

This insightful, firsthand chronicle of the accident and its aftermath portrays the physical and emotional ordeal of Pritchard's recovery. He weaves together accounts of earlier climbs, his changed relationships with family and friends and his girlfriend, Celia, and details about the rescue operation itself. And with an unpitying voice, Pritchard describes his return to the accident scene with a film crew to watch some of his friends complete the climb that changed his life.


  • 208 pages
  • Mountaineers Books
  • 978-0-89886-696-4
  • Sep 30, 1999

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