The Mountain Path

A climber's journey through life and death

Author: Paul Pritchard (foreword by Hazel Findlay)

Paperback publication date: 02 Mar 2023

Hardback publication date: 07 Oct 2021

Paperback ISBN: 9781839810930

Hardback ISBN: 9781839810923

Limited stock of paperback available now!

Hardback now out of print. 

SHORTLISTED: The Great Outdoors Book of the Year 2021

CATEGORY FINALIST: Banff Mountain Literature Award 2022

SHORTLISTED: Boardman Tasker Award for Mountain Literature 2022

‘A beautifully written, devastatingly honest account of choosing to live.’ – Marni Jackson, Boardman Tasker Award 2022 Chair of Judges

In 1998, Paul Pritchard was struck on the head by a falling rock as he climbed a sea stack in Tasmania. Close to death, Pritchard kept himself going with a promise that he would ‘at least attempt to live’. The Mountain Path is an adventure book like no other, an exploration of a healing brain, a test of will and a triumph of hope.

‘All I wanted to do was go to sleep. And I was certain that if I did drift off, it would be for the last time.’

In 1998, Paul Pritchard was struck on the head by a falling rock as he climbed a sea stack in Tasmania called the Totem Pole. Close to death, waiting for hours for rescue, Pritchard kept himself going with a promise that given the chance, he would ‘at least attempt to live’.

Left hemiplegic by his injury, Pritchard has spent the last two decades attempting to live, taking on adventures that seemed impossible for someone so badly injured while plumbing the depths of a mind almost snuffed out by his passion for climbing.

Not content to simply survive, Pritchard finds ways to return to his old life, cycling across Tibet and expanding his mind on gruelling meditation courses, revisiting the past and understanding his compulsion for risk. Finally, he returns to climb the Totem Pole, the place where his life was almost extinguished.

The Mountain Path is an adventure book like no other, an exploration of a healing brain, a journey into philosophy and psychology, a test of will and a triumph of hope.

Paul Pritchard is an award-winning author and one of the UK's most visionary and accomplished climbers. Originally from Lancashire, he began climbing in his teens and went on to repeat some of the most difficult routes in the country, before moving to North Wales where he played a pivotal role in the development of the Dinorwig slate quarries and the imposing Gogarth cliffs on Anglesey. A move into mountaineering followed, with significant ascents around the world, including the East Face of the Central Tower of Paine in Patagonia, and the first ascent of the West Face of Mount Asgard on Baffin Island. In 1998 his life changed dramatically when he was hit by falling rock while climbing the Totem Pole, a sea stack off the Tasmanian coast. He was left with Hemiplegia – paralysis down the right side of his body – and also lost the power of speech for many months. Since his accident Paul has continued to lead a challenging life through caving, tricycle racing, sea kayaking, river rafting, climbing Kilimanjaro, and, in 2009, a return to lead rock climbing. He has devoted a considerable amount of time to raising awareness for the charity Headway and the Upendo Leprosy Centre in Tanzania, and he is a patron of Hemihelp and the Llanberis Mountain Film Festival. He is the author of three books – Deep Play, Totem Pole, and The Longest Climb – and has won the prestigious Boardman Tasker Prize on two occasions (Deep Play, 1997; Totem Pole, 1999). Totem Pole was also awarded the Grand Prize at the 1999 Banff Mountain Book Festival. Paul lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

Discounts & P&P

From Friday 1 April 2022, we offer 25% off to all newsletter subscribers. Simply sign up to our newsletter here to receive your discount code. If you're already a subscriber, we'll remind you of the code every time we send out a newsletter.

In addition, from 1 November until 23 December 2022, we're offering FREE standard UK P&P for orders, along with options to upgrade the delivery service at checkout.

Postage costs are dependent on order weight (book/s weight plus packing materials) and are calculated automatically upon checkout, before payment is taken. Full details of our delivery and returns information can be found here

UK Delivery

UK orders are sent Royal Mail Second Class as standard and should arrive within two to three working days. From 1 November until 23 December 2022, standard UK shipping is free. The option to upgrade UK shipping to Royal Mail 24 Next Day Delivery is available at checkout.

International Delivery

International orders are sent by Royal Mail International Tracked. Deliveries can take between a few days and a couple of weeks to arrive, depending on the delivery location. Please contact us if your country is not listed.

Dispatch

Update: September 2022. Most orders received through the Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books website are dispatched from Gardners in Eastbourne, UK; some orders (such as signed copies of pre-orders, or limited stock items) are sent from our office in Sheffield, UK. If your order is for multiple items, you may receive more than one package, though we try to avoid this (if applicable, you would only be charged once for shipping). Orders received before 11 a.m. are dispatched the same day; orders received after 11 a.m. are usually dispatched the following business day. You will be sent a notification email when your order has been dispatched. If we are temporarily out of stock of a title we will advise by email.

Gift Cards

Gift card purchases are delivered electronically – we do not dispatch physical gift cards. Full details are provided with gift card purchases.

Ebooks

Coming soon! Ebooks are fulfilled securely by our partner Glassboxx using their app. For more details about how to access your ebook, please refer to the information in your order confirmation. 

Payment

Payment is made safely and securely using Shopify, which incorporates the world's leading payment gateways, including Stripe, Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can also check out with PayPal. All payments are handled directly by these payment gateways and Vertebrate Publishing Adventure Books does not process or store any cardholder details on the Adventure Books website.

Returns

We will happily refund or exchange any item that is returned to us in an unused, as new condition. If you want to make a return, contact us with your details. Once we've received the item(s), we will credit your account. If the item is faulty or damaged or we have sent the incorrect item we will refund postage.

If you're returning something because it's not suitable, you'll need to pay the postage costs to return it to us. We process most returns the day they arrive with us, and certainly within seven working days. Goods must be returned to us within 21 days.

  • FREE standard UK shipping until 23 December 2022
  • Sign up to our newsletter for 25% off
  • Secure checkout