Deep Play is a unique, stylish and timeless commentary reflecting the pressures and rewards of climbing some of the world's hardest and most challenging trad climbs and big walls, and a penetrating view of the adventures and preoccupations of a contemporary player.
First published in 1997 by Ken Wilson at Bâton Wicks, it was awarded the prestigious Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature in the same year. It has been out of print for several years.
Commenting on Deep Play, Peter Gillman, chair of the Boardman Tasker judges, said: "It is bold, experimental, innovative in its narrative and descriptive material in a way which is entirely in keeping with the spirit of the prize."
Pritchard has been awarded the Boardman Tasker Prize on two occasions, as his second book The Totem Pole – which documents his near life-ending accident on The Totem Pole sea stack in Tasmania and subsequent recovery – was also awarded the Prize in 1999. The Totem Pole was also presented with the Grand Prize at the Banff Mountain Book Festival, making Pritchard one of only a small handful of authors to win both awards in the same year.
Originally from Lancashire, Pritchard began climbing in his teens and – against a backdrop of economic and social decline in the UK in the 1980s and early 1990s – 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 Mt Asgard on Baffin Island.
Commenting in 2012 on Deep Play, Paul said: "Deep Play is pretty much alone as a record of a great era, perhaps the last great era of British climbing, the 1980s. There's other books been written from a 21st century perspective but Deep Play was much closer to the event. As time marches on I see how important a record it is."
Deep Play is available in paperback, and will soon be available for a range of e-reading devices, including Kindle, iPad and Kobo.
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