Alpine Club of Canada

Gazette Summer 2018

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2 9 t h a n n u a l FUNDRAISER October 27, 2018 Mountain Guides Ball Patron Bernadette McDonald • Silent Auction • Four-course Dinner • Live DJ A S S O C I A T I O N O F C A NA D I AN M O U N T A I N G U I D E S M C G A ACC ACMG Tickets $115 Sponsored in part by: 22 The Alpine Club of Canada Gazette Summer 2018 Member grateful to land on her feet by Janelle curtis "Whatever activity, be it walking, climbing, biking or tending sheep; they all transport you into the grandeur and beauty of the mountains." I read this passage in Paul Pritchard's book, e Longest Climb. at was the first of two of Pritchard's books that I read after my accident in the moun‑ tains. Lindsay Elms, our Alpine Club of Canada Vancouver Island Section's historian, kindly suggested I read some of Pritchard's writing. "It's always good to talk to/compare notes with another [person who has had a] head injury." at was part of Pritchard's response when I wrote to him in late 2017 to thank him for his positive, thoughtful and inspiring writing, and to ask if there was any chance that my partner, Rowan Laver and I could meet him. I wondered if we might be able to attend one of his slide shows or talks while we were in Tasmania, Australia. It was such a lovely surprise to be able to meet Pritchard in his home, to talk about recovering from climbing acci‑ dents, and to be able to join him on a walk to his local beach. From left, Jennifer Boldt, Mary Thiess, Janelle Curtis and Amelia Mahony share an outdoor adventure at Lake Helen Mackenzie in Vancouver Island's Strathcona Provincial Park. photo by amelia mahony Pritchard and I had very different climbing accidents and injuries, but we agree that our accidents are among the best things to have happened to us, in part because they have redefined our lives' missions and taught us how to treat others with more kindness. Pritchard is a world‑renowned climber and writer who survived a dramatic rockfall acci‑ dent while climbing the Totem Pole, a free‑standing sea stack in Tasmania. He wrote about his experiences in e Totem Pole and e Longest Climb. He is well known for having won the Banff Mountain Book Competition, as well as twice winning the Boardman Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature. Reading Pritchard's books and meeting him most certainly inspired me to look beyond my challenges to see what I could do next. I survived a fall from the rocky ridge near Augerpoint Mountain in Strathcona Provincial Park on Vancouver Island in July 2016 on my way to Mount Mitchell. I fell about 15 metres and then tumbled down another 80 metres or so on steep scree. My injuries included a broken ankle, two broken femurs and knee caps, a fractured hand and a severe diffuse axonal injury, similar to the head injury associated with shaken‑baby syndrome. My head injury caused, among other things, two weeks of coma, three months of post‑traumatic amnesia, mild double vision, slurred speech and poor balance. Overall, I feel so fortunate to have "landed on my feet", and still be here to

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