Doing it Scared

Doing it Scared

12 minutes, Australia, 2016



British climber – now resident of Tasmania – Paul Pritchard, was one of the leading climbers and mountaineers of the 1980s and 1990s, renowned for his hard and extremely bold first ascents.

In 1998 Paul was abseiling in to climb the Totem Pole in Tasmania when he dislodged a rock with his rope that hit him on the head, leaving him with a severe head injury that he was lucky to survive:

“All I wanted to do was go to sleep but I was certain that if I did so it would have been the last sleep I ever made.”

The aftermath of the accident left him with hemiplegia, which means he has little feeling or movement in the right side of this body. Despite this disability, Paul’s continued to live a life filled with adventure: "That accident on the Totem Pole was the best thing that ever happened to me.”

Eighteen years later Paul returns to the Totem Pole to find out if he has recovered enough to finish the climb.

“There are a thousand reasons not to climb a mountain: rock-fall, hypothermia, falling off, avalanche, altitude sickness, severe weather or just the hard work of it. However, there is but one singular reason to climb when you look at it carefully.”

This is a film about an extraordinary man on an inspiring life journey, his continuing recovery from a crushing injury and the never waning desire for adventure. This is a film about determination and acceptance, patience and humility, grace, and ultimately, freedom.

“Its a very scenic place to have a head injury, that's for sure!” Paul Pritchard


Director(s): Matthew Newton

Producer(s): Catherine Pettman