Aron Ralston

Aron RalstonThis heroic climber amputated his own arm to survive a death-defying accident, and Aron Ralston has now devoted his life to creating prosthetics for other climbers.  His book, “Between A Rock and A Hard Place” has achieved world-wide bestseller status.

One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told—Aron Ralston’s searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home.

It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyonlands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a mountaineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to find himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world around him.

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{tab=Aron’s Story} In a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged 800-pound boulder when it terrifyingly came loose, pinning his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall.

What does one do in the face of almost certain death? The knowledge of his family’s and friends’ love kept him alive, until a divine inspiration on Thursday morning solved the riddle of the boulder. Aron then committed the most extreme act imaginable to save himself.

For more than five days he faced hypothermia at night, dehydration and hallucinations by day.

He recorded his experience on a video recorder along with farewells to his family, and then used those recordings to write his book. Included in this tale is the painful decision he needed to make in order to increase his chances of survival.

By breaking and then amputating his own own arm with his pocket knife, he was able to free himself from the canyon and then hike to safety.

His 2003 this rock-climber’s story became worldwide news. In his book, Ralston writes: “I always thought who I was, was very much wrapped up with what I did. That I was happy because of the things that I did that made me happy. If things you do make you happy, then they can also make you unhappy. I think that’s why I found myself being ambitious and energetic — to do all the outings that I did. In retrospect, I’ve learned a lot. One of the things I’m learning here is that I didn’t enjoy the people’s company that I was with enough, or as much as I could have. A lot of really good people have spent a lot of time with me. Very often I would tend to ignore or diminish their presence in seeking the essence of the experience. All that’s to say, ‘I’m figuring some things out…’ If I can live each day with only a fraction of the joy of that moment of freedom, if I can get just the teeniest bit of that euphoria into each day, then I’ll be happy,” he said, adding, “I owe an unpayable debt to the wilderness for the balance of my life for my spiritual growth.”

Today, Ralston climbs, bikes, skis and kayaks, and speaks to groups around the country. On the outside, he only has one arm, but on the inside he has a deeper, richer soul, and a story to tell that will inspire those who need a little or a lot of courage.

 

 

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