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Aron Ralston Biography


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Aron Lee Ralston (born October 27, 1975) is an American who became famous in May 2003 because he was forced to amputate his lower right arm with a low-quality multitool in order to free himself after his arm became trapped by a boulder.

Ralston was a student in mechanical engineering and French at Carnegie Mellon University, as well as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. He left his job as a mechanical engineer with Intel in 2002 to return to climb all of Colorado's "fourteeners", or peaks over 14,000 feet high. While on a canyoneering trip in Blue John Canyon (near Moab, Utah), a boulder fell and pinned his right forearm down, crushing it. After six days of trying to lift and break the boulder, a dehydrated and delirious Ralston bowed his arm against the chockstone and snapped the radius and ulna bones. Using the dull blade on his multiuse tool, he cut the soft tissue around the break. He then used the tool's pliers to tear at the tougher tendons. Although he refused to name which brand (other than to say it was not Leatherman), he did describe it as "the kind you get with a $15 flashlight and it's free, which is probably how I got it."
"He's obviously one tough guy," said Sgt. Mitch Vetere, one of the Emery County Sheriff's Office searchers who first located Ralston in a remote area 60 miles south of Green River, Utah.

After being rescued, his hand was retrieved by park authorities and removed from under the boulder. It was cremated and given to Ralston. He returned to the boulder and left the ashes there.

Public appearances

He is now a public speaker, predominantly non-profit, and still climbs mountains prolifically, his most recent one being in Argentina.

On July 21, 2003, Ralston appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman.

On September 10, 2004, Ralston's story was featured on a two-hour edition of Dateline NBC called Desperate Days in Blue John Canyon.

Ralston documented his experience in a book titled Between a Rock and a Hard Place, published by Atria Books on 7 September 2004. ISBN 0-7434-9281-1

On September 13, 2005 he made an appearance on Howard Stern's nationally syndicated radio program to promote his book. During the interview Ralston revealed several details about his ordeal, including the facts that his hand had already "died" from lack of circulation days before he amputated it, that he used the boulder that trapped his hand as a leverage device to break the bones in his arm, and he had to drink his own urine for several days after running out of his rationed water. After freeing himself he was still eight miles from his truck (which incidentally was a stick shift) and he had no cell phone. After finally meeting with other hikers in the canyon he was given food and water and ultimately rescued via helicopter by a search team.

Ralston was given mention in Maddox's [1] tribute to real men.

Ralston currently appears as a panelist in Miller Lite's "Man Laws" ad campaign.

Courtesy of: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aron_Ralston

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