Aron Ralston grew up in the Midwest before moving to Colorado when he was twelve, a place where he became an avid outdoorsman. In 2002, he gave up a career as a mechanical engineer in New Mexico and moved to Aspen, Colorado, where among other things he continued his attempt to climb the fifty-nine Colorado peaks of more than 14,000 feet solo in winter (he's more than three-quarters through). He survived a canyoneering accident in southeastern Utah in 2003, during which he amputated his own right forearm with a dull pocketknife in order to extricate himself from a dislodged boulder, which had him trapped for five days and seven hours. After he freed himself, he had to make his way through the remainder of the canyon, then rappel down a 65-foot (20 m) sheer cliff face to reach safety. The incident is documented in Ralston's autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place and is the subject of the 2010 film 127 Hours starring James Franco.
Since his accident, he has resumed his life of adventure and discovery.
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A Conversation with Aron Ralston
In the course of writing about your experience was there anything that you
thought twice about including in the book?
No, my objective was to make the book as authentic and genuine a recounting of my experience in Blue John Canyon as I possibly could. The more I could relate what happened without filtering it, the better I hoped to draw readers into my experience.
Your experience is one that arouses a myriad of questions -- after the release of the book, was there anything else you wished you could've added?
Regarding the series of other accidents which I describe in the book, I would have liked to explain more precisely what the lessons were that I took from them and how they applied to my experience in Blue John. For example, I learned from the bear-stalking incident in the Tetons that letting fear and panic interfere with decision making (in one instance, orienteering) skews those decisions for the worse; it is necessary to maintain calm and rational thought processes, all the more so when the consequences are greatest.
You mentioned in the book that you have no regrets about your decision to go on your own and not continue with Megan and Kristi. ...
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