Aron Ralston biography

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Aron Ralston
Photo: Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston Biography

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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Interview

Aron Ralston answers questions about his life and the climbing accident that led to him having to amputate his own arm in order to survive.

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. Looking back, is there anything you ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Aron Ralston at BookBrowse
Between a Rock and a Hard Place jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Aron Ralston but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Jon Krakauer

    Jon Krakauer

    Jon Krakauer is an American writer and mountaineer, primarily known for his writings about the outdoors, especially mountain-climbing. He is the author of best-selling non-fiction books: Into the Wild, Into Thin Air,Under ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Try:
    Into The Wild
    by Jon Krakauer

  • Richard Preston

    Richard Preston

    Richard Preston is the author of seven books, including The Hot Zone, The Cobra Event, The Demon in the Freezer and Wild Trees; and is a regular contributor to The New Yorker. His books have been translated into more than 30 ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Try:
    The Wild Trees
    by Richard Preston

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