Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Aron Ralston’s Difficult Decision

By | September 1, 2018

test article image
27-year-old outdoorsman Aron Ralston talks about his life since he saved it by cutting off his lower right arm with a pocketknife after it was pinned by an 800-pound boulder in Utah in early May. Denver Post photo by Brian Brainerd (Getty Images)

Aron Ralston knows a thing to two about survival. As an avid climber and outdoorsman, he has had his share of close calls, including surviving an avalanche. But nothing could totally prepare him for a near-fatal accident that occurred in April of 2003 when Ralston was hiking alone in Utah’s Blue John Canyon in the Canyonlands National Park. During the next five days, a trapped Ralston contemplated life and death, his situation – literally trapped between a rock and a hard place --, and just what he needed to do to survive. 

test article image

Ralston Quit His Engineering Job to Climb

Aron Ralston was born in Ohio in 1975. He enrolled in Carnegie Mellon University and earned degrees in French, mechanical engineering, and piano. Afterwards, he worked for Intel in Phoenix, but quit his lucrative job in 2002 and moved to Colorado to pursue mountain climbing full time.