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

By Karen Harris
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.