Aron Lee Ralston (born October 27, 1975) is an American mountain climber and public speaker. He became widely known in May 2003 when, while canyoneering in Utah, he was forced by anaccident to amputate his right arm with a dull knife in order to free himself from a boulder.
Ralston is a graduate of Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He receivedhis college degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, finishing with degrees in mechanical engineering and French, with a minor in piano. At Carnegie Mellon, he served as a ResidentAssistant, studied abroad, and was an active intramural sports participant. He left his job as a mechanical engineer with Intel in 2002 in order to pursue a life of climbing mountains. He had the goal ofclimbing all of Colorado's "fourteeners", or peaks over 14,000 feet high, solo and during winter—a feat that had never been done. He has subsequently achieved this feat.
In August 2009, Ralstonmarried Jessica Trusty, and their first child, Leo, was born in February 2010.
In April 2003, while he was hiking Blue John Canyon (in eastern Wayne County, Utah, just south of the HorseshoeCanyon Unit of Canyonlands National Park), a suspended boulder from which he was climbing down became dislodged, crushing his right forearm and pinning it against the canyon wall. Ralston had not toldanybody of his hiking plans and knew no one would be searching for him. Assuming that he would die, he spent five days slowly sipping his small amount of remaining water, while trying to extricate hisarm. His efforts were futile as he could not free his arm from the 800-pound rock. After three days of trying to lift and break the boulder, the dehydrated and delirious Ralston prepared to amputate histrapped right arm at a point on the mid-forearm, in order to escape. He experimented with tourniquets and made some exploratory superficial cuts to his forearm in the first few days. On the fourth...