When it comes to tales of survival, that of Aron Ralston will certainly be long remembered. In 2003, while rock climbing alone in southeastern Utah, Ralston became trapped and eventually was forced to amputate his own arm in order to survive.
The trip Ralston planned that Saturday was supposed to be an easy one: a bicycle ride up a canyon, a hike through some sandstone formations, then a climb back down. He was to drive back later that day in his truck to retrieve his bicycle.
Everything was going as planned until Ralston began to crawl over a boulder in a very narrow canyon. While doing so, the boulder shifted, pinning his right arm between it and the canyon wall. For five days, Ralston tried everything he could to free himself, but nothing worked. When he ran out of water and with no sensation left in his arm, Ralston decided the only way to survive was to amputate his right arm.
After freeing himself, Ralston managed to negotiate an 8-mile hike back down the mountain, even rapelling down a 65-foot cliff. His survival was assured when he came upon some hikers. He was taken out of the mountains by helicopter and to a local hospital, where his story was picked up by the media. Before long the story of Ralston's survival made him a hero to many.
Article Written By Carolyn Kaberline
Carolyn Kaberline has been a freelance writer since 2006. Her articles have appeared in local, regional and national publications and have covered a variety of topics. In addition to writing, she's also a full-time high-school English and journalism teacher. Kaberline earned a Bachelor of Arts in technical journalism from Kansas State University and a Master of Arts in education from Baker University.