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Aron Ralston update

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From scrambling accident to beer commercials, the LA Times has an article updating Aron Ralston.

Three years ago, Ralston was just another outdoor adrenaline junkie, attempting to be the first person to solo climb all 59 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot-plus peaks in winter. During a break from his quest, he ventured into a Utah canyon where an 800-pound boulder rolled onto his right hand, pinning him for six days until he freed himself by severing his arm with a pocketknife. Within a year, he returned to the Colorado Rockies to finish his climbing quest.

Ralston’s outrageous act of nerve has since made him a bestselling author, a beer pitchman, an eco celebrity and a motivational speaker in high demand by corporate America. At 30 years of age, he is one of the nation’s best-known mountaineers. But in the mountain-climbing community, he is the foolhardy adventurer who nearly died after committing the cardinal sin of hiking into the outdoors without leaving word on his whereabouts.

UPDATE: Although this was a rather short post on my part, the comments have taken off and provide a great conversation on this story. Keep reading below for an interesting commentary on Aron Ralston‘s story.

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136 Comments

  1. Cardinal sin my ass! Nearly every climber and outdoor athlete I know has put himself in a not dissimilar position more than once. the truth is that every time we leave the car to head to a real live cliff we face risks just like nearly killed Aaron–a rock pinning us to the ground. We’ll be lucky if it only crushes our arm. Climbers are killed by loose rocks every year. He did what he had to do, he survived to tell the tale. Would you? (That’s the general you, Tom, not the you, you. hehe)

  2. Yes a cardinal sin. Totally. He didn’t have the courage and maturity to tell someone where he was going, not even a note. Most cowardly immature climbers don’t to this because they think it makes them look weak.

    Too bad Aron Ralston has promoted his fiasco, advertised it, profited from it, and on and on. Sign he lacks humility. Profiting from an injury caused by stupidity? LOL. Only in America.

  3. Hmm, interesting thoughts from both of you… I’m inclined to agree with Will except for the cardinal sin part. As climbers, we all do put ourselves into controlled, risky situations and that’s obviously part of the enjoyment. But, even through we often don’t leave better notifications when we venture out solo, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

    Aron was placed in a situation that any one of us could have encountered. He then managed to extricate himself from the situation and survive. If he can then profit from the situation, good luck to him. I have no problem with it whatsoever.

    I just keep wondering if I could have cut my arm off without butchering it and bleeding to death… whatever you think, it was a bold move.

  4. regardless of whether or not he told people where he was – the situation still happened to him and probably would have had the same outcome – loss of his arm – maybe they would have found him sooner and spared him of some of the other agony. the poor guy went through a lot – and to discount that because of one bad decision he made is insensitive. he is truly lucky to be alive. at least now he is trying to do some good by sharing his story – and make a few bucks – heck, asssssspen is expensive.

  5. I’m all for leaving better notification. Still, it’s beyond glib to characterize his book and publicity as “profiting off his stupidity”. The bottom line: A smaller mistake than everyone reading this has probably made, created a life or death situation. Leigh’s point that notification may not have changed the outcome is important–you depend on yourself to survive, no one else.

    He accepted that reality, and then had the cajones to cut off his own limb–I don’t know about you, but I’m interested in what he has to say.

  6. “Only in America”…funny. I thought quite a bit of the same, but in a positive sense. After all, being able to bounce up after a fiasco, thanks to this fiasco, can be seen as an american value : whatever happens, you can get another chance…you’re listened to because of your experience, if you have the will to use it positively…
    Of course, i’m a bit caricaturing.
    (oh, and I’m french…;)

  7. I just finished reading Aron’s book 30 minutes ago. I’ve been there a few times myself in the last 33 yrs of wilderness adventures. Aron is no different than any one else who profits off of tragedy. Like “into thin air” by Jon Krakauer, who made a bundle of money off his and others Mt Everest 06 disaster. The one thing I can say about Aron, that he is sharing in a positve way what he learned from is awefull ordeal. Hopefully that may prevent another person from doing the same thing.I also feel that the general public wants to hear the stories, the gore and we lust for it , we have created that in our society, so he wrote his story for us, and made some bucks

  8. “Most cowardly immature climbers donâ??t to (sic) this (climb without telling someone where they are) because they think it makes them look weak.” It does make them look weak. The mentally strong, the people who should be admired in the mountaineering community can do things that most of society is too weak to attempt. Hence, you judging him for climbing alone or not telling someone where he was going is irrelevant, because he is stronger than you can ever conceive yourself being. Many mountaineers do things that many people consider “stupid,” but that is only because most of society is limited by their inferiority mentally or physically compared to those mountaineers operating at the edge of what is humanly possible. Additionally, I guarantee that his arm would have been necrosed after no blood flow for several hours, so even if someone was there, it makes no difference and he loses the arm. I don’t recommend going anywhere alone or without telling someone if they are mentally or physically weak, but if you know that you can survive anything, then go out and do what you want and fuck the cowards who criticize you.

  9. I agree with Greg. I only recently finished his book. I listened to it on tape and to hear him read it was intense. Bottom line, he made a mistake, something that all of us have done. It would not have mattered much to the outcome if he had told someone or not. His story is amazing, inspiring, and needs to be told. If it reaches someone, sparks some type of positive response in them then I think thats great. It is also HIS story, and what he does with it is his own buisness. It amazes me that people feel they have the right to judge. Its so very easy to do so from the comfortable perch of a leather office chair swivling behing a computer screen in a climate controled room. It’s also really easy to play the “if only” game…if only he hadn’t have gone, if only he hadn’t have chose that canyon….it’s still not our place to make any judgement on what happened. The old adage of not knowing a man until you walk a mile in his shoes is applicable here. No one knows what they would be capable of doing, or dealing with if faced with a similar situation. Just think, if tomorrow you went on some type of adventure and something happened that put you in a similar situation, and then the whole world saw the story and took it upon themselves to pick apart every decision and action of that day…what would they find? Perfection, and 20/20 foresight….LOL I think not! “Only in America” does every person think they have some kind of ownership in a story about a person they see in the news or on TV.
    I also found it astonishing that people who’s job it is to make rescues were complaining, and sighting how much money, and time it took to start a search and rescue him. What the heck! Since when do we decide to save someone in need on the basis of how much it costs, and how much time it took. They interviewed several rescue experts who sited what a terrible guy Aron was because he put the rescuers in danger. I’m sure if he had his choice it would have never happened. If you rescue people you know the risk, thats part of the job.
    Any way that’s my two cents…and it’s worth about that…I think Aron has something that most people don’t, and in this world of “survivor” TV shows, and reality TV, it’s rare to find a TRUE survivor and worth appreciating.

  10. I haven’t read the book yet but I will have a look. Interesting thoughts from both sides…
    Is there also a TV special out on this?
    DSD
    “Summit-Stones” at Blogger.com

  11. I just finished reading the book, a gift I gave to someone, and a gift a received also. I wanted to read the book because of the headlining story. Aron (is that pronounced like Aaron?) has amazing analytical ability. Incredible self-discipline. But I kept waiting for the human heart and soul. The book reveals his Mother’s tenderness, allowing his reactions and small indications of some emotion toward another person that is not connected to some breath-taking climb But other than that, it is all about where he has been and who was with him. I understand the remarks in the book from other climbers, who when he tells of his adventures, they are not excited because they also pick up the superficiality of his stories. At one point in the book I even wondered if it was not a contrived accident. When I read the part where he gets antibiotics by IV at home, I thought of my son when he had leukemia and we did the home IV routine so often that it became ordinary, but I don’t read in Aron’s book an expression of insight to other’s ordeals, ordeals that are “true” fate. In the follow-up at the end of the book it is just more about more physical prowess, more solo-ing. I question a person who “has no regrets” when he set into action so many regrettable things. You can have regrets and still be positive and learn lessons. Learning a lesson does not equal no regrets. By the end of the book the lesson he shares is the same one he thought he acted on when he left his corporate job. In the book in the middle of his ordeal he honors his sister for doing something more with her life than he has, and yet when he survives he keeps on doing the same things he was doing before his remarkable survival. I am awed by his ability to make it out and awed by his self centered activities throughout his life. Early in the book he makes a comment about how much leisure time Americans have, I thought the next sentence would be about how he could not have done so much hiking, climbing, skiing… without that leisure time luxury. But instead of looking at himself, he directs it to tv watchers. I hope his vision of having his own child comes to reality, the efforts and lessons available from being married and raising and loving a child may be the ones that will truly lead him to finding deeper meaning, and a contentment that is not settling for less but finally knowing that to live your dreams you must KNOW your dreams.

  12. The negative comments about Aron going off alone without telling anyone offer a fascinating look into the human tendency to want to “own” and judge other human’s personal actions. (thanks to Kim for the great insight about “ownership”).

    I think a lot of it comes from fear of pain, death and the unknown. people actualy feel somehow offended that someone would tke his life knowingly into his own hands and not tell mommy before he goes out to play!

    Eventually, all of us have to face the great unknown, death, and that’s why people are shocked and offended when someone takes a risk and doesn’t follow the patriarchal, unwritten rules.
    But adults own their own lives and are free to face life and death as their hearts tell them.

  13. I’m not sure about the owning and the judgement, why not caring and using foresight from experience. “take his life into his own hands and not tell mommy…” or risk needlessly causing pain to those who love him. I don’t mean to say he cannot take risk, but the small effort of telling where he was headed in order to afford his family and friends at least that much help, reduces the pain they have when he doesn’t return on time. I am not sure what is “patriarchal and unwritten” It is caring and kind to consider the people who love you before you take off or change plans i.e. note on the windshield. “free to face life and death as their hearts tell them.” I have yet to know or hear of a human whose HEART doesn’t want the people who love them to be cared for.

    I have had a few more thoughts about his life as he told it in his book; Because he was going to constantly be in high risk situations, even though they are of his own seeking, he needed that level of experience when it came to this event, his self centered lifestyle, in a way, saved his physical life and enhanced his spirit. And that is what matters, even if Aron never finds more to life than wowing people with his heart pounding climbs and adventures, it is enough. He is still alive and I wouldn’t want the alternative, he is awesome. Thank Goodness he made it out and was able to share that with us.

  14. I’m just in the proccess of reading the Ralston book and i am simply inspired by his story. to the guy who was complaining about the amount of money Aron has made out of this then put yourself in his shoes; would you not want something posetive to come out of a horrific experience??? i know i would!

  15. Does he not recognize himself that he broke the cardinal rule? Of course he does and clearly expresses his frustration for having done so. All this banter about weather he is cowardly or courageous is moot. Superficial and egotistical or not, we can all be sure he cursed himself just as hard as we would do so for having ignored this rule.
    Criticizing him for a mistake he is well aware of will get us no where and is in the end redundant. We can, and probably will, proceed to call him every name in the book but I am sure they are all names he has already called himself. I do however agree with Robyn in regards to his ability to reflect and hopefully extract a “deeper meaning” than simply learning a valuable lesson. I truly believe there are a lot of experienced adrenaline junkies out there who may have learned something from this too. So it’s positive outcome will always outweigh the negative.

  16. Just finished reading Aron’s book. I’ve been in that canyon before myself, and I question whether I would have the strength to survive such an ordeal. He acknowledges his mistake and has written what really is a motivational book. I’m thrilled this hasn’t kept him from all the adventures that await people in the world. I will always make sure to leave word of my whereabouts with a few people, since I know in the past I didn’t always do so. Doesn’t bother me at all that he profitted from it.

  17. I just finished Mr. Ralstonâ??s book and I must confess, I marveled at his determination and will to survive. I doubt that I could have done the same. Then again, I hope that I never have to, and take the necessary steps to ensure that I donâ??t. Mr. Ralstonâ??s story is a compelling one, but in the end, itâ??s just another example of someone with more balls than brains. Mr. Ralston didnâ??t even have a windbreaker in his backpack, but he managed to pack his CD player, CDs, a video camera, and a digital camera. Not one piece of safety / survival equipment for a long solo hike through canyons and the desert, where a simple slip and fall can have dire consequences. Every guide book and outdoor organization has a simple hikerâ??s checklist. Mr. Ralston writes in his book that he had previously worked as a paid guide. Note to self: never sign up for a trip guided by Aron Ralston.

    I live in New England, and even on a short hike in good weather my pack contains these essentials as recommend by N.H. Fish and Game:
    For Summer Day Hikes:
    The Ten Essentials:
    1. Map
    2. Compass
    3. Warm Clothing
    4. Extra Food and Water
    5. Flashlight or Headlamp
    6. Matches/Fire starters
    7. First Aid Kit/Repair Kit
    8. Whistle
    9. Rain/Wind Jacket and Pants
    10. Pocket Knife
    I also always take a small signal mirror and a 2-way radio. (I can never understand why more hikers donâ??t carry radios). These additional items in total (Aron did have a map, compass, and knife) weigh less than the five pounds of useless junk Aron was hauling and are permanent fixtures in my pack.

    Aron is fortunate to have suffered an upper body injury that produced little blood loss. Had he injured either of his legs, there is a much greater chance he would have perished. Yes, given his resolve and obvious physical strength he likely would have dragged his body out of the canyon, but once exposed to the desert sun and he would have dehydrated much more quickly than in the shady canyon.

    Every year unprepared hikers get lost or stranded in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and N.H. Fish and Game need to drag their dumb asses off a mountain. Now Fish and Game charges reckless hikers:

    Notice: In New Hampshire, if you or anyone in your hiking group acts recklessly — or fails to practice proper preparation as outlined by the hiker responsibility code — resulting in Search and Rescue, you could be liable to pay the costs of your search and rescue mission.

    But these are usually inexperienced hikers, not seasoned veterans like Mr. Ralston, whose sole written regret seems to be not leaving his itinerary. Well, at least he got his CD player back. To bad about the Phish CDsâ?¦

  18. I wondr, for all you people who are putting Aron down; how many of you would be able to saw off your own arm? Even if the situation was your own fault, could you do it? Maybe ask yourself that question first.

  19. I watched the NBC special sometime ago and bought the book for my husband as a gift. I never could understand why he did not finish it. It took me a while to read it myself as I found the show to be gut wrenching; (the book is actually less so). I just finished it this morning.

    I will not put Aron down as I believe merely surviving the five days took intestinal fortititude that I probably myself do not posess; cutting off his arm, well I am fairly certain that I would not be able to.

    However when trying to find the words to say what else I feel about Aron, I think that Robyn and Hubb have put it succinctly. I am very interested in HOW he chooses to solo now; and is he still on that headlong flight into what, (contrary to his words), seems to be a deathwish?

    Yes I do hike, backpack and rockclimb a bit, and I recently did my first solo backpack, a short weekend expedition, I’m almost 47 and have iffy knees at best, so I take extra precautions. I don’t leave without providing a detailed itinerary and map, even backup or changeup plans that I might use. I take both a radio and a cellphone. I carry every single one of those things listed on Hubb’s list, and a few others. I love my trips and alone time greatly, but I love and appreciate my family and friends more.

  20. I’m late getting here…I KNOW I wouldn’t be able to saw off my own arm. Aaron was extremely brave and I think it’s awesome the way he has told his story.

    I’m 54, female and hike several times a week.

  21. Everyone needs to remember that these accidents can stike at anytime. I am a police officer in London, and have seen a small boy (with his family) get his leg trapped between a bridge he was sitting on and the wall, as the tide went out, the bridge lowered trapping him whilst he was watching the New Year celebrations. This child was forced to have his leg amputated with his parents there. He didn’t have much more than a MP3 player with him either…
    The amputation for Aron was HIS choice, due to HIS own actions, for which he will have to deal with for his time…
    This trail for Aron was nothing more strenuous than the planned trip for this child and his family… stop critising him for following his passion… there should be more people like Aron in the world.

  22. I just finished the book.
    LOVED the Book.
    Find it hard to believe anyone wouldn’t.
    The book isn’t about climbing- it’s about having the will to survive.
    He’s hot. Is he into girls?

  23. When I first heard about Aron’s ordeal, I , like most, was amazed to hear about what he had been through. We all wonder whether or not we could have cut off our arm in order to survive. I don’t know if it would have dawned on me that self amputation was an option. I met Aron shortly after his accident, as I am in the medical field, and quickly realized that his surviving was no fluke. Getting pinned by an 800 lb rock is a fluke. Aron was the most determined and focused person I had ever met. At the same time, he is also very personalble, down to earth, kind and considerate. There is no crime in returning to something that you are passionate about, even if you almost died doing it.

  24. Oddly, even as a pagan, the two quotes that come to my mind are, “Judge not, lest ye be judged yourself,” and “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

    Everything happens–or doesn’t–for a reason. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. And Aron was right when he said in his book that he created the exact situation for himself. It was an experience he needed to have for his own spiritual growth. Just because his experience is different than others’ does not give us the right to judge him. Each of us is a current summation of every experience, conversation and idea we’ve had and every person we’ve come in contact with, which is what makes each of us unique and beautiful.

  25. I wouldn’t go so far as saying everything happens for a reason, IT JUST HAPPENS… Aaron Ralston made a mistake, one I’ve made on a few occasions, and not suffered for thankfully. Having read his book I am going to make a far greater effort in future to leave word of my destination and plans. So good luck to him in making a living – by whatever means he has at his disposal!

  26. I’m 2/3rds through Aron’s book and I have passed through the “just another adreneline-crazed yank” phase and am now into the 60+ hours section where the decision is about to be taken to sever the limb. In the last few pages I have come to admire Aron. Yes he was pretty stupid in breaking the Golden Rule – but “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”.
    Who, of any of us, have never, ever done anything as stupid – casting round amongst my outdoor enthusiast friends, not one could claim to be “without sin”.
    Aron paid a high price. Many others have paid the ultimate price.
    This Brit says “well done Aron” – if you get rich on telling the story, it is because the story is worth telling and will enthuse others to stretch beyond what they imagined was possible – and, just maybe, to do so with just a little more planning and forethought.
    The world needs more Arons.

  27. I am 1/2 way through Aron’s book. I have wanted to read this book for nearly 2 years, ever since the article in Outside magazine. But, whenever I found it at a bookstore I didn’t have the money or visa versa, blah-blah-blah…..

    My wife and kids bought it for me for my birthday last week. I just finished reading the chapter where Aron, Mark and Chadwick survived the avalanche. My feelings before I started reading the book were one’s of admiration for Mr. Ralston’s guts and determination to survive. At page 142 I am thinking the man is a total idiot !! Who knows, maybe I’ll have another opinion at page 284.

    I will say I’ve learned one thing in the small amount of the book that I’ve read. In the past I’ve taken off on my own little adventures without telling anyone where I was headed. Nothing quite as dramatic as Aron’s treks. Only some bike riding, geocaching and moderate terrain hiking. But, I did slide 50 yards down a steep hillside one time. Fortunately, I was able to keep my feet under me or I would have tumbled a pretty good distance.

    Never again will I head for the woods without calling my wife or leaving a note. As Aron has clearly shown, things can happen FAST !!

  28. Aron is an incredibly special human being. I’ve gotten to know him these last few weeks, and I’m pretty sure I’m happier knowing him, than anyone who has posted here thus far. Think what you wish, but he is a strong man. I was a college football player, and have been hit very hard by future NFL players, and I don’t have near the will or fortitude as Aron… His writing is also very good, and should be inspirational to all..

  29. Well, five days after my first post (two posts before this one) my opinion has indeed changed completely. I still think Aron did some foolish things at times, but I must say that his courage and will to live are unlike any story I’ve ever read. His ability to think rationally during the entire ordeal is astounding.

    You’ve written a fascinating account of your ordeal, Aron. May God bless you in everything that you do !!

  30. I fail to see what the controversy is here. It’s simply just an interesting story to me. Aron is not a person I have to decide to idolize or demonize. Most of these comments seem to reveal a judgmentalness in our culture that I think is in tself arrogant and worth condemning. People are free to live as they want to, and to make the choices they want to, and, I think, free from the criticism that others feel entitled to about them. This judgmental conceit reveals itself most in the way we judge a person who had done nothing to hurt anyone else; he’s only caused himself irreparable loss. He’s neither a martyr nor a saint. Get over this issue, people. I would rather spend my time around honest people who supply us with all the criticisms about them we can make, than with the rest of you whose sins are not open for debate and yet who take every opportunity to be the judge of everyone else.

  31. As a psychotherapist,I was fascinated by Aron’s perceived acceptance of his decisions and ensuing consequences.His coping skills were amazing!The man rallied on day 6 of his ordeal,when he was basically “done.”Amazing.

  32. Okay, so maybe he should have left a note with his itinerary, but he didn’t. The fact that he survived in spite of this ‘mistake’ should be lauded. I think anyone who is critical of how he behaved is really revealing more about themselves and their own character…who would really have the nerve to do what he did as opposed to just waiting for death to take them? I think most would have lost their minds and perished in a day or two, even those who consider themselves smart climbers.
    I have a question for all the critics out there…how often do you walk out the front door without leaving a detailed note of your plans for every waking minute? What about the chances you are taking just getting behind the wheel of a car? Will your family care if you left a note if you flipped your car in a ditch and were missing for 6 days? No…they will care that you are found safe and sound.
    While it might have been “immature” for Ralston to skip the note, he did display incredible strength and maturity in saving himself. I loved his book, I think he’s a great writer and I hope he keeps hiking, climbing and writing.

  33. I agree. He was great and the fact that he survived is pretty amazing. He definetly should have left a note and i don’t think he is going to go off like that ever again and i just think he should be admired for those nerves of steel. Imagine your pinned down by a 360 kilogram rock and still have the courage and energy to cut your arm after almost 7 days out in the wilderness. I am an admirer and can’t wait until he releases his next book.

  34. I just finished Aron’s book this week after hearing his story several years ago. As many have commented all of us who love the outdoors have been in dangerous situations like rock slides, avalanche danger and lightning however leaving an itinerary is just basic good sense. Still I was impressed with Aron’s mental fortitude to cope and figure out a plan to survive but was disappointed that he still didn’t seem to find purpose in his life beyond self-gratification. His friend was right, “It’s not about what you do but who you are”. Was the lesson learned?

  35. I am not a mountaineer,or anything of that nature, but I am very committed to personal growth. I have just finished reading his book, and I have been telling every one I know about it. What is admirable, and inspiring, is not that he had the accident (and he berates his own stupidity, don’t you think, when he spent 6 days pinned there thinking he was gonna die because of it??)..

    Hugh Grelan, you come across very badly in what you say… Anyone who is inhuman enough to castigate him for making a mistake, has so little compassion and understanding of what it is to be human (obviously has never experienced coming face-to-face with their own inner stuff)… so why would the rest of us even listen to you?
    Get some life experience, grow your heart (and maybe that might mean being off the mountain, I don’t know, but I was absolutely stunned at this reaction)
    Sorry, this is a bit disjointed, but I am outraged!
    Read his book, plus seek to grow a little as a human…

    What is admirable and inspiring (I started to say…) was that when most of us would have given up and despaired and felt it was hopeless, he kept on with an amazingly resilient, hopeful and positive attitude.

    I think that he is a total HERO.. Not for getting into the mess (that makes him totally human and normal… Haven’t you ever made a mistake, Hugh? Is your life so perfect? Perfect job, perfect relationship with every one — including with self and universe/God? perfect money, perfect health, perfect everything? Get real !! You come across as so jealous, mate, it isn’t funny!!), but for keeping his wits about him through agonising pain, boredom, hunger, discofort etc… I bet that you wouldn’t have the inner fortitude or understanding/heart to do half so well, Hugh..

    Anyway, about Aron — he is awesome.

  36. I am not a mountaineer, but you don’t have to be to be completely inspired by Aron’s book. Nearly all of us have made decisions that had terrible consequences, but it is how we deal with those consequences that indicates the quality of our character. Somehow Aron’s book makes us want to reach for more in our own lives. In fact I have his book listed as one of my favorites on My Space. If you’re needing inspiration read Between a Rock and a Hardspace.

  37. I read the book, and I’m genuinely baffled how people find his story positive and inspirational. He seems completely propelled by narcissism, straining to prove with every story that he’s “extreme” and “hardcore” enough. He recounts recklessly causing an avalanche that almost kills his friend, without a hint of guilt or regret – closer to a veiled boast about how dangerous and macho he is. If someone feels like taking unreasonable risks because that pumps up their ego, that’s their prerogative, but we shouldn’t be celebrating them when the inevitable happens.

  38. I heard about Aron’s story in the news back in 2003 but I have only just started reading ‘Between a Rock and a Hard Place’. Firstly, I need to state that I am full of admiration for his courage and determination that he demonstrated in that horrific situation. I would also agree with many others in this thread that he broke some cardinal rules and made some dubious decisions leading up to that situation – but it wasn’t the first time he’d screwed up viz. Teton bear stalking incident, jumping into the Colorado River at Havasupai. But that’s not the point. The reason that his story resonates with so many lies in the question “What would I do if I was in his position?” I’m not sure what I would have done.

  39. I think think the guy is very brave to cut his arm off.
    Iam puzzled by one thing however, when he jumped into the Colorado River he said that he lost his shoes. In the photograph with his sister he is wearing shoes???????

  40. Say what you will about Aron and his will to survive, but please do not forget this reckless man almost cost the lives of two of his friends. When you put others in danger for your own enjoyment, you are an idiot in my mind.

  41. Well, i have read all the comments. Controversial personage he is indeed; it is why the comments swing from one extreme to the other… Didn’t like 07.10.06 though. What is wrong about Amerika? If it happened in my country, the guy would be sure dead because of our bad medical services. Also i can not see anything wrong in him making money. How else do you think an one-armed guy can make money? He has lived through terror and survived which makes him an extraordinary person we admire. It has nothing to do with the avalanch story or with any other stories about him. All of us have some good and bad stories, right? Most important is to learn the lesson.

  42. Bought the book in Moab a couple days ago while I was on my own solo adventure in the canyon lands area for 7 days. I read the book in two days (couldn’t put it down). I would like to contat Aron but can’t find his website…
    Amazing story! I plan to visit Blue John to experience the spot where the chockstone is.
    Mountain Biker, backpaker, climber, hiker, adventurist, expeditionist.

    Welcome to your new life Aron! Thanks for the very entertaining and moving story of your struggle. I’m happy you solved the problem.

  43. I agree with Greg’s thoughts too. Its true that Aaron should have let someone know,so he made a mistake and who doesn’t make mistakes? What he did shows that he is a person of great mental strength. Also, despite being in a harrowing situation like that he could still keep himself calm and take the decision of separating his arm without cutting the main arteries! Do you even realise what must have gone through him and how much pain and agony he must have suffered? I guess when you madly love the outdoors you sometimes make mistakes but you learn from them and in some cases you pay a heavy price for that. But to go on and not give up is something to be admired!

  44. I don’t mind Aron making money with his book, I see no immoral part in that. Of course it is not smart to hike alone and not letting anyone know where you go but everybody makes mistakes including this one.
    To all the people who despise Aron for publishing his book I must say that I find it good to read a story that makes me remember just how important it is to tell people where I go before wandering off. If that has saved one life then the book was all worth it.

  45. me and my fourth hour class watched a movie about what happened and it was horrbile

  46. Regarding the Aron Ralston saga:

    Well said Will 7/28; and Greg too, with a bit of vitriol throw accurately in- 8/26. Kim, you make a fine point re. the rescuers ill-conceived arguments- 7/28.

    As for you Hugh, (7/10) you and your ilk are beneath contempt!

  47. Here I am again. I fired off my first entry after reading only the first set of comments. I’ve since read the whole lot, and now am inspired to make a further point.
    This issue of “The Cardinal Rule” is beginning to really grate. Whose “Cardinal Rule?” It certainly wasn’t John Muir’s, or Shipton and Tilman’s. I don’t deign to join myself too closely to these great nature lovers and explorers, but it certainly isn’t my “Rule” either. People enter wild nature for a variety of reasons, and of course, with differing levels of expertise. It’s difficult to express, but a more subtle point is that people have different relationships to nature. We should not let the fact that the majority of us live, and travel within the sad constraints of a linear, point A to B mindset blind us to the possibility of greater freedom.
    When I go into the mountains (often alone) for an extended trip, I don’t plan much beyond the first pass I cross. Set trails are anathema to me and my friends, and if my loose intention is to explore the headwaters of several drainages, I need to be able to choose from among a multitude of possible peaks to climb and passes to cross, both for enjoyment and for safety. Moreover, if I happen across a herd of Dall Sheep, or a mother Grizzly Bear frolicking in the snowfields with her cubs- or if a big storm happens across me- you can bet my plans will be altered. I can easily adjust my meals to last for between 6 and 10 days on a short trip, and a 10 day trip can easily stretch into 15, and so on. And if I fish and forage more- trips can be extended longer still. So the paths I travel, and the time I stay in often change significantly. And this is not exceptional- this is the norm for for many mountaineers, and most explorers. This supposed “Cardinal Rule” is a complete non-issue for all but inexperienced weekenders…. okay, that’s a slight exaggeration- sorry.
    I’ve done this for nearly 30 years, on 4 continents, up peaks and glaciers, and the only two incidents involving blood and bones were dealt with easily without help.

    Some of us get out into the mountains just to be there, not to accomplish anything more- or less- than that. If you read the tail end of chapter 4 in Aron Ralston’s book you will see that he is coming into this sense of “belonging” to the mountain country he travels in. I reckon that soon he will be beyond “the cardinal rules.”

  48. it must have taken much courage to cut off your own arm.. i respect that courage.. screw u all who hate him fo making profits.. so what if he does get money and publicity.. would u all done the same?

  49. The guy is a wanna-be extremo fool from Ohio that read one too many ” Into Thin Air’ books and never bothered to figure out basic outdoor understanding. Like, don’t pull on a boulder that stuck in a slot canyon, simple common sense, but apparently difficult for suburban cityslickers to comprehend.

    He profited off his stupidity. Its not a question of telling someone where you are going, but a question of understanding your surroundings. This is something I notice Americans lack. They read about a place and then go there thinking they know everything, esp eastcoasties.

  50. That’s what he was, an inexperienced weekend worrior, Ian. I doubt you go out on a 10 day trip without telling anyone your general itinerary, at least in a casual conversation. He told no one.

    Mountaineers have a great amount of preperation and planning that they undergo, since they are often in remote areas for extended time.

    I don’t beleive in a cardinal rule other than leave no trace, but common sense dictates informing of your general plans.

  51. Jimbo, can’t wait to read your book, because your arrogance will hopefully bring you to some very interesting place where you can work through your own shite.
    I finished Aron’s book minutes ago and found it to be among one of the most gripping accounts of what it means to be a human animal. Forget all your technicalities and nit-picking and focus on what went through his spirit in those 6 days as he came to the point of spiritual surrender and then, so amazingly, of coming back to life. It is one of the most core themes of all human storytelling, and one of the most powerful- that is why I am thankful to Aron for telling it so beautifully and speaking of it to as many as can hear it.

    And, by the way, I thought he showed quite a lot of remorse and humility over the avalanche incident and was sad that his companions on that misadventure never spoke with him again, I wonder if they have yet?

  52. spoken like a chick, ‘focus on his feelings, his spirit, he came back to life’.
    I know a little more about the incident than you, I’m from the town he’s claiming
    now. And in Aspen he’s a joke. Except to the foolish little girls. Why do you think
    his web page is gone, because he’s laughed at by people in the know. Sorry.

  53. After reading all your these post ( i’m shocked that i went through each one) I only have to say one thing, when push come to shove, all mistakes aside, what he did took personal strength. And to all those folks out there taking life into their own hands and taking charge of hard situations, Bravo!!!! Keep up the work!

    The consequences we face after each decision we make are our own, and him sharing his, allows many to not make mistakes that he did. That means his mistakes paid off in a positive way for someone else.

    I’m 1/2 way through the book, and so far, though I wish there was more description of his agony, (maybe it’s later to come) the fact that he is strong willed and strong minded, is fascinating.

    He’s a joke to some and an idol to other, but at the end of the day, he is what he is. I wish I had the strength and clarity of mind he has, and the courage to take action when the options are very very bleak.

  54. One more thing, how often do people go out the door, even if it’s to the movies, or to dance, or to meet a friend and never come back? Many times we don’t think twice about telling people where we go, even in safe conditions, and then, people wind up missing, so please, Cardinal Rule my ass.

  55. Many interesting posts. I always find it interesting how easily some pass judgment on others, and criticize without ever having known the subject of their intense scrutiny. And too, I wonder if that same level of scrutiny is directed inward with equal forceâ?¦ in a balanced effort to discover and contemplate oneâ??s own faults, errors and shortcomings. The anger and passion evident in some of these posts unwittingly indicts the writerâ??s character far more than their subjectâ??s.

    The biblical wisdom admonishing against throwing the first stone seems lost on some. The only perfect entity entitled to toss that first stone is nature herselfâ?¦ and in this case, she already did.

  56. Some of us don’t read the bible.
    People, don’t assume everyone has an American suburban Walmart education, blinding believing all that the glowing box that is television informs you.
    Ba ba went the bleating sheep.

  57. Jimbo.. Most fairly literate adults are familiar with key passages from many literary works, including some within the Bible. That you are unfamiliar with such a widely known verse suggests that your education might also be brought into question. While I applaud your passion, your apparent arrogance strikes me as disproportionate the quality of your insight. Your inability to engage in respectful dissent with others minimizes the value of the opinions you share. I’m afraid you have a lot of growing up ahead of you my friend.

  58. Dear Jimbo,

    Look where you have taken us in this supposed mountaineering journal– we are out in leftfield! Sorry to insert an American idiom , as it will no doubt gall your well-developed xenophobia.
    In fact Jimbo, I question whether anything in you is well-developed yet? If indeed you are the 16 or 17 years old youth that you appear in print, than there is nothing to worry about- you’ll pass through your confused sophomoric phase with the easy passage of time just like we all did. But try to give the journaling public a rest from these sad punitive lashings of your serpenty tongue, or at the very least, get your input back onto the mountaineering track for Christ’s sake! (I threw Him in for Your sake Jimbo.)
    While I choose to neither lionize or demonize Aron, when I read of his winter climbing trips I knew that he was certainly not a rank beginner in the mountains. The peaks in the San Juans and the Sangres are set in pretty rugged country, and Capitol is a fine peak! I applaud his winter skiing and climbing trips in those ranges more than I do his arm-removing adventure.

    ….understanding your surroundings. This is something I notice Americans lack. They read about a place and then go there thinking they know everything, esp eastcoasties.

  59. Ian again,

    Sorry for the last two lines that inadvertendly slipped in without explanation. They aren’t mine, but from one of our Jimbo’s many diatribes.

    I was going to use them as a sorry example of his stereotyped view of the world, in this case “American” and “eastcoasties,” but then I lost interest in the project. But since they slipped in, let me just say that they are among the evidence that support my assumption that Jimbo is an angry young man who would do better – as others have kindly noted- to use all his energy to reflect inward, rather than to spew forth at Aron Ralston, et. al.

    I apologize for keeping us off the mountain track again.

  60. Iâ??m not sure why Iâ??m investing my time and energy writing this. Evidence suggests the result wonâ??t be worth the effort. But at 53, I still occasionally make bad decisions. To wit:

    Jimbo: The following is designed for you to cut and paste into your next post. It is the way a mature adult handles a situation like the one youâ??ve created here. It conveys your insight and respect, as well as a productive and humble attitude acquired through years of experience sharing this world with others. It speaks volumes about the person you will hopefully grow to be. For all the seemingly cowardly and juvenile posts youâ??ve placed here, I wonder if you have the courage to stand up like a real, mature man…. you might find it to be the most liberating thing youâ??ve ever attempted.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    Fellow Ralston Bloggers:

    Ok, Iâ??ve been duly called to the matt for the comments Iâ??ve made here. Iâ??ve given this some thought and realized that -at the very least- itâ??s a distraction and departure from the spirit in which most of you have written. I donâ??t know where my antagonistic side comes from, but I have to admit it got the best of me here. Aarrggg. Thatâ??s hard to say.

    Since I live in the same town as Aaron, and have developed my own personal feelings about him both as mountaineer and a man, I suppose I felt more qualified than most to make the statements I did. In retrospect however, I see that I did so in way that disrespected the insights shared by others. I certainly could have spoken my mind without diminishing the opinions of others at the same time. That I chose not to do so is a mistake I plan to learn from. For all of this, I do apologize. Climb onâ?¦ Jimbo.

  61. Ian posts:
    “I apologize for keeping us off the mountain track again.”
    I concur with Ian and likewise apologize to the list.

    I originally fell upon this list looking for additional information about Aaron after reading his book. I wanted to write him and share my appreciation for his work, as I often do after reading something I enjoy. Behind the words of any text is a living, breathing human being… very likely more interesting, complex -and perhaps more like ourselves- than the written word conveys. In reading his book, I found myself as interested in the actual experience as I was in the nature of Aaron himself.

    My impressions evolved as I moved through the book, from an initial one of carelessness and egomania to something deeper, more difficult to categorize with simple and perhaps prejudicial labels. It was his questioning about his own motivations and decisions that led me to think differently as I read. I saw a progression of thought and growth.

    What is careless or insane to some, is passion and freedom to another. The story of Chris McCandless, â??Into The Wildâ? comes to mindâ?¦. Insane by my standards, certainly not by his. What drove Aaron to approach his outdoor adventures the way he did is, in the end, an expression of who he is and how he fulfilled his passion. I have to acknowledge that the risk of death wasnâ??t the goal, but an element of the experience he was driven to have in the outdoors.

    We each have a different threshold for risk. Aaronâ??s is far higher than my own. Mine is higher than my motherâ??s. It is impossible to say that one is right… or that minimizing all risk through careful planning and execution is the only approach we should accept as reasonable.

    Admittedly, there are holes Iâ??m overlooking. The cost for rescue when the risk one takes leads to the involvement of others. The emotional cost to family and friends. The cost to taxpayers when one is permanently disabled. And too, had Aaron scaled Longâ??s Peak in the winter wearing nothing more than a diaper, carrying a Sponge Bob lunch pailâ?¦ well, some risks must clearly be deemed outside of human reason. While I donâ??t think this was one of them, Iâ??d be willing to bet that Aaronâ??s personal threshold for risk was lowered a degree or two by this experience.

    Sorry Tom…. The entertaining ‘Flame War’ may be drawing to an end! 😉

  62. Les, no need to be sorry! I’m glad this post thread can be used as a venue for people to discuss Aron Ralston and his book. Hopefully the discussion will carry on…

  63. Not yet. You people are too easy. Les, I don’t only live in Aspen but was born there and we’ve been there for several generations, didn’t just move there. My guess is your from the eastcoast and like all eastcoasties you know everything.
    Have fun with that one.

  64. Never been to the East Coast, Jim…. I’ve lived in Fort Collins, Colorado for the past 30 years. And no, the older I get, the less I know. I do know that the thoughts I’ve shared here -for the most part- were well-intentioned and without malice toward those with differing opinions.

    I do acknowledge that they are simply my impressions from the limited information available to me and that I do not possess the wealth of knowledge and experience that has come from your upbringing in the Aspen area. You are obviously more qualified to provide astute analysis than others who have posted here, including myself. With that acknowledgement on my part, there is little more for me to contribute.

    Thank you the enlightenment youâ??ve provided to the rest of us here. I leave here better informed than when I arrived, and have only you to thank for that. Cheers!

  65. asm here:

    I am half way through Ralston’s book and also came upon this site while looking for more information about Aron. I have learned a great deal reading the thoughts posted here (including the emotional postings which has crept in here more recently) These posts have helped me to clarify and shift my thoughts about one’s own responsibilities, my judgements about Aron (it is in our nature to make judgements – but, we should temper them with insight) as well as my feelings about myself. (Thank you for enabling them to be shared!)

    But, as is most often the case, rarely do black and white generalizations apply. We are all blinded by our assumptions.

    First, I am impressed by any person who fights for their survival, weither it be physical or mental, and surpasses what they knew they could accomplish. There is no more honorable and brave act than to surpass yourself. I am extremly impressed by Aron.

    Second, I agree with several posters, one who said something along the lines of “we are responsible for ourselves” and another who said, essentially, that one does not leave a loved one in the dark. I feel we should do both as often as we can.

    Personally, life has thrown me horrendous challenges to overcome (still fighting some) and it is always rewarding to hear of another individual who has fought hard and survived – although his fight was very differnt than my own, the will to get through it is awe inspiring in me.

    BTW – I am an eastcoaster, who lived on the west coast for a long time, now lives again on the east coast and recongnizes that there are many different cultures in our country. None the less, generalizations almost never apply to individuals, again, our world, nature, emotion, maturity is not black and white, and neither is aron’s story.

    His story is ausome in the true sense of the word.

    asm

  66. Tom is a hater. The incident would have happened whether people knew where he was or not. People make mistakes. I’m an avid hiker and climber and before reading his book there were a couple of times I didn’t know where I was going until I was there. I wouldn’t back off a mountain because I had no cell service to let someone know. These days I would because of Aron’s story. The important part of the story is not how he got into the situation but the courage he had to get out. Think about how hard it would be to cut your own arm off and the climb to safety and survive. Amazing.

  67. I’ve just come across this board while searching for a little more info; I’m 200 pages into the book, it’s Monday and people are just starting to notice he’s not around.

    Like a previous poster, I’ve been sort of gobsmacked throughout the book by the chances Aron took and the foolhardy decisions he made. Let me say from the outset I’m not a regular hiker; I have got into some situations inadvertently that were dangerous, but Aron seems to want to be lauded for “scapes” that put him at risk; going downriver on a day when it was too rough to take out paying parties, and he goes in a child’s inflatable? Making a bad decision on a mountain that nearly killed himself and two of his friends, one of whom he says he respects for his mountaineering abilities, more than just about anyone else, and who subsequently doesn’t speak to him again? Jumping fully-clothed into a river and nearly drowning? Waving his arms at a bear (I’m from Europe – no bears – but when hiking in Banff I knew enough to make noise and not aggravate bears if I saw one). He seems to have been an adrenalin junkie, getting himself into situations with disregard for his safety. I admire his fortitude, I admire the courage it took to extricate himself from the situation, and I’m aware that I haven’t finished the book yet. Having not come to this part yet though, I’m also surprised that he took photos after the amputation and on his descent – personally (and again I’m aware that not having been in that situation all one can do is speculate) I don’t think I’d be stopping for photos. Some of his attitude does seem to be showing off; having said that, I wish him every luck and congratulate him on his fitness and endurance – I just hope by the end of the book he’ll be a bit more circumspect about his safety. I think the previous escapades show more disregard for his safety than not leaving a note; (also it hasn’t been mentioned in the book yet – but would it not make a lot of sense as a regular hiker/mountaineer to carry a radio or sat phone?)

  68. Hi Riam,

    First, I appreciate the fact that unlike this hyper-critical “Jimbo” creature- who is almost certainly a 300 pound couch potato who spends his days roaring obscenities at the athletes on T.V. – you state early in your note that you are “not a regular hiker.” By extension, might we assume that you not an avid mountaineer or river runner either? That’s fine, and I agree with you that Ralston forces his “extremism” to a fault, and that the motivation of anyone who is publicly trying to be the first one to do this or that is suspect, but he is out there doing some serious mountaineering and skiing. These are inherently risky undertakings, and the risks are well understood by those of us who do these things.

    I for one, do not not enjoy climbing for the risks involved, and I am deeply saddened each time I learn of the death of a fellow climber, (read a truly excellent book on the subject: “Moments of Doubt” by climber David Roberts). Of course, there are people who revel in the adrenaline rush; I did some of my early rock climbing with a guy who every so often would shout out in his exuberance: “I’M LOOKING AT DEATH BETWEEN MY LEGS!!!” My friend Doug was all of 16 at the time. I went in for a bit of that, but with a wife and two little boys to love, I now tend to avoid or minimize risks when it’s possible. The Aron Ralston we are reading about is closer to the first of those stages of life, and as a serious mountaineer and skier, he is still exploring his potential. That said, I have to wonder at the judgement that gets Ralston into trouble so bleeding often, e.g.: “…I went on a month-long streak of climbing fourteeners…., with close calls on all of them.”).

    The point I intended to make, and have taken, so bloody long to get around to is this: since back-country climbing or skiing high in the mountains is inherently risky, if you are doing it often you know that sooner or later you will be tested by the elements. Now when that happens and you survive it well- as Ralston does for example in the couloir of South Maroon Bell (pg. 144-145)- you are bound to be exuberantly grateful. You cannot completely erase the risks without completely giving up your passion, and in doing so you run the risk of becoming a bit like our “Jimbo,” sinking deeper and deeper into the couch, hand welded to the remote, ever more vain and bitter, and snapping out at the world like a turtle… There’s my twice two cents.
    Cheers, Ian.

    p.s. Oh and Riam, as for bears in Eurpe, they are still hanging on in Spain and Austria, doing well enough in Italy, Greece, Slovenia and Croatia, and there are large populations left in Bulgaria and Romania; they are even beginning to move back into Southern Germany and Switzerland. Hope they come into your land too, they are truly beautiful creatures! (though not without risks, as with many of life’s highlights! )

  69. Just finished Aron’s book and found this post while trying to find an update on how and what he’s doing these days. I think it is pretty safe to assume that during the time of Aron’s entrapment he had plenty of time to hash over almost every aspect of what has been posted up to this point. Yes he didn’t tell anyone where he was going , but for an experienced person like him it would be like telling our spouse what route we plan on taking while going for a five mile jog on city streets. He wasn’t in s super high risk environment, however he languished at not telling anyone where he was and even kicked himself for not using a credit card closer to the trailhead. I respect him and can appreciate the fact he wrote about his story. The fact that he is making money certainly does not compensate for the fact he is now missing a limb.. What is your right arm worth to you..? I am so glad I picked up his book and now after over 15 years I am getting back into climbing and hiking and only wish I had someone with his know-how and fortitude to hike with. I also agree that he has taken some risks and put himself in harms way, but haven’t we all…? I think that his young age definatley were contributing factors to his foolhardiness (the stupidest thing I ever did was free had a 200 foot shale wall when I was 15) but we all grow up and make wiser decisions based on our lives, ie. kids, wives, jobs etc.
    I wish Aron and any other individuals whom are brave enough to walk away from society occasionally to rejoin nature in any way all the best in the world!

  70. Hmmm, just finished reading most of the posts here and it took me until Bob to get what I consider a balanced view – noting it is my opinion – something we are all entitled too. We all make mistakes and we all seek different types of experiences out of life – that is what makes the world go around – I am sure we all know a Jimbo!
    Regardless of your view I think anyone who touches Aron’s story benefits in one way or another – how many people have perished from dehydration and not been able to tell the story of their feelings and reactions going through the process? How many people have had to make a decision with such finality of cutting off a limb and survive to tell of their thoughts that pushed them to such a task? In some ways through Aron we have been able to experience an extreme circumstance from the comfort of our living room.
    Do I have the fortitiude to do what Aron did – don’t know and hope I never find out!
    As Les suggested above climb on

  71. Ian, thanks for your post, gives me a little more to think of now that I’ve read the book.

    I suppose at the end of the day, if I was trapped on a mountain (or in a canyon) I’d prefer to have an Aron than a Jimbo with me and I suppose that speaks volumes!

    I know we have some bears in Europe; I haven’t done any hiking in the areas where they are and so my only encounters were in Canada. Not likely to end up where I am though – I should have clarified that I’m in an area of Europe where there are no bears and probably never will be, although obviously there are plenty further afield!

    Ian, thanks for giving me something to mull over, and for your eloquent post.

  72. I don’t know if I could have been able to do what he did to get out. But, we all make calculated choices everyday, and so long as we are the ones to pay the price so be it. His story has told of other choices he made that went wrong and he got away with them, this one cost him a lot and just maybe it gave him more than he could ever have gotten if had not happened. If you sit back and do nothing then you’ll never know what could have been. He deserves his due for his courage and ability to stay focused under all of the stress. Only Aron can truly judge what he has done and accept the responsibillity for his actions or in actions.

  73. I read two harrowing books last year: “Touching the Void” By Joe Simpson, and “Between a Rock and A Hard Place,” by Aron Ralston. I admire both people in both books. I’m not a mountaineer of any kind, but after reading these posts, I can see how books like “Aron can really touch nerves. I’m totally blind, and I know people who the thought of putting on a blindfold and trying to manage under it for a couple of hours would send into the stratosphere. Aron made mistakes-as we all do-and, thankfully he lived to tell us about them. There are others-I think of Chris McCandlace-who didn’t live to tell about his. I’m sure Aron has had plenty of time to thrash through all his “what-ifs” and “why didn’t I’s”, but the final analysis is, he’s getting on with his life minus and arm and making a good living at it too. I don’t recall him pleading for anyone’s sympathy. It’s just his story, what happened to him, and he told it to us, for good or ill. I’m just glad he survived to be able to embrace the people who are really important in his life.

  74. I found this site while trying to learn of updates, as others have commented. I finished reading his book a couple of days ago. Disclaimer: I’m not a climber. I agree that he makes much of his daring adventures up to the point of Moab, but what I got from the book was that Moab was a turning point for him. Bragging about past accomplishments that may have been not so smart, and acknowledging that he used to court danger, aren’t exactly the same thing. He admits that he’s managed to create the ultimate adventure; he also admits (several times) that he was wrong in not letting anyone know where he was.

    I found the book by turns harrowing, poetic, and inspiring. For being educated as a mechanical engineer, he’s a surprisingly eloquent writer. I found the photos in the book very hard to look at, especially when contrasted with photos of him in health and happiness. The photo in particular that was taken post-amputation shows someone who’s been through hell and come out the other side.

    It could be that he has capitalized on his experience, but as someone else said, how much money is the loss of a limb worth? What’s it worth to realize that you’ve been going about it all carelessly and with foolhardiness? If this hadn’t happened to him, there would have been no book; did you see where the woman wrote to him and told him that she had the will to live after reading his book, when she had been hoarding her late husband’s sleeping pills with intent of committing suicide after becoming a widow? I don’t think he is mindless of the weight of the experience, and in my opinion it started a ripple effect through which he was able to reach others in a way he might not have been before the accident. Not such a bad thing.

    Overall, he seems like a person I’d like to meet and have a conversation with. The same can’t be said of all celebrities, whether their fame is carefully cultivated or thrust upon them. Then again, this is my opinion, and worth exactly what you paid for it.

  75. So Aron will be 33 years old on Oct 27th, and it has been just over 5 years since his ordeal. Where is he? Is he motivational speaking and continuing to live his life outdoors?

  76. Whoever says that this guy isn’t “hardcore” has absolutely no idea what he/she is talking about. Tell me how many of you would break your bone and then cut through your tissue with a dull pocketknife and a multipurpose tool? I know I wouldn’t. Just ponder over what I’ve said, seriously think about this one. How many of you wouldn’t just sit there and die?

  77. I just finished his book this afternoon…and after reading it I am inspired to do MORE exploring of this wonderful world we live in. And to all the HATERS out there posting negative things about Aron….I would have to say your comments make it sound as if you are a bit jealous you don’t have the same story to tell. Foolish as it may be to do some of the things he did without leaving some sort of note to where he was, the truth remains…we all do it on some level. Most of us get away with it to live another day. Others just do nothing with thier life…passing judement on others…wishing their own life was as interesting as those we read about. Yet in reality those of you who jude others..are probably the same pople that die a little each day on the inside from lack of ambition and most of all…ORIGINAL THOUGHTS.

  78. I just finished the book this morning. I put off reading this book for 2 years because I thought the guy was an idiot. I still felt that way half way through, but now that I finished it , watched the Brokaw piece, and reflect. I think I was mad at him for making that one mistake at the wrong time. He didn’t tell anyone where he was going. He was excited because he was leading and exciting life and didn’t think in this instance. (very unlike many of our drab suburban lives) It scares us because we’ve (people who love he outdoors and exloring this beautiful world) all made that mistake and got away with it. Aron made that same mistake, didn’t get away with it (well he lived) and we feel we wouldn’t have made it out and it scares the shit out of us, because we know we wouldn’t have been able to saw off our arm, we would have died on the spot.
    Shawn(above) thanks for saying what I feel albeit more eloquently.
    Get off your computer and live life!!!

  79. ps, I have a wife and kids now and always tell my wife my route, even on a 3 mile walk. People like Aron need to share their stories to educate others. I ‘m guessing Aron ALWAYS leaves a note now.

  80. I can’t imagine ANYONE with a serious outdoor adventure jones who hasn’t made a mistake like Aron’s. I just finished the book and was discussing it with my husband. We admitted we are “pretty smart” in the wilderness but could have been caught b/c of insufficient backups several times. After reading this book, we’ll try and do better. But sometimes it also comes down to taking an opportunity or passing on what may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience because it doesn’t fall into perfect safety parameters.

    I remember free-diving solo in the out islands of the Bahamas because I discovered an awesome reef and had NO ONE to share it with but my 77 year old mother (I left her on shore). I took the risk. Glad I did. Sometimes living the way you want to live does not include conforming with OSHA.

    It seems to me that the significant part of Aron’s story is NOT that he made a mistake, but the courage and discipline he demonstrated in dealing with the consequences of that mistake.

  81. I canâ??t imagine ANYONE with a serious outdoor adventure jones who hasnâ??t made a mistake like Aronâ??s.

    Sometimes living the way you want to live does not include conforming with OSHA.

    It seems to me that the significant part of Aronâ??s story is NOT that he made a mistake, but the courage and discipline he demonstrated in dealing with the consequences of that mistake.

    Totally agree.

  82. it’s a fascinating story. i’m sure he would much rather have those 6 days AND his arm back, rather than tell the tale. he foolishly did not tell anyone where he was going, what he was doing. that should pretty much be the message of his cautionary tale (that, and always carry a sharp knife with yee!). he’s entitled to talk about it and profit from it. i’d rather have all my appendages than piles of money.

  83. I’ve been reading the book and Aron comes across as an egotistical adreneline junkie. Initially that turned me off. I thought it was ironic that his worst injury happened on what should have been one of his safer exploits! I kept reading anyway, and after thinking about his life decisions, I came to the realization he’s wiser than I. Most of us report to the same job every day and only think about what we’d rather be doing with our lives, whether that involves climbing mountains or something else. Rock on Aron and others who follow their passion! I haven’t finished the book yet, but I suspect Aron considers losing a limb an acceptable price to pay for doing what he loves.

  84. I just finished reading Aron’s book and like several of you I questioned his judgment and thought he was an arrogant bastard who thought only of himself, I was wrong. After finishing the book and seeing bits of the Dateline story, I realized how much I admire him for not only surviving his ordeal in the canyon but of his decision to live his passion.
    So, thinking more about his decision to go out on his own etc… I think of a favorite poem which summarized, says â??everyone’s raft is going to flip, it is how you deal with that flip that mattersâ?. Aron definitely dealt with his flip in a brave and admiral way!! I will use Aron as an example on how to deal with my flips with grace and determination

  85. I also read his book and I do admire his courage and will to survive. I can also appreciate his moments of self realization. He realized his own arrogance and selfishness. This is a part of growth and stepping out of one’s world and actaully seeing that you were wrong in your choices ; that your actions have a direct impact on the lives of others. For me, I’ve taken risks, I’m not w/o fault, but I grew up and luckily I never hurt anyone…but I could have. Now I calculate my risks, whether it’s in my car, at work as a ICU nurse or out side. I am safe, I value life, I try to preserve it…I also want to keep my limbs and parts!

  86. I know from experience that it is always good to tell someone where you are going before you go on a hike. I hiked for about to years carelessly, without telling people where I was going, without bringin a lighter, etc. and finally the odds stacked up on me. When I was 13 years old, in 2006, I couldn’t get back before dark so I had to spend the night. As tempuratures dropped to 0 degrees faranheit, I almost died. It made headline news all over utah. Needless to say, these things will happen if you are careless. But, regardless, people hike all the time without leaving there whereabouts, and in some cases-such as this, and in mine-you get incredibly bad luck. Sometimes it just takes learning a lesson the hard way to teach you.

  87. OMFG! I almost turned the channel to (yet another) Friends re-run…I even had “ckicker” in hand…and decided to stop when his (Aron Ralston) story came on. On E! show entitled, CHEATING DEATH: 15 INCREDIBLE SURVIVAL STORIES <—copied and pasted from charter.net)

    …then I hit the internet to find out more and find this link, BERATING him for telling his story!!?? Who cares if he’s doing beer commercials? What beer was it? Will I like it??!!

    Geez Louise…is there anyone who knows this story (albeit a minute fraction, as in my case) who thinks THEY could’ve done what he did…

    ????????

    I’m thinking someone will be reading the note I scrawled on the boulder next to my BONES!! Amazing AMAZING story! I wish I could MEET him!!

    **and just to give some input into who I am to say this? Here is my demographic: I am female, aged 38, only just, “happy birthday to me” 🙂 …who was raped and beaten and strangled/left for dead several years ago…thankfully I was knocked unconscious, so I don’t have to remember much…(but I digress)

    …….leave the guy alone!!

    He’s an amazing person and has an amazing story to tell…let him!

  88. First a all for some reason it seems Jimbo has a lot of pent up anger. To judge someone without providing any reason for you not to be judged seems slightly hypocritical. To say that someone is inexperienced when that someone has climbed all the 14K peaks in Colorado (in dead winter even), most of which he had done before the accident. I would like to know what you consider experienced. With that being said, Aron definitely seems a bit reckless but has a passion for getting the most out of life, I wish I had that same level of passion.

  89. Dude. For you to knock Aron for being foolhardy is totally wrong. Of course he was…by his OWN admission. And he paid the ultimate price for it. Are we not all human? So for you to judge him smacks of superiority and a “Holier than Thou” attitude. DO NOT lump ALL climbers in with your views.

    Aron was and STILL is a passionate climber. His book was an inspiration, and he has single handedly(no pun intended) probably saved hundreds of lives with his story. He has become the poster boy for the importance of proper hiking guidelines. Of telling people where you plan to hike and/or carrying a gps device.

    He PAID the price, and has EARNED the right to tell his story, become a public speaker OR do beer commercials as you so condescendingly pointed out.

    Aron made a mistake that day in Utah. He has admitted that. WHO THE HELL are YOU to bash him? Aron has already bashed himself for it and in a powerful, poetic and inspiring way. He has probably influenced more climbers and future climbers than you EVER will. So get off your high horse buddy.

    Stating the obvious and judging somebody who has already judged himself and lost a limb for it is absurd. He more than you has communicated to other climbers.

  90. The term “only once” comes to mind. I’m willing to bet the percentage of us that “once” went out into the wild alone is pretty close to the number of people that “once” got behind the wheel and having had too much to drink. Let’s not throw stones from glass houses. He made a mistake, lost a hand, escaped death, owed up to his mistake and is going on with his life.

    Aron haters: How long should he pay for losing his own hand? And since beer commercials and writing a book are exploiting his accident, what rules should Aron’s future employment follow? Thus far we’ve got no commercials, no public speaking, no writing? Seems a bit harsh deciding how somebody can earn a living no?

    What makes Aron’s story remarkable is that he avoided becoming a darwin award winner. Those that bought this book are comparing themselves to Aron. Could I have cut my own arm off? Could I have survived until rescue? I’m quite certain my carcass would have fed some Utah wildlife.

    As far as profiting off the mistake, it’s his tale to tell, and he only earned money because people like you and I bought it. So guy bitching about profit, I hope you you have a library card? Factoring in the rescue AND the long term medical care required for an amputation AND the fact that a loose 800 pound boulder took his hand, I find it really hard to call whatever money the book we’re discussing brought in “profiting”.

  91. Isn’t America great!~ You can make millions by screwing up. Greenspan, Bush, and Aron. Who says it doesn’t pay to be stupid. Got to love it.

  92. That you would twist this man’s experience into a political statement reveals your own stupidity, disregard for the theme of this thread, lack of insight into the varied richness of the human condition, and most of all an arrogance hinting at a misguided and over-rated superiority over others of different opinions and life experiences. America is great, but not for the sarcastic observation you chose to post here. It is great because opionions of all can be voiced without persecution. Your mistake is the forum in which you chose to share your own. There are an abundance of politically-themed websites in which it is appropriate to share views of this nature. This is not one of them… Wise up.

  93. He definetly had the guts to do that… I think anyone who was in that same situation would have done something similuar…

  94. I guess the biggest struggle were I in his position (god forbid) would be do I cut off a perfectly good arm only to have a couple hikers walk by shortly after. That fact was hi arm was crushed beyond repair and he knew it. So although difficult in the extreme this huge mental dilemma was non-existant.

  95. I am not sure why people are so focused on criticizing him. Its very obvious from the book, he learned his lesson. He was being open and honest about who he was before the accident, the mistakes he made and how it changed who he is now. So what is even the point on dwelling about his risk taking beforehand? Its obvious that contributed to the accident situation. Move on and get over it. He has. If anything his story should encourage people, inspire and teach a lesson to the ones who are a little more reckless. I applaud him for sharing his story and showing how it has changed the kind of person he is.

  96. Was he stupid that day? Emphatically, yes! However, people who made mistakes can provide GREAT examples on how to Not Do What I Did. Merely by hearing about Aron, many of us outdoor types started filing a ‘flight plan’ with someone.

    As far as making money off it, why not? I certainly would, and SO WOULD ANY OF YOU. To what end would he turn it down? On what basis is eternal self-denial called for?

    Reasons to get rich: having the cojones to do the deed. I doubt I know many people who could have done that – most would have simply died there. It took an enormous act of courage and willpower to cut himself free AND rappel a cliff AND walk out. That deserves some reward, even if being alive is the best reward of all.

  97. Recently read the book, very intense reading, well done!

    If any author deserves to make a profit from his misfortune – Aron does.
    I have to think most of you who criticize him would have simply cried for your Mommy and died under that rock.

  98. I probably would not have contemplated this was helpful two or three years back, yet it’s interesting how age evolves the way you react to stuff, thank you for the weblog article it truly is great to see anything wise now and then as opposed to the typical rubbish masquerading as blogs and forums at the internet. Regards

  99. I discovered the book this summer ,ordered it 2 weeks ago and read it in 3 days. Very intensive story!
    I really admire Aron for his courage and Yes! why not make some money of it.This is his story and he can do whatever he wants with it.
    Is it a miracle he survived. I think first of all he had the guts to amputate his own arm, was lucky not to cut suddenly his artery ‘on the proccess’ forgetting to use tournament for a while, was lucky the rescue helicopter was passing-by at that time.
    He managed to do the amputation, to rapel down that cliff, and walk all the way to meat the family guys and heli. He definetly had the guts to do that!!

  100. This guy was my parents worst nightmare. My parents ran a flight school and their constant drumbeat was to tell daughters and students alike to always let someone know where you are going. Not all flights need flight plans, but someone always needs to know where your headed so they know where to look for you. Today I have daughters who globe trot by themselves and still neglect to tell us or anyone else where they are headed and for how long, and I remind them, “in case you disappear I know where to start looking for you.” Although Aron did not change in all the ways he identified right away, he makes it very clear that change was needed, he certainly hit the message home to let someone know where you are headed. Recently an elderly lady (80+) left home without telling anyone she was headed to the mall. For what ever reason she went off the road and landed in a tree down a ravine. They didn’t know where she went and had no idea where to look for her. A road crew saw her car 5 days later, and she was barely alive. In his book he pounds home the fact that you have to tell someone and show some common sense. Common sense comes harder for some people, but parenthood hastens maturity and growth. He’s done fine and I’m glad he was an introspective and analytical author. Remarkable story, remarkable life.

  101. Even a wolf will chew off its arm when trapped! We don’t call a wolf a hero! This guy was an idiot! He is NOT a hero and does not deserve our praise!
    The real heroes of the world do need our admiration, the selfless ones… who work to make the world a better place!
    Not a selfish idiot who quits his job to be a high risk taking asshole “outdoors-man”, that stupidly screwed up by not letting anyone know where he was going!! Then becoming a cop-out by giving “motivational” speeches to corporations and CEO’s! LOL! What a loser!
    Can anyone truly think of anything lower than being a motivational speaker? It’s probably one of the most useless jobs on the planet! And this asshole is making $25,000 – $35,000 per speech for cutting off his own arm!
    I WILL NOT WATCH THIS ASSHOLES MOVIE!

  102. I just saw that Aron’s story is now a movie. I taught Aron how to ice climb years ago before his accident. I stopped climbing with him because he was careless and devoid of common sense. I was actually surprised after hearing of his accident that he wasn’t dead. He is not a hero, he is an idiot. Publicizing his exploits only codifies this type of inappropriate judgement.

  103. You seem to be overflowing with compassion these days “Doubter.” One wonders if perhaps Aron, who is by most accounts a congenial sort of guy, was himself only too pleased to quit climbing with you, because appropriately enough, there is another epithet for the likes of you which, like “Doubter,” is also composed of 7 letters. I’ll give you a hint: begins with an “A.”

  104. There are jealous people everywhere. And anytime anyone does anything worth writing a story about, there are bench critics, sitting on the sidelines, waiting to take a stab at the person that’s getting the attention they wish they had.

    How pathetic.

    Kudos, Aron 😉

  105. I have just been to see the film with my son, I’m not a mountain climber or anything like that, just a normal mum of 5 but I think Aron is incredible, I really do not think I could have done what he did, I think I would have given up.
    I think he is an amazing inspiration.

  106. I just watched his film which didn’t make me faint! ha ha. Read his book when it came out and while reading the back, first thing that came to my mind was why was he alone and or didn’t he tell anyone where he was going. I’ve been a climber for years now and yes have been in shall I say close to sticky situations, but I was usually with a mate, had a phone and people knew where I was! So in my opinion he did make a big mistake but he still could of lost the arm either way as it was crushed just a bit and rescue in a place like that does take a while. On the matter of him making a living out of what happened well I don’t see why thats a problem for some cause its Aron who has to live with what happened and I’m sure he has kicked himself a million times for not telling anyone where he was. He may as well make a few bob cause he went through a good bit of shite there and if someone said to you “fancy writing a book? There’s something in it for you!”, I think most would jump at the chance!

  107. Stupidity kills~~well,I’m exaggerating, but it’s safe to say stupidity cuts off an arm~~LOL

    Aron Ralston is a tough guy and a rash idiot as well…He thought a weekend-hike was a piece of cake to an expert like him, so no need to prepare, to tell anybody ,to take some ropes or a radio.ACCIDENT HAPPENS~

  108. By the way,he took several cameras and video recorders but took no radio with him…that means to show off was the only thing left in his mind before he departed from his apartment.

  109. Having found this more than three-year old thread, I thought it a proper venue to add my two bits on the matter. The short opinion is that the book is decently written but poorly edited with far too much andecdotal back story filler. Although, his courage comes through in spades for the essential, as the book wears on you do begin to feel a growing narcissism in his words. Especially towards the end from the moment heâ??s amongst the hikers, through the helicopter ride and then into the hospital emergency room, the â??Meâ?? point of view dominates. So much that all his entourage (the Dutch, the pilot, ranger, hospital staff) nearly appear to be but passive bystanders at the bidding of our the still pointedly alert and pro-active Aron Ralston. The book could easily have been cut in half. And should we excuse the degree of egocentrism and embellishment. Why not? After all, there are other examples in history. Itâ??s part of what comes with the bullishness of the endeavor.

    Oddly, however, it was Ralstonâ??s padded flashbacks that gave me the greater insight into the guyâ??s overall personality. So you have to at least give him credit for admitting to all those errors connected with the avalance, the Colorado plunge, frozen water bottles and a number of generally ill-equipped outings. Even the tossing of a bogus distress message into Lake Mead was symptomatic of a rather fratboy mentality.

    So the question that came to my mind was less whether Aron Ralston was a victim of happenstance or his own personal hubris, but rather considering his â??profileâ?? if one could ever seriously trust themselves to this man as a guide or fellow backpacker. Imagine how things might have unfolded had you crossed paths with Ralston on that fateful day but unlike the two girls you carried on with him. Would you have balked at the chockstone? Would he have gone on alone regardless? Would he have enticed you on, possibly with a roped descent only to have him then show you how its done with a quick lesson in chimneying (and support from this little wedged rockâ?¦.) My overriding question is would this guy have sacrificed his personal goal for the lowest common denominator interest of the group: your/my safety? One could easily have â??gone aroundâ??. Personally, I doubt he would have, and with the consequences that we all know today.

    I recently saw the movie 127 Days. Cinema-wise thereâ??s the good and the less good. But as input to the Ralston character, there are two scenes early on that really sum it up. First he half-heartedly gropes on a shelf for his Swiss army knifeâ?¦and without further looking decides to leaves it behind. Then later he takes a seemingly severe spill off his trail bike only to react with a big grin and a self-photo of himself on the ground. Neither probably happened in reality. But both speak miles about Aron Ralstonâ??s nonchalance and narcissism.

    And to think that this guy pulls in $30K to â??modelâ?? as a corporate â??exampleâ??. Exemplary of having the courage to perform a fluke-induced ad-hoc surgery which 99% of people will never come to close to having to come to grips with? Or rather a prime example of the kind of people the National Park Service had in mind when it created its visitor rules and restrictions. Mechanical engineer, brave adventurer, swaggering jock. However you class him, at least youâ??ve gotta agree, heâ??s one very complex and colorful dude.

  110. oh for fuck’s sake, Eidas. you sound like the egotistical narcissist. did you look up all those big words? How does nature become “controlled”? I bet every poster on here has driven drunk and that is the same stupidity that Aron R has.

  111. dld39 – drivng drunk and aron’s mistake, not even close to being the same. 1 main difference is being intoxicated and sober when making choices.

    A lot of things have been said both positive and negative, here is my take:

    Most outdoors type people have forgotten to leave a note. some say that people that not leaving a note makes them more manly and hard core. I think it makes them less responsible. There are people that love you and you owe it to them to give them a chance of hope to find you if you get lost/injured. It’s just plain stupid to not leave a note. You are still going on the adventure alone. If something were to happen and you died, it would not have mattered if you left a note or not, it would just make it easier for people to find the corpse. So it just makes sense to leave one. Aron simply forgot in this case so he says. But, he has had a history of doing things like this, getting in bad situations. And not only just having his safety at risk, but other people, multiple times. So yes, something like this was bound to happen. I’m glad he did not take anyone down with him.

    Greg ended a post with this “but if you know that you can survive anything, then go out and do what you want and fuck the cowards who criticize you.” such an immature thing to say. There is not one person that doesn’t have someone that cares for them, so do responsible things because of them, not because you’re hard core.

    As for him getting all the money and fame from this. People capitalize on misfortunes all the time. Don’t tell me anyone would not do the same thing. As much as I would hate to admit it I would. I would give a majority of my money away, but I would still do it. Yes, he is doing a lot for charities and whatnot, but not enough in my mind. He is set for life, making 20k+ for each speaking announcement plus the boatloads from the movie and book, way more then enough for his family to live on, so he should donate more.

  112. I am about halfway through the book and I am finding much more than I expected. I expected an account of his misadventure and how he found the wherewithal to cut off his arm to get free. That’s there, but I’m taken with his passion for life and his commitment to excelling at what he does. Few people are willing to make the sacrifices necessary to actually “live the dream” and pursue life with zest. Sure, his enthusiasm leads to reckless mistakes (for which he often pays a price) but it seems to me to be worth it. Although I never took to mountain climbing (I’m a Colorado native and an Outward Bound graduate) with the passion Aron has, I find his book inspiring and hope to apply that inspiration to the passions of my life.

  113. Re Aron Ralston: If what I read is accurate, then add to foolhardy, the adjectives selfish and inconsiderate. There are a number of people who care about him deeply. After putting them through a hellish ordeal of worry, he completely disregards their emotions and returns to solo hiking and climbing.
    I have no sympathy for his past ordeal, nor for future calamities which he might bring upon himself.

  114. For all those who critize the actions of Aron. I would like to ask you if you ever did anything foolish that put you at risk. If you have any sense of adventure I’m sure the answer is yes. Only difference is you came out ok

  115. Wow, I have read a couple stories about this and just watched the movie. I am sure gald that peope can make money on such stupid actions. I cant wait for the movie to come out about the women who spilled coffee on her self and sued McDonalds. I sure hope that every morning he awakes and is greated with his dumb ass actions that he took. Yes I have done filish things to put my self at risk. But I also do not make a living telling my story.
    Vote Republican.

  116. I just get angry at those who say they would not profit from thier risky actions gone wrong. So i took a risk and it didn’t work out, first I am going to tell my story for many reasons, one so people understand the risks of going hiking on your own without telling anyone where you will be and when you expect to return and two becasue I welcome the opportunity to earn a living based on my life experiences. I don’t get what is so wrong with that…people do it all the time. I bet Aron did not plan to get stuck and cut his own arm off becasue he knew it would make a great story. Have you gone to the library and seen all the books on the shelf about similar situations? Aron’s happened to be interesting enough to turn the story into a movie. Get real folks….

  117. Aron I’m really getting deppressed. Your my inspiration. please please contact me. I’m really going through hard time please contact me.

  118. Climbing out of what Aron Ralston fell into was amazing my other was explaining who I was.I read almost all the posts .Unless you’ve been their , before any judgement is waitless.I’ve rescued A few Extreme adrenaline junkies ; all it takes is one mental lapse and it could be your last.As for those who Fallow a code well, surviving in the Bush or extreme environments is not An adrenaline trip its life or death.Again , when did you last tell someone you were taking a drive ?thinking awe nothing gonna happen ? then Bam! you get hit your in ICU ! yet you only went down the block.

  119. Good on him. I’d promote myself too if I had to lose part of my arm, especially hacking it off yourself. Also it served as a good warning to others not to go places without telling somebody. Sounds like sour grapes on the part of people who are bitching about him. All I would say to the knockers is get a life, he certainly has.

  120. I just finished reading his book and thought it was excellent. I think he is an amazing person and had a great story to tell. As for profiting off of his experience, that was not his plan – the media came to him, not the other way around. And his story has helped a lot of people so BFD if he makes money off of it. Only in America? Damn straight and more power to him!

  121. I have just watched the film 127 hours and stumbled on this thread while trying to find out more about Aron Ralston. Slightly shocked by some of the judgements made about him and frankly I think we should all be thankful that this remarkable man did not end up paying the ultimate price for his bad judgement and is still around to tell this story! This shows in stark reality what bad decisions could have cost, which certainly makes it a worthwhile story to tell. Money is of no consequence, media is such that he would struggle not to make money out of this; I hope he enjoys it.

  122. Going hiking alone and without telling anyone may seem foolish, but Aron was very young, and when you’re that young you just don’t think about bad things happening.
    I first say Aron on a talk show years ago when he first published his book. His enthusiasm and zest for life awed and inspired me. He described amputating his arm to save his life, as being born again – being given a second chance at life. He’s living life to the fullest now because he learned through an unbelievable ordeal, how precious life is.

  123. The story is not only about hiking alone or whatsoever literal… The story is all about making decisions in life… most of us doing risky decision alone… go out of the rules to satisfy our goal… but things will end up either we are wrong or we are right on track… the point is… Aron, got a mistake… he claimed it… but his will to survive, how he value his life.. and not giving up at his no chance point of his life… he pointed out that losing some part of you doesn’t mean losing your whole self… some point at that moment… there is a need that we have to track the path where we have lose something to realize the value of life… at the extent experience near to death ordeal because of stupidity in any form…

  124. I am surprised that every time a mountaineering accident gets notoriety it usually comes with a great deal of scrutiny and quite bitter criticism by experts in that community. There is always a harsh review about the personality, habits and behaviors of those involved in the events. It feels as though the mountaineering community has turned safety rules into principles and dogmas. If you break them, you are criticized, ridiculed and treated as a pariah in that community. I wonder why there is no room for mistake in the world of mountaineering. I find it way more arrogant to assume that a good climber never makes a mistake and that those who make one deserve what happens to them. This attitude aims to reinforce the idea of the climber as superhuman –only defeated by circumstances over which he or her had no agency and could not predict or prevent. In doing that critics become moral gatekeepers and place very high fences in the wilderness.