January 16, 2012

CAVE man of the Week: Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston

Aron Ralston

Meet Aron Ralston, the complete outdoors man. Ralston is an avid hiker/climber, even though those are both manly qualities, they are not what is getting him named CAVE man of the week. While hiking Blue John Caynon (Utah) in 2003 a loose boulder became dislodged and subsequently trapped Ralston by pinning his right arm against the caynon wall. Ralston did not tell anyone where he was going before he headed out to hike Blue John Caynon, thus death seemed all but inevitable. Ralston stayed trapped for five days with only 350 ml of water to keep him going. Over his first three days he attempted to move the boulder by creating pullies with his climbing equipment, though after three days of trying he had to attempt something different. On the fourth day he realized his only chance of survival was to amputate his own arm. He started making superficial cuts, realizing that for him to escape he would have to cut his bones and that the tools he had were incapable of doing so. On the evening of the fourth day Ralston filmed his goodbyes to his family, carved his name in the stone as he planned for death. However, this wouldn’t be the fate of Aron Ralston. Much to his own surprise he woke up on the fifth day and an epiphany struck him, he knew that he could break his arm by using his body weight against the boulder, which would allow him to perform the amputation. He did the amputation in about an hour and half with a two inch knife. After completing the amputation, he was still 13 km (8 miles) from his vehicle and for him to get back he had to repel down a 20 m (65 ft) wall one handed. Ralston eventually ran into a family on vacation which provided him with water and rushed him to help.




About the Author

Jordan Scheltgen
Originally from Vancouver, Jordan Scheltgen now lives in Toronto. He is the Editor-in-Chief of CAVE Magazine. He is responsible for finalizing all projects. He holds a honours degree in Political Science from the University of Toronto. He also makes 1/2 hour brownies in 20 minutes and can perform mediocre handstands.


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