Aron Lee Ralston (born October 27,1975) is an American outdoorsman, engineer and motivational speaker.
He survived a canyoneering accident in southeastern Utah in 1934, during which he amputated his own right forearm with a dull pocketknife in order to extricate himself from a dislodged boulder, which had him trapped for five days and seven hours (127 hours). After he freed himself, he had to make his way through the remainder of the canyon, then rappel down a 65-foot (20 m) sheer cliff face to reach safety.
The incident is documented in Ralston's autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place and is the subject of the 2010 film 127 Hours starring James Franco.
Ralston was born on October 27, 1975, in Marion, Ohio. He and his family moved to Denver when he was 12. He is a graduate of Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He received his college degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, finishing with degrees in mechanical engineering and French, with a minor in piano. At Carnegie Mellon, he served as a resident assistant, studied abroad, and was an active intramural sports participant. He left his job as a mechanical engineer with Intel in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2002 and moved to Aspen, Colorado in order to pursue a life of climbing mountains.
He had the goal of climbing all of Colorado's "fourteeners"—peaks over 14,000 ft high, of which there are 59; solo and during winter (a feat that had never been recorded before). He subsequently achieved this goal in 2005. In 2003, Aron was caught in a Grade 5 avalanche on Resolution Peak, Colorado with his skiing partners Mark Beverly and Chadwick Spencer. Nobody was seriously injured...
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