I can't imagine what this guy must have gone through

Discussion in 'General' started by Superjoint, May 10, 2003.

  1. Climber Used Technical Know-How in Escape
    Fri May 9, 2:04 AM ET Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!

    By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press Writer

    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - When adventurer Aron Ralston's forearm was trapped by an 800-pound boulder in a remote Utah canyon, his first instinct was to ram his wiry body up against the rock, hoping it might budge.

    AP Photo

    Slideshow: Climber Amputates Own Arm in Survival Bid

    After several failed attempts, the former Intel mechanical engineer and search and rescue volunteer soon realized he had better save his energy for a smarter plan.

    Speaking Thursday for the first time since his rescue, he calmly explained how his technical know-how combined with his spirituality gave him the strength to go through with his final option - cutting off his arm with a dull pocketknife.

    "I think a lot of it came from beyond me and my capacity," Ralston told a news conference at St. Mary's Hospital in this western Colorado city. "I believe there was a greater presence than just me in that canyon."

    The 27-year-old who quit his job last year to focus on mountain climbing said he felt buoyed by knowing he had squeezed so much into his life and was living on his own terms. He felt encouraged by "waking visions" of his family and friends during those five mostly sleepless nights and experienced a surge of energy toward the end of his ordeal, which coincided with the National Day of Prayer.

    Ralston also kept busy by coming up with different options and testing them - from chipping away at the rock with a cheap pocketknife to engineering a progressively more complex system of pulleys with climbing ropes to try to move it.

    He joked that he often thought of drinking a margarita while he took turns standing and sitting down in his climbing harness to rest his legs.

    Ralston tried to amputate his arm on both the third and fourth days but the knife was too dull. So on the fifth day, May 1, he had to first muster the nerve to break his wrist in two parts.

    He used his bike shorts to absorb the blood and packed up his gear so he could make a quick getaway.

    "I'm not sure how I handled it. I felt pain and I coped with it. I moved on," said Ralston who is expected to return to his parents' home in suburban Denver by the end of the weekend.

    Even after he performed the excruciating operation, the rest of Ralston's rescue required skills beyond the abilities of most.

    Ralston, who lives in Aspen and works at a mountaineering shop, has summitted Mount McKinley, North America's tallest peak. He has climbed all but a half-dozen of Colorado's 55 mountains taller than 14,000 feet alone during the winter. No one has ever climbed all of them alone in those conditions.

    Despite dehydration and heavy blood loss, Ralston was able to crawl through a narrow, winding canyon, rappel down a 60-foot cliff, and walk some six miles down the canyon near Canyonlands National Park.

    There he met hikers from Holland who offered him two Oreo cookies - his first food in days. By the time he was picked up by a rescue helicopter he was just two miles from the nearest road.

    Ralston withheld some details of his story. His family hired a publicist shortly after his rescue and Ralston will not soon be giving any follow-up interviews; interviews with the doctors who treated him will not be allowed.

    Ralston gave a partial answer to one frequently asked question: What kind of knife did he use? He described it as a cheap imitation of the Leatherman brand multitool, a folding device which typically has knife blades, pliers, screwdrivers and other gadgets. He didn't give the brand, calling it "what you'd get if you bought a $15 flashlight and got a free multiuse tool."

    The accident followed a long weekend of outdoor activity that began with skiing, then a mountain bike ride, and finally, on the third morning, April 26, a "canyoneering" trip down Blue John Canyon.

    Canyoneering involves navigating the narrow, winding slot canyons of the Colorado Plateau, alternately using climbing techniques, hiking and sometimes wading or swimming through streams and pools.
  2. He could have been taking a piss an the boulder fell on something else. :eek:
  3. Something I been wondering.....WHERES HIS HAND??? IS IT STILL UNDER THAT BOULDER??? .......if that happened to me, I'd keep my hand in a jar on the kitchen table.......:D

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