Aron Ralston was what you would call an “extreme sport” enthusiast. A love for biking, and hiking among other things, it was not unusual for him to take off and not be seen for entire weekends or longer at a time. In 2003, Aron had such a plan. He was going to go on a day hike and normally he would leave an itinerary for his roommates to know where he was but for some reason, this time… he did not.
Aron was hiking the Blue John Canyon in Utah when a suspended boulder came lose and caused his right arm to get lodged between the boulder and the canyon wall. As day turned into night Aron tried to think through his options. He has only his water and two burritos he had brought along for the hike. The area he was in was was very remote. He knew it was Saturday, and the rangers did not walk this part of the canyon until the following Friday, and even then not exactly where he had fallen and become trapped.
As days turned into nights, Aron’s food and water had run out, leaving his now at the point of drinking his own urine, which he was capturing and storing in his water container. The only way to survive he grimly knew… was to save himself. If he could break his arm, he might be able to use his pocket knife to cut his arm off and try to survive.
Why did I listen to this book? I am fascinated with extreme adventures. The desire, that also lives in me, to go above and beyond, explore the unknown is a strong one. I wanted to listen to this on audio as Aron himself reads this, and I wanted to hear this from his own mouth… his own words…. the strong desire to survive against all odds.
I really enjoyed listening to Aron’s recap of what happened the 127 hours he was caught literally, between a rock and a hard place. His sense of adventure, and the pre-information to his becoming stuck on this climb, helped me understand his desire and need to push himself to the limit.
Aron does a wonderful job of expressing his emotions throughout the entire ordeal, at first disbelief, then slowly turning to fear and loss, there is even a point where he is pretty sure he will die, and records himself with his camera, leaving messages to friends and family about his final days.
Then… Aron’s spirit comes through. He devises a plan what to most of us would be unthinkable. If he can break his arm, and then cut through it… he can be free and possibly live.
That really is the heart of this book. The audio made me feel for Aron. When he finally resorts to drinking his own urine, I am sure if anyone seen me driving down the road while listening to this audio they would have laughed at my face. Every time it was mentioned, I mentally gagged and scrunched out my mouth as though I was right there with him being forced to do it as well. At that same time, it was quite clear to me what level of desperation you would have to be at to do such a thing.
Aron’s story is incredible. I enjoyed learning more about this and will now actively search out the movie which I have heard, is just as graphic. That’s ok… I want to know.
Adventure seekers, lovers of the human spirit, non fiction types, … this audio was awesome for me,I think you will enjoy it too.
I purchased this audio book at Barnes and Noble in Duluth MN