Many might not know Aron Ralston’s name, but they do know his story. Ralston was the climber who inspired the movie 127 Hours. He made it out of the harrowing ordeal alive, but what is Ralston up to today?
Aron Ralston’s Story
In 2003, Ralston was doing a solo descent of Bluejohn Canyon in Utah. While climbing, he dislodged a boulder, pinning his right wrist to the wall of the canyon. Ralston spent five days trapped in the canyon; then, faced with an unthinkable choice, he did something extremely difficult.
Ralston broke his own arm and amputated it with a dull pocket knife. He made his way through the rest of the canyon, rappelled down a 65-foot drop, and hiked seven miles to safety, all with his remaining arm.
Ralston’s story was brought to the big screen with the 2010 film 127 Hours. The movie starred James Franco and was nominated for six Academy Awards. So, what is Ralston doing today?
What Does He Do Today?
Ralston now works as a public speaker, giving speeches all over the world. One of his most high-profile speaking gigs was a 2007 appearance at the Swiss Economic Forum. In his speeches, Ralston talks about how he has overcome the challenges he has faced, and what others can learn from his story.
“We get to choose to make it into a tragedy or to use it as maybe an opportunity for transformation, even triumph in the end,” Ralston said in an interview with the Yakima Herald-Republic. “The mindset we take around when something happens can largely determine the outcome of it.”
Ralston Still Climbs
Ralston also still climbs regularly. Over the years, he has climbed Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Mount Shuksan, and others in the Pacific Northwest, and, according to the Yakima Herald-Republic, “he’s still the only person to have reached the top of all 59 named Colorado mountains above 14,000 feet on solo winter climbs.”
The last one of those climbs was in 2005, two years after his famous accident. Ralston makes some different choices these days when he climbs, though. His failure to tell anyone where he was going and his lack of communication devices could have killed Ralston. Nowadays, he always lets family members know where he is going and brings a personal locator beacon so he can send out an SOS if something happens.
“I think if you’d told me, ‘this is going to happen, Aron,’ I think I would have said, ‘OK, well, that’s a little bit too far,’” Ralston shared. “That’s again, this beauty of when that crisis, when that trauma happens, you get to find out and I sit here today, almost 19 years later and I know what I would do if that were to happen.”
Ralston’s story has inspired many over the years, and as he continues to share his journey with the public, the climber continues to spread optimism to people around the world.
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