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Between a Rock and a Hard Placeby Aron Ralston
Synopses & Reviews
One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told — Aron Ralston's searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home.
It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyonlands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a 27-year-old mountaineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to get a break from a winter of solo climbing Colorado's highest and toughest peaks. He'd earned this weekend vacation, and though he met two charming women along the way, by early afternoon he finally found himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world all around him.
It was 2:41 P.M. Eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged boulder when the rock suddenly, and terrifyingly, came loose. Before he could get out of the way, the falling stone pinned his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall.
And so began six days of hell for Aron Ralston. With scant water and little food, no jacket for the painfully cold nights, and the terrible knowledge that he'd told no one where he was headed, he found himself facing a lingering death — trapped by an 800-pound boulder 100 feet down in the bottom of a canyon. As he eliminated his escape options one by one through the days, Aron faced the full horror of his predicament. By the time any possible search and rescue effort would begin, he'd most probably have died of dehydration, if a flash flood didn't drown him before that.
What does one do in the face of almost certain death? Using the video camera from his pack, Aron began recording his grateful good-byes to his family and friends all over the country, thinking back over a life filled with adventure, and documenting a last will and testament with the hope that someone would find it. (For their part, his family and friends had instigated a major search for Aron, the amazing details of which are also documented here for the first time.) The knowledge of their love kept Aron Ralston alive, until a divine inspiration on Thursday morning solved the riddle of the boulder. Aron then committed the most extreme act imaginable to save himself.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place — a brilliantly written, funny, honest, inspiring, and downright astonishing report from the line where death meets life — will surely take its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.
"What makes his account of his ordeal extraordinary...is the detail and precision Ralston, a former mechanical engineer, brings to the telling....But those were all trumped by Ralston's amazing resourcefulness in prolonging his supplies and finding a way out, his boundless enthusiasm for life, and his dogged force of will at enduring far longer than anyone could have expected." Booklist (starred review)
"[A] moving account of strength in the face of adversity....Ralston's prose is never gruesome, nor is it used to shock....It's truly thrilling..." Publishers Weekly
"This is a searing and amazingly detailed rendition of his ordeal, along with accounts of several of Ralston's previous wilderness adventures." School Library Journal
Icebound meets Into Thin Air in this astonishing, day-by-day account of Ralston's terrible accident, self-amputation, and subsequent rescue and recovery. Full-color photos.
The International Bestseller Between a Rock and a Hard Place--Now the Major Motion Picture 127 Hours
Hiking into the remote Utah canyonlands, Aron Ralston felt perfectly at home in the beauty of the natural world. Then, at 2:41 P.M., eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, an eight-hundred-pound boulder tumbled loose, pinning Aron's right hand and wrist against the canyon wall. Through six days of hell, with scant water, food, or warm clothing, and the terrible knowledge that no one knew where he was, Aron eliminated his escape option one by one. Then a moment of stark clarity helped him to solve the riddle of the boulder--and commit one of the most extreme and desperate acts imaginable.
Honest, inspiring, and undeniably astonishing, 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place has taken its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.
About the Author
Aron Ralston grew up in the Midwest before moving to Colorado when he was twelve, a place where he became an avid outdoorsman. In 2002, he gave up a career as a mechanical engineer in New Mexico and moved to Aspen, Colorado, where among other things he continued his attempt to climb the fifty-nine Colorado peaks of more than 14,000 feet solo in winter (he's more than three-quarters through). Since his accident, he has resumed his life of adventure and discovery. This is his first book.
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