Mountaineer Aaron Ralston: interesting facts

Many are undoubtedly familiar with the terrible story on which the 2010 film with the participation of James Franco’s “127 Hours” is based. From his name you can determine how many days Aaron Ralston stayed in the Blue John Canyon in Utah, when the shifting boulder clamped his right arm. After six grueling days, the extreme almost despaired that he would ever be found and made an insanely bold decision: to amputate his hand and escape.

The carefree day of exploring the remote parts of the southeastern canyons of Utah, which began beautifully, ended tragically for the 27-year-old Ralston. Years later, British director Danny Boyle fell in love with an incredible story of courage and decided to tell about it on the big screen. The film is based on the book of Aaron Ralston. Based on a true survival drama, it has become an international bestseller. Her name is “127 hours. Between the hammer and the anvil. "

Aaron Ralston and 15 years after the accident, which changed his life in 2003, is happy to live the life that he no longer hoped for in those lonely six days in the Blue John Canyon.Despite the experience, the test did not prevent him from putting his life in danger again and again. With his universal prosthesis, Ralston climbs the mountains, as before, but never forgets 127 hours, which forever changed his life.

aron ralston

Below are some impressive (and rather creepy) facts from his amazing survival story.


On that fateful sunny day on April 26, 2003, the adventurer took with him all the usual hiking things, including climbing boots and equipment, a bottle of water, etc. He also took a simple pocket knife with him, leaving the high-quality Swiss army at home. Incredibly, Ralston managed to amputate his arm with a blade of an instrument, rather blunt.

Thanks to his incredible survival instinct, Aron was able to save his life by what he had at his disposal, but this undoubtedly complicated the situation. To begin with, one of the blades was intended for cleaning fish, with which it coped rather mediocre. In addition, the knife was blunt for long days, while Ralston struggled with a boulder in a vain attempt to free himself. Worst of all, it was a right-handed knife, and his right hand was squeezed with a stone.

between the hammer and the anvil aron ralston

Forced loss

In this world, there are not many people who have experienced the incredibly dark reality that Ralston faced, trapped in the Blue John Canyon. One of the misfortunes that fell upon him was evidence of the decomposition of his own part of the body, which was still not separated from him.

A 360-pound boulder blocked all blood circulation from wrist to fingertips, his hand was numb and he had a condition called coupe syndrome. The nerves and blood vessels were pinched so tightly that the skin tissue began to die. When Aaron tried to break away from the boulder with the help of his folding knife, he accidentally hooked the tip of the thumb of his hand. At the same time he heard the hissing of air coming out of his rotting hand.

127 hours Aron Ralston


It took Ralston more than an hour to cut all the tendons and the nervous tissue of his right hand to free her from under the boulder. According to him, he started with the larger of the two blades. But, realizing that he couldn’t get deep enough through the skin, he used a smaller 2-inch knife.

He managed to cut through the top layer of skin and muscles and to break the first artery.After this, a slow and painful journey began through the deeper layers of muscles and tendons, which were the most difficult part. Since the small blunt blade was not enough, Ralston had to use pliers. Fortunately, this incredible real story of Aron Ralston’s iron will in the film took only 3 minutes, but for some it was too much. During the preview of “127 hours,” 10 people fainted.

aron ralston iron will incredible real story

Real video

In the film Danny Boyle there are many scenes in which James Franco is shooting his captivity in Blue John. At times, the video camera alleviated his sufferings a bit when Francoe pretended to be a talk show host and used the camera as a kind of therapeutic diary to distract from the inevitable and find a companion in the most difficult moments.

It is not known how much the film is true, since Aaron Ralston keeps the video at home and occasionally shows it to his family. In addition to demonstrating to his family and James Franco to help him prepare for the role, the extreme does not plan to make public all the material.However, his farewell recording can be found on YouTube.

interview with aron ralston

Symbolic funeral

On an exciting, but relieved day, six months after the accident, Ralston returned to the very place where the boulder pressed his hand to the canyon wall and scattered the ashes of his cremated amputated right hand. After the memorable incident, the authorities of the National Park dislodged the ill-fated boulder with a hydraulic jack and removed the broken forearm of Aron. According to the extremal's wishes, his right hand was cremated.

He decided to come to terms with the loss, scattering the ashes in a place that he once called his “grave”. In the first few days of 127 hours, Aaron Ralston was convinced that he would die, so this act must have become a kind of memorial service. His trip was filmed by the NBC channel on his 28th birthday, and then he said that the dust of his hand was really the place.

Two fractures

By the first morning of being trapped by Aaron Ralston, the idea arose to amputate the arm. His intention cooled off a bit when he realized that his shaky folding knife was not sharp enough to cut a bone.And not having a saw, he resigned himself to the fact that he would never leave the canyon alive. Until the insight came upon him, that he could break the radius and ulna.

Using all his physical strength, Aaron threw his torso to the opposite wall and, leaning on his healthy arm, bent and eventually broke the first bone. Ralston recalls a loud click that echoed in the canyon. He was pleased with the sound, but this meant that he had another bone left that needed to be broken. To this end, Aaron sat down deeply until he heard that the desired was achieved. The next step was amputation.

aron ralston book

Date of death

Shortly after Aaron recorded a farewell message to his loved ones, he scribbled an estimated date of death on the canyon wall. By the fifth day, Ralston had consumed the food and water he had taken with him on the trip, and in desperation decided to drink his own urine. It was at that moment that he realized that his death was near.

Using the pocket knife with which he was eventually freed, Aaron began cutting his name and date of birth on the canyon wall, and then the date, which, according to his calculations, would be the date of his death.Only at dawn the next day, he realized that he could free himself by breaking the bones of his arm and amputated it.

Touching the nerves

Anyone who has bruised a finger or felt a toothache remembers this intolerable sensation. Ralston not only had open nerves on his arm, he faced an incredible task to cut them in order to escape from a boulder. One touch of them sent powerful impulses of pain all over his right arm.

In a television interview with Aaron Ralston, that terrible moment is mentioned when he stumbled across his nerves, knowing what he needs to do next. According to him, he looked at the thin string of spaghetti held in his hand, took the knife and, touching the nerve, felt as if he had put his hand into the pan with the liquid metal.

how many days aron ralston stayed in the canyon

"End of the world"

Brave seeker Aaron Ralston decided to explore the site of the canyons of Utah, located in the most remote corners of the state. The small town of Moab, in which he came, is called by the locals the "end of the world." For such an extremal as Ralston, however, he became only the starting point of his journey.

Aaron started the fateful campaign in April 2003 from Horseshoe Canyon and rode another 2.5 hours by bicycle before he decided to explore the remote part of the gorge.If he had not been so brave as to make a decision about the amputation of his own hand, rescuers could never have found him alive.

Farewell message

The video camera Ralston took with him that morning was intended to capture an entertaining trip through the canyons of southeastern Utah. The film “127 Hours” opens with scenes in which James Franco goes on foot or rides a bicycle against the backdrop of beautiful landscapes, taking the best moments on video. Unfortunately, the real canyoner later had to use the same video camera to capture the farewell message to his family.

After the first 24 hours of the six-day test, Aaron Ralston accepted the fact that he would not survive and made a heartbreaking decision: to write down the final message. His appeal to parents can be found on YouTube, and it more or less literally corresponds to the film version. In it, Aaron says touchingly to the camera that his parents, Donna and Larry Ralston from Englewood (Colorado), and appeals to those who have found his body to give them the video.

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