- Childhood and youth
- Fatal Day
- Tragic accident
- What to do?
- 5 days - like a lifetime
- Dead end
- Strange dream
- Stepping over myself…
- 127 hours
American climber Aron Ralston is world famous for his deed, by which he proved that the human spirit can soar so high that pain and despair cannot break it. His desire to live was as powerful as mountains, which allowed him to overcome fear and prove that the value of human life is higher than any mountain peak.
Childhood and youth
Aron Ralston was born on October 27, 1975. His childhood was spent in the Midwest of the USA. And when the boy was 12 years old, the family moved to permanent residence in the city of Aspen, Colorado. It was here that young Aron, spending a lot of time in nature, felt a craving for rock climbing and mountaineering. At first, it was only a hobby with which the young man filled his free time.
After graduating from a technical college in 1998, Aaron gets a job in his speci alty. He got a position as a mechanical engineer in one of the most reputable firms in New Mexico.However, the nostalgia for the mountains that haunted him all the time took over. In 2002 he returns to Colorado. Having settled in his parents' house, he was able to find work by profession here, but on weekends he disappeared for days in the mountains. It was then that Aron Ralston set himself the goal of solo climbing all 59 of the state's peaks, which are over 4,250 meters (14,000 feet). He could not imagine that on the way to this goal he would meet with a serious test that would change his attitude to life.
In different sources, there may be different translations of the name and surname of the American climber. For example, Aaron Ralston is often used. Aron Ralston - this is how his name is written in native English, therefore both the first option, already used in this article, and the second one are considered valid.
April 26, 2003 was an ordinary day and did not bode well. Already having a solid climbing experience behind him, Aron was about to make a short trip to the Blue John Canyon, which he had visited more than once. The 27-year-old drove his pickup truck to Horseshoe Canyon, where he switched to a mountain bike to cover a few more kilometers to Blue John. Arriving there, he left the mountain bike at the very canyon and continued on foot. According to the planned route, Aron Ralston wanted to go down a narrow cleft first. He was going to climb already along the neighboring gorge and there, having gone outside, he planned to go down the steep mountain right to the place where the pickup was left. The total length of his route was 24kilometers. But on that fateful day, Aron was not destined to overcome them.
On the way to the crevasse, Ralston met two climbers. They were amateurs, did not plan anything in advance, so they offered Aron their company to overcome his route. However, he, being a loner by nature, refused, referring to the fact that he was storming the canyon for a while, and an inexperienced company would slow him down. He could not have known then how much he would regret not taking his fellow travelers with him.
Aron Ralston, whose family did not know about his plans for the day, was not going to spend the night in the mountains. Therefore, I took with me a minimum of supplies: drinking water, a few burritos, a folding knife, a small first-aid kit, a video camera. And I took only the most necessary equipment. He didn't even have warm clothes with him. The day was hot, and shorts with a T-shirt were the most suitable clothes for this weather.
The athlete used this crevice more than once to climb and descend the canyon. The one-way trip usually took no more than an hour. Yes, and the distance was small - only 140 meters with a width of 90 cm. For an experienced climber, this was a mere trifle.
The width made it easy to maneuver when descending, and the boulders that were sandwiched between the stone walls made it even easier to move. They could take a breath and quench your thirst. Once again, Aaron stopped at one of these boulders to look around and choose the safest further movement pattern. Hehe checked how firmly the boulder was fixed and found that everything was safe: it seemed that the stone was tightly clamped by sheer slopes. He continued on his way.
At the moment when the athlete, having made the next downward movement, was below the level where the boulder was located, it suddenly slid down. Very little. Only 30-40 centimeters. But this distance turned out to be enough for the cobblestone to tightly squeeze Aaron's palm, with which he held on to the sheer wall. The pain was so severe that the climber lost consciousness for a while from the pain shock. He was saved by a safety rope, otherwise he would have fallen down, which threatened with imminent death.
Recovering his senses, Aaron screamed at the top of his lungs. The pain was so deafening and unbearable that the head stopped thinking. When he was able to get used to the terrible sensations, he began to build perspectives in his thoughts. They were, to put it mildly, not rosy. His hand is trapped in a trap, there is not a soul around, there is no way to free himself, mobility is zero, all popular hiking trails are too far away for anyone to hear his cries for help.
The most important thing is that none of his relatives will miss him, because he lives alone, and he did not tell his parents about his plans. Going to work only after six days. Hopelessness, panic, fear. And the pain keeps growing…
What to do?
The first thing Aaron Ralston tried to do was to get his mobile phone out of his shorts pocket with his free hand. The groans and sobs of the "prisoner of the canyon" that accompanied theseattempts helped to overcome the terrible pain. Aaron took out his phone, but only the connection in a narrow mountain crevasse was unavailable.
It was necessary to make a decision regarding further actions. The athlete had several options in his mind: wait for random tourists to wander into the canyon; try to crush the boulder in the area where he clamped his hand; hook a cobblestone with a safety rope and attempt to move it, or resign yourself and wait for death.
5 days - like a lifetime
The young, full of strength athlete was not going to die. So I tried each one in turn. First, he decided to hook the boulder with a loop of rope. He succeeded, but then he failed. No matter how hard Aaron tried to move the huge boulder, he did not move even a millimeter. Then he began to try to crush the stone: first he used a folding knife for this, then a carbine.
The onset of night brought a strong drop in temperature. She dropped to 14 degrees. Through chills and pain, the unfortunate climber continued his attempts to crush the stone. But all to no avail. So the whole day passed.
Hoping for a miracle, Aron sometimes called for help in the hope that one of the savage tourists would hear him. There was no result. The stone captivity that fettered the young man took away the last of his strength. But he didn't give up.
Despite the austerity of water and food, supplies ran out on the third day.
The sun's rays made their way into the narrow crevasse only around noon, only for half an hour. Brief reminder ofthe outside world forced the athlete to remember not only about the parents and friends who remained “outside”, but also to think that he himself might never see the sun again. At noon on the fifth day, with a titanic effort, he was able to get a camera out of his backpack and filmed a farewell video that was intended for his parents. In it, he asked for forgiveness and confessed his love to them, and also expressed his last wish that his ashes be scattered over the mountains.
He continued to love the mountains even in these terrible moments, when he was almost sure that his life and biography would end in this narrow cleft. Aaron Ralston, tired from the futile struggle, suddenly blacked out and fell asleep for a few minutes. And I had a strange dream…or a vision. He didn't get it for sure. A man appeared before his eyes, towards whom a boy was running, stamping his little feet. The face of the man from the dream lights up with a smile, he reaches for the child, takes and hugs the baby tightly! But with only one hand… Aaron has a flash of light: the man in the vision is one-armed!
Stepping over myself…
The decision came instantly. Yes, he will be disabled, but he will remain alive! Yes, it may not be strong enough to get to the pickup truck, but maybe it will meet wild tourists!
Aaron thought about the knife, but it was too dull. It took a long time to sharpen it on the ill-fated cobblestone. And only at night the man was convinced that the knife had become sharp enough to cut their skin, tendons, muscles, blood vessels. But in order to cut bones, a cheap penknife does notfits. There was nothing to do: the bones would have to be broken. It’s even scary to imagine how great the desire to live is for a person who has decided to deprive himself of his hand! But the young man knew that he had not done much in this life. After breaking his ulna and radius, placing a carbine under his forearm, and then cutting soft tissue with a knife, Aaron Ralston amputated his arm.
He was swinging on the rope, bleeding. There was nothing to clean the wound. Aaron was on the verge of insanity from the all-rending wild pain. Only on the sixth day he was able to reach the bottom of the canyon. Periodically losing consciousness, having reached the goal, he finally fainted.
A few hours later two tourists approached the canyon and saw the unfortunate Aaron. They called the doctors, and two hours later the surviving athlete was already lying on the operating table of the hospital. Coming to his senses, he firmly declared: "I'm fine!" And only the word “maybe” quietly spoken next showed what this young man had to go through.
A film about Aron Ralston called "127 Hours" was directed by Danny Boyle. Despite the almost complete lack of dynamism, the picture turned out to be lively and touching. The role of Aron was perfectly played by actor James Franco.
What pain and suffering Aron Ralston endured, the film cannot convey. But to remind people who are desperate in life that there is always a way out, of course, it can.
I must say that nowhaving lost his arm, Aron is successfully moving towards his goal, continuing to conquer peaks over 14,000 feet. Now he has 53 of them. There is no doubt that one day this number will definitely reach 59.
And the dream turned out to be prophetic. Aron got married, and in 2010 the couple had a son, Leo. Each time, hugging his son, the happy father remembers the dream that saved his life.