Dateline NBC
updated 7/1/2005 9:11:44 PM ET 2005-07-02T01:11:44

Aron Ralston set out for a carefree desert hike through Blue John Canyon in Utah when his arm was trapped by an 800-pound boulder. He was forced to make an unimaginable decision in order to survive— he amputated his own arm .

After his recovery, Ralston published his memoir "Between a Rock and a Hard Place." Since then, he has continued to scale heights and break personal records. Below are some of his recent achievements:

  • Ralston finished his nine-year project in April '05 to climb the highest mountain in each of the 50 United States (also called "highpointing"), becoming the first amputee to accomplish the feat.
  • He has climbed the tallest mountains on each of three continents (Australia, North America and South America) ending with his ascent this past January of the Polish Glacier Direct on Cerro Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside of Asia (22,841’).
  • Ralson finished his seven-year project in March ’05 to solo climb the fifty-nine 14,000’-high mountains in the winter season (between the vernal solstice and equinox), becoming the first person to have solo climbed all of Colorado’s "14ers" in the winter.
  • Ralston is also currently developing new climbing prosthetics and terminal devices for more specific climbing applications, with the help of several climbers and companies in Boulder.
  • This year, he embarked on a lecture circuit for non-profits, churches, and schools— three of which were fundraisers (such as Mountain Rescue Aspen, The Wilderness Workshop, Donor Direct and Idaho Springs Unity Church youth group) helping to raise more than $125,000. 
  • Last year, Ralston promoted the hardcover in 45 cities and 8 countries. He has also written an article detailing his team’s January '05 climb in Argentina of Cerro Aconcagua, which will be the feature of the August issue of Men’s Journal.
  • In 2006, Ralston will be featured in a documentary as he climbs all 50 state highpoints in 50 consecutive days. This feat has never been done before.

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive. Reprints


Discussion comments


Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments