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Climber amputates own arm!


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  • Climber amputates own arm!

    Dying wasn't option for climber
    Dad says son, pinned for 5 days by boulder, chose 4th alternative: amputate his own arm.

    Expert climber Aron Ralston, of Aspen, Colo. — seen in this undated self-portrait from the top of a mountain — had been preparing to climb Mount McKinley in Alaska. -- Aron Ralston / Associated Press

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    • Hiker attended elementary school here

    Associated Press
    May 7, 2003

    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- With his arm pinned under an 800-pound boulder for five days, Aron Ralston later told his parents he had four options, none of them particularly attractive.

    He chose what some considered the least pleasant: amputation.

    Ralston was listed in fair condition Monday after an hourlong operation to shorten a bone in his arm by an inch and pull the skin over the wound in preparation for a prosthetic arm. He is expected to stay in the hospital until at least Friday.

    Ralston told his parents he knew he had four choices: Someone could find him; he could move the boulder with his climbing gear; he could chip away at the rock; or he could cut off his right forearm with a pocketknife.

    "He knew there was a fifth alternative (dying), but that wasn't on the list," Larry Ralston said during a hospital news conference.

    Aron Ralston, 27, who had survived an avalanche in February, decided to amputate his arm below the elbow to free himself on Thursday from Canyonlands National Park in Utah. Covered with blood, he hiked about five miles before two tourists found him.

    A crew of 13 used a hoist and jacks Sunday to move the boulder and extract Ralston's arm, which they took to a mortuary.

    His parents, who live in a south Denver suburb, said their son has been eating ravenously since waking up Friday morning. While defending his adventurous spirit, the couple said their son deeply regretted not leaving word of his plans to go into Blue John Canyon.

    Donna Ralston, who used to scold her son for not telling her his plans, said he had learned in recent years the importance of leaving word after working as a search-and-rescue volunteer in New Mexico.

    Ralston wants to become the first person to climb all 55 of Colorado's 14,000-plus-foot peaks solo in winter.

    "I think the next challenge he sees is how he's going to adjust and move on," Larry Ralston said.
    Do your best, do what is right

  • #2
    They did finally recover his arm, but of course it had been far too long and it was far too damaged to be of any use. Somebody like that deserves a bionic one If our state doesn't have wildfires, somebody's cuttin' their arm off. Does the fun ever stop? [Wink]
    I am disrespectful to dirt. Can you see that I am serious? - Mr. Sparkle


    • #3
      Glad that this guy was able to make it out. It is too bad that someone didn't find him and give him a hand.
      Drug Recognition Expert


      • #4
        Gosh Joe, you shouldn't make fun of someone who took things into their own hand like he did. [Eek!]


        • #5
          I am sorry I shouldn't have gone out on a limb like that. I hear it was a big rock and it would have taken a small army to get it off.
          Drug Recognition Expert


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