Friday, September 27, 2013

Cephalopod Coffeehouse September: Between A Rock And A Hard Place


Aron Ralston's amazing story has already been told in the media and on the big screen, but in 'Between a Rock and a Hard Place' you get the whole story in his words. 

Ralston is a real-life adventurer, who quit his engineering job of five years to pursue mountaineering full time. As he describes in his book, he 'had to make a choice between following [his] bliss and keeping his job...In the end, it didn't even feel like a sacrifice.'

Almost a year later, on April 26, 2003, Ralston was hiking in Utah's Canyonlands National Park when a giant boulder fell on his right arm, pinning him to the wall in a remote slot canyon. 

On the fifth day of being trapped, he amputates his own arm, rappels (one-armed) 150 feet to the bottom of the canyon, and hikes, dehydrated, 40 pounds lighter than when he went in, and rapidly losing blood, five miles until he comes across a family who sends for help.

The book alternates between the days of being trapped and his years of mountain climbing, skiing, hiking, rafting, and search and rescue. I know nothing about mountain climbing, so constant talk of carabiners made my eyes glaze, but eventually I started to daydream about climbing Denali and watching the sunrise and still making it down the mountain in time for breakfast...

He ran out of water on the third day. His will to survive, even though he was sure he was going to die, was incredible. I highly recommend the book...

Go see The Armchair Squid for more reviews and to enter your blog for next month! :)