- Category : 1975-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (16,20)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
American hiker and mountain climber who severed his own arm in a Utah Canyon after a boulder fell on him, crushing his hand and forearm and pinning him down. He lived to tell his story and authored "Between a Rock and a Hard Place."
He spent his early years in the Midwest. When he was 12, his family moved to Colorado where he formed his dream to make solo wintertime climbs of all 59 Colorado peaks over 14,000 feet in altitude.
He graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a degree in mechanical engineering and French with a minor in piano performance. In 1997 after graduation, he landed a job at Intel in Arizona. He worked in Tacoma, WA and Albuquerque, NM for the same company, but quit his job in 2002 and moved back to Colorado.
In February 2003 an avalanche in the Colorado Rockies where he was skiing buried him and a friend. Buried up to his neck, he dug himself and his friend out.
In April that year he wasn't quite so lucky. On 26 April 2003, while hiking solo in Canyonlands National Park in Utah, an 800-pound boulder dislodged and pinned him by the arm. Alone, unable to move, without the use of one arm or the means to communicate, he lay there.
His water supply ran out on the third day. The next day, 1 May, he decided that the only means of survival open to him was to amputate his crushed arm just below the elbow. He had an inexpensive pocketknife which he used to perform the surgery and applied a tourniquet.
He then rigged up anchors and a rope so he could rappel the 66 feet to the bottom of Blue John Canyon. He then walked more than seven miles when he encountered other hikers who summoned help.
Ralston documented and filmed his own tortuous adventure just as he has done with all his feats. He wrote a book and continues to climb with a prosthetic arm. In addition to his outdoor adventures, Ralston has joined the public motivational speaking tour. In September 2004 his book was published.