Aron Ralston


Aron Ralston : biography

October 27, 1975 –

Aftermath of accident

Mountaineering and adventuring

After the accident happened, Ralston continued to climb mountains frequently, including participating in a 2008 expedition to climb Ojos del Salado in Chile and Monte Pissis in Argentina. In 2005, Ralston became the first person to climb all 59 ranked and/or named Colorado’s ‘fourteeners’ solo in winter, a project he started in 1997 and resumed after the amputation in Blue John Canyon.

While Ralston says he intends to climb Mount Everest, he did not go along with polar explorer Eric Larsen on his "Save the Poles" expedition in 2010, as was previously reported.

Media appearances

After the accident, Ralston made numerous appearances in the media. On July 21, 2003, Ralston appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman; on October 6, 2005, Ralston appeared on The Late Late Show in Ireland.

On September 10, 2004, Ralston’s story was featured on a two-hour edition of Dateline NBC called "Desperate Days in Blue John Canyon". Ralston has appeared twice on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. He has also appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, CNN’s American Morning with Bill Hemmer, Minute to Win It with James Franco, Anderson Cooper 360°, CNN Saturday Morning, and CNBC with Deborah Norville.

In 2006, Ralston was featured as a panelist in Miller Lite’s "Man Laws" ad campaign. He also starred on the Australian interview show Enough Rope.

Ralston was also named GQ Man of the Year and a Vanity Fair Person of the Year in 2003. In the same year he was named the first Shining Star of Perseverance by the WillReturn Council of Assurant Employee Benefits. Ralston was a contestant on the U.S. television show Minute To Win It, where he won $125,000 for Wilderness Workshop. The episode aired on February 23, 2011, on NBC.

Ralston provides his voice on The Simpsons episode "Treehouse of Horror XXII" as the voice on the other end of Homer’s phone when he calls for help after getting trapped in a similar situation to Ralston himself.. 2011-10-24., Retrieved 2011-11-01 The episode aired on October 30, 2011.

He took part in the reality show Alone in the Wild, where he had to ‘survive’ in the wild with a video camera and a bag of supplies. The episode was aired November 9, 2011, on Discovery UK.

As a corporate speaker, Ralston receives an honorarium of about $25,000 per domestic speaking appearance, and up to $37,000 for international speeches. NY Times, March 31, 2009 On May 4, 2007, Ralston appeared at the Swiss Economic Forum and gave a speech about "how he did not lose his hand, but gained his life back".

Ralston documented his experience in an autobiographical book entitled Between a Rock and a Hard Place, published by Atria Books on September 7, 2004. It reached #3 on The New York Times Hardcover Non-Fiction list. It hit #1 in New Zealand and Australia, and is the #7 best-selling memoir of all-time in the United Kingdom.

Ralston delivered the commencement speech on May 15, 2011, at Carnegie Mellon University for the graduating class of 2011.

He has also appeared on the Comedy Central show Tosh.0 in a sketch with host Daniel Tosh and another climber in 2012.


Ralston was born on October 27, 1975, in Marion, Ohio. He and his family moved to Denver when he was age 11. He is a graduate of Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado. He received his college degree from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, finishing with degrees in mechanical engineering and French, with a minor in piano. At Carnegie Mellon, he served as a resident assistant, studied abroad, and was an active intramural sports participant. He left his job as a mechanical engineer with Intel in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2002 and moved to Aspen, Colorado in order to pursue a life of climbing mountains.

He had the goal of climbing all of Colorado’s "fourteeners" — peaks over 14,000 ft high, of which there are 59; solo and during winter (a feat that had never been recorded). He has subsequently achieved this goal in November, 2001. In 2003, Aron got caught in a Grade 5 avalanche on Resolution Peak, Colorado with his hiking partners Mark Beverly and Chadwick Spencer. Nobody was seriously injured.

In August 2009, Ralston married Jessica Trusty. His first child, Leo, was born in February 2010.

127 Hours

British film director Danny Boyle directed the film 127 Hours about Ralston’s accident. Filming took place in March and April 2010, with a release in New York City and Los Angeles on November 5, 2010. Fox Searchlight Pictures funded the film. Actor James Franco played the role of Ralston. The movie received standing ovations at both the Telluride Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival. Some members of the audience in Toronto fainted during the final amputation scene.

The film received universal acclaim by critics and review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 93% of 197 professional critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 8.2 out of 10.

At the 83rd Academy Awards in 2011 the film was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture (won by The King’s Speech) and Best Actor for Franco (won by Colin Firth for his role in The King’s Speech). 127 Hours was also nominated in the categories for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, and Best Editing.

Of the authenticity of 127 Hours, Ralston has said that the film is "so factually accurate it is as close to a documentary as you can get and still be a drama", and added that he thought it is "the best film ever made".