Climber cuts off own arm after 5-day ordeal

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    Climber cuts off own arm after 5-day ordeal


    Climber cuts off arm after 5-day ordeal
    Associated Press
    May. 2, 2003 10:00 AM


    GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - The climber who amputated his own arm to free himself from beneath a boulder had no other choice if he wanted to survive, one of his rescuers said Friday.

    Aron Ralston, 27, of Aspen would have died had he stayed where he was, in remote Blue John Canyon near Canyonlands National Park in the far southwestern Utah, Emery County sheriff's Sgt. Mitch Vetere told NBC's "Today" show.

    Ralston, described by authorities as an avid outdoorsman in exceptional physical condition, was in serious condition late Thursday at a hospital in Grand Junction, Colo.

    Vetere said two other rescuers who returned to the canyon in hopes of retrieving the limb discovered that the boulder weighed 1,000 pounds, not the 200 that they first believed. They were unable to retrieve the arm.

    "If he wouldn't have gotten himself out of that mess," Vetere said, "they wouldn't have seen him from the air."

    Ralston was hiking Saturday when he became pinned by the boulder. He ran out of water on Tuesday and on Thursday morning, he decided that his survival required drastic action.

    Using a pocketknife, Ralston cut off his right arm below the elbow and applied a tourniquet and administered first aid. He then rigged anchors, fixed a rope and rappelled 60 feet to the canyon floor.

    Ralston's expeditions have been known to trigger awe, said Brion After, manager of the Ute Mountaineering store in Aspen where Ralston works. After said Ralston has climbed 49 of Colorado's 14,000-foot-plus mountains.

    "To be honest, sometimes we get pretty scared with some of the things he's doing," After said.

    Ralston was found about 3 p.m. Thursday with two other hikers, said Vetere, who did not elaborate on who the other people were or why Ralston was with them. The search had begun in the morning after authorities were notified of his disappearance.

    Vetere said Ralston described to them what he had done and that he was "obviously tired." His only request was water.

    The rescurers tried to keep Ralston awake for the 12-minute flight to the hospital in Moab, Utah, by talking to him. He walked into the emergency room on his own. He was flown later to the Grand Junction hospital.

    "I've never seen anybody who has the will to live and is as much of a warrior as Aron is, and I've been doing this for 25 years, said park ranger Steve Swanke, who was with Ralston in the emergency room. "He is a warrior period."

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    saw him on the news... now there's some serious brass balls, and a ****in iron will to live
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    That man has got my vote for president. let's elect him next year. Damn a pocket knife
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    shows what the human mind and the will to live can do when put in a dire situation. just amazing what an individual is capable of doing when put in a situation, where you're limited to a limited choice. Sage
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    I heard him talkin on the radio, he was talking about how after cutting through the flesh he had to wrestle around to get his arm in the right angle to break the ulna and then the radius.

    (need to throwup now)
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    damn
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    Originally posted by Sheesh
    damn
    those were my sentiments exactly! how the hell do you apply a tourniquet with one arm after just cutting the other one off with a pocket knife? and then, secure an anchor and go rapelling down 100 feet and then, wander for a few miles until found without going into Shock??? craziness...
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    Originally posted by quasar


    those were my sentiments exactly! how the hell do you apply a tourniquet with one arm after just cutting the other one off with a pocket knife? and then, secure an anchor and go rapelling down 100 feet and then, wander for a few miles until found without going into Shock??? craziness...
    Adrenaline!
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    hell yea
    I read that this morning
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    So when`s the movie come out?
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    this actually reminds me of one of my favorite short stories... little Stephen King number called Survivor Type, about a crooked surgeon stranded on a deserted island after an ocean liner sinks... he's stranded with all 2 kilos or whatever of the cocaine he was transporting, and doesn't eat for 3, 4, 5 days until he starts amputating and eating himself to stay alive, using the cocaine as 'painkiller'... goes from his feet, up both legs, ears, nose, etc til at the end he eats his hands...

    hmm, okay, maybe there aren't that many direct comparisons lol.. was just thinking about decisions, the will to survive, etc. good stuff... what's amazing to me is the attitude people like this always seem to display after having gone to the brink of life/death choice. truly remarkable.
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    what would you guys do if you was in that mans position
    i dont think i would be able to do that
    cut through my fresh and then break myself off
    then drop down and walk how many clicks to my car
    this man has sum titainium balls
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    Originally posted by Yung Wun
    what would you guys do if you was in that mans position
    i dont think i would be able to do that
    cut through my fresh and then break myself off
    then drop down and walk how many clicks to my car
    this man has sum titainium balls
    I don't think I'd saw off my arm either bro, I'd be chicken **** to do it I'll admit it. Plus I'd be depressed to be living w/one arm. This dude's incredible IMO because that takes real stones my friends.
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    not to say that I would do it but you would be surprised what your capable of in fatal situations
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    Originally posted by dwfender
    not to say that I would do it but you would be surprised what your capable of in fatal situations
    Not to mention, I can pretty much guarantee the guy had NO feeling left in his arm after 5 days of it being crushed. Gangrene would most certainly have set in and all the cells in his lower arm would be dead from a lack of blood. Still not sure that would make it any easier to do, just less painfull than we think.
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    Originally posted by Draven


    Not to mention, I can pretty much guarantee the guy had NO feeling left in his arm after 5 days of it being crushed. Gangrene would most certainly have set in and all the cells in his lower arm would be dead from a lack of blood. Still not sure that would make it any easier to do, just less painfull than we think.
    Good call, and IMO, the ONLY way you can hack off a limb with a pocket knife and not pass out or go into shock.
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    Originally posted by Biggs
    this actually reminds me of one of my favorite short stories... little Stephen King number called Survivor Type, about a crooked surgeon stranded on a deserted island after an ocean liner sinks... he's stranded with all 2 kilos or whatever of the cocaine he was transporting, and doesn't eat for 3, 4, 5 days until he starts amputating and eating himself to stay alive, using the cocaine as 'painkiller'... goes from his feet, up both legs, ears, nose, etc til at the end he eats his hands...
    I would purposely OD and save myself the trouble.
  

  
 

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