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5. Catching Up: Aron Ralston
The Man With the Titaniun Arm

"Within the first hour, [Ralston] had made a mental list of possible courses of action: He could wait for rescue; he could chip at the rock to free his hand; he could somehow move the rock off his hand; or he could amputate his hand." —"One Way Out," by Laurence Gonzales, ADVENTURE August 2003

"Within the first hour, [Ralston] had made a mental list of possible courses of action: He could wait for rescue; he could chip at the rock to free his hand; he could somehow move the rock off his hand; or he could amputate his hand."—"One Way Out," by Laurence Gonzales, ADVENTURE August 2003. Almost from the moment he emerged from a Utah canyon minus his right hand, Aron Ralston has been on the go. "It’s surreal," he says of his enduring notoriety. After a splashy media tour in 2003 and 2004—Letterman, Dateline, Howard Stern—he wrote a best-selling book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. In 2005 he became the first person to solo all of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in midwinter, then embarked on a frenetic expedition schedule: climbing the three highest peaks in South America; scaling 20,320-foot Denali (via the notoriously deadly Orient Express Route, and followed by a ski descent); rafting Cataract, Desolation, and the Grand Canyons; and making ascents of big walls in Yosemite. "I climbed more in 2007 than in my entire life until that point," said Ralston, 33, who remains an extremely popular Internet presence. In June Ralston will head up Kilimanjaro with family members, and he’s considering taking on the big one—Everest—in 2010 with his sometime expedition partner Eric Larsen.

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