Aron Ralston was born on October 27, 1975, in Marion, Ohio. When he was 11, he and his family moved to a southern suburb of Denver, Colorado. Ralston is a graduate of Cherry Creek High School in Greenwood Village, Colorado.
He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, finishing with a dual degree in mechanical engineering and French, and a minor in piano. At Carnegie Mellon, he served as a resident assistant, studied abroad in Switzerland, and was an active intramural sports participant. Following a five-year tenure at Intel Corporation in Arizona, Washington, and New Mexico, Ralston left his career as a mechanical engineer in 2002 and moved to Aspen, Colorado to pursue a life of climbing mountains.
In April of 2003, Aron Ralston survived a canyoneering accident in southeastern Utah, during which he amputated his own right forearm with a dull multi-tool in order to extricate himself from a large chockstone. He was trapped beneath the boulder for five days. After he freed himself, Aron rappelled down a 65-foot overhanging cliff and hiked five hours before a rescue helicopter flew him to a hospital.
Ralston’s autobiographical memoir Between a Rock and a Hard Place documents his experience and was the basis for the 2010 film 127 Hours, which received six Academy Award nominations.
Aron Ralston, Photography
Aron Ralston’s affinity for wilderness and adventure photography began on road trips with his family to the western National Parks, and blossomed during his early climbs of Colorado’s Fourteeners (both in summer and in winter). In the early half of the 2000s, Ralston apprenticed with renowned landscape photographer John Fielder on week-long wilderness backpacking trips. Aron continues to climb mountains and adventure, as well as document his journeys both through photography and videography.