Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Between A Rock and A Hard Place

Book - 2004
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One of the most extraordinary survival stories ever told--Aron Ralston's searing account of his six days trapped in one of the most remote spots in America, and how one inspired act of bravery brought him home.

It started out as a simple hike in the Utah canyonlands on a warm Saturday afternoon. For Aron Ralston, a twenty-seven-year-old mountaineer and outdoorsman, a walk into the remote Blue John Canyon was a chance to get a break from a winter of solo climbing Colorado's highest and toughest peaks. He'd earned this weekend vacation, and though he met two charming women along the way, by early afternoon he finally found himself in his element: alone, with just the beauty of the natural world all around him.

It was 2:41 P.M. Eight miles from his truck, in a deep and narrow slot canyon, Aron was climbing down off a wedged boulder when the rock suddenly, and terrifyingly, came loose. Before he could get out of the way, the falling stone pinned his right hand and wrist against the canyon wall.

And so began six days of hell for Aron Ralston. With scant water and little food, no jacket for the painfully cold nights, and the terrible knowledge that he'd told no one where he was headed, he found himself facing a lingering death -- trapped by an 800-pound boulder 100 feet down in the bottom of a canyon. As he eliminated his escape options one by one through the days, Aron faced the full horror of his predicament: By the time any possible search and rescue effort would begin, he'd most probably have died of dehydration, if a flash flood didn't drown him before that.

What does one do in the face of almost certain death? Using the video camera from his pack, Aron began recording his grateful good-byes to his family and friends all over the country, thinking back over a life filled with adventure, and documenting a last will and testament with the hope that someone would find it. (For their part, his family and friends had instigated a major search for Aron, the amazing details of which are also documented here for the first time.) The knowledge of their love kept Aron Ralston alive, until a divine inspiration on Thursday morning solved the riddle of the boulder. Aron then committed the most extreme act imaginable to save himself.

Between a Rock and a Hard Place -- a brilliantly written, funny, honest, inspiring, and downright astonishing report from the line where death meets life -- will surely take its place in the annals of classic adventure stories.
Publisher: New York: Atria Books, c2004.
ISBN: 9780743492812
Branch Call Number: 796.522 RALS
Characteristics: 354 p. ; 25 cm.


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Mar 06, 2017

very good book and VERY well written! I was amazed at Aron's writing ability. I would highly recommend

Mar 06, 2016

I loved the movie (127 hours) first, then read the book as an afterthought. I enjoyed the book and think that I would have liked the movie less had I reversed the order.

The bonus material of the book is Ralston's account of his life in outdoor adventures. He climbed and camped and rode like it was his job. His writing is excellent (made me scan the cover for his ghost author), and he effectively describes the sometimes reckless life that he has lead. I have a better appreciation of the man and the incident after reading his account.

Entertaining reading for lovers of the outdoors.

Aug 21, 2014

Loved when the story focused on Aron's survival, but the side stories were boring and filled up half the book. The second half of the book was full of excitement and easy to get through, but it was almost painfully boring to get through the beginning.

Jul 21, 2014

July 20, 2014..... (Audiobook) I haven't listened to all of this story, just caught parts of it while my hubby was listening, but wow, pretty intense. This fellows amazing will to live and his ability to think through, and enable himself to survive in such circumstances is amazing...... I'm sure I would have died....... I'm going to have to listen to the whole thing sometime. Another one for my later shelf! - See more at:

Mar 29, 2014

This book would be much better if the focus was on the survival story itself. I found the other stories (climbing 14000'ers in Colorado, mountain biking in Moab etc) to take away from the drama at hand, more of a self promotion than anything else. Nonetheless a great book about survival though nowhere near the depth of writing and emotion of Joe Simpson's 'Touching the Void'

Apr 01, 2012

well i think its would be a good book if they put pictures of the cover up.

Aug 23, 2011

NYTimes best seller

debwalker Jan 04, 2011

The film “127 Hours“ was based on Aron Ralston’s harrowing tale of how he survived a hiking accident by sawing off his forearm with a dull blade.

Dec 02, 2010

A brave rock climber describes his horrific ordeal when getting trapped on a solo rock climbing expedition. I liked this book because the author brought in detailed chronological order of him hiking, getting trapped, being stuck for several days, amputating his arm, and being rescued

Nov 03, 2010

An extraordinary tale of survival and strength in the face of terrible odds


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