Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation
Kate Svitek Memorial Foundation

Aron Ralston Captivates the Crowd

Not a sound could be heard in the packed auditorium at Wissahickon High School in Ambler, Pennsylvania as Aron Ralston recounted the excruciating details of his traumatic ordeal in Blue John Canyon, Utah which began without warning on April 26, 2003. In a stunning and spellbinding delivery, Aron passionately dedicated his presentation in memory of Kate Svitek. By his own account, nature is a deep part of Aron Ralston's spirituality and he has chosen to pay tribute by helping to create ambassadors for the great outdoors. He teamed with the Kate Svitek memorial Foundation to share his vital message which is intrinsically tied to the Foundations' Mission.

After being trapped by a giant boulder for 6 days, and near death, Aron managed to cut off his arm with a cheap pocket knife and miraculously escape to safety. Aron's stunning story left a powerful impression on the crowd, many of whom traveled for hors to attend the event. His understated and humble delivery filled the room with an unspoken, but powerful spirituality. After the initial shock of the accident in which Aron's arm was hopelessly trapped, Aron knew that he had only four options for survival   --1) chipping away the rock, 2) implementation of a pulley system to dislodge the boulder   3) waiting for help in a totally remote canyon miles from civilization or 4) using a knife to amputate his arm.  He shared his perspective on each of these bleak options, as the days and hours of his captivity desperately ticked on. He videotaped good bye messages to friends and family as he prepared to die.

Several days in to his ordeal, after all rational hope had faded, Aron described his final hours of despair.  After experiencing hallucinations, he felt compelled, upon hearing a "voice", to break his arm and use the dull knife to sever the limb. Despite his critical medical condition, he managed to climb out of the canyon and hike several miles where he was discovered by Dutch tourists and rescued by helicopter.

The Foundation would like to extend its heartfelt appreciation to Aron for personally sharing his potent message and for providing critical support to the Foundation. Aron was available to autograph his best selling book, "Between a Rock and a Hard Place" after his presentation.

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