Rock climber Aron Ralston will speak in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28 in the Fayetteville Town Center. He will share his inspirational story, dramatized in the critically-acclaimed film, 127 Hours, of how he amputated his own arm to save his life after a climbing accident.
Ralston will appear as part of the University of Arkansas student-sponsored Distinguished Lecture Series. The event is free, open to the public and no tickets are required.
Ralston, who has a degree in mechanical engineering from the Carnegie Mellon Institute, left his career behind to pursue his passion for mountain climbing. On a solo excursion in Utah in April, 2003 he was trapped by an 800-pound boulder that dislodged and crushed his right arm, pinning him against the canyon wall. He had told no one where he was going, had no means to communicate, and no hope of being rescued. On the sixth day of his ordeal he used the two-inch knife blade of a multi-use tool to cut off the lower part of his right arm. He then rappelled out of the canyon and hiked across the desert. A vacationing family spotted him and managed to contact a rescue helicopter.
Before his accident, Ralston had set out to climb all 53 of Colorado’s mountains over 14,000 feet high. In 2005, he achieved his goal and has since climbed several other well-known peaks.
The Distinguished Lecture Series at the University of Arkansas is a student-sponsored program. Speakers are chosen by a student committee, and the events are funded by a student-approved fee, appropriated by the Associated Student Government.