Completed: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

First off, let me say that I really enjoyed this book from Aron Ralston.  It was a great read!  The book details Aron’s entrapment in a slot canyon in Utah, his right forearm pinnned against the wall by a half-ton boulder.  There were places where the description of technical skiing or climbing techniques washed over my head, but they weren’t so frequent or long as to detract from the reading.  I especially liked the flashbacks playing out during the documentation of Aron’s entrapment.

Those flashbacks made it soooo easy to see how he got himself trapped by a half-ton boulder.  Reckless is probably an understatement!  Throughout the book, you read about Aron escaping a bear, an avalanche, a drowning…. and mostly because he was doing foolish things about which an experienced mountaineer and outdoorsman should know better.

The fact that he amputated his own arm in a slot canyon in Utah doesn’t make him a hero to me.  Sure, that was brave, although it was either that or die, so I think that’s a fairly obvious choice.  I would simply call him lucky.  Lucky to be alive.  Lucky he hadn’t alienated more friends along the reckless path he’s chosen to take.  Trapped in the canyon, Aron reflects on how much friends and family mean — that’d be a good thing for him to remember, and probably a good lesson for all of us.