Skip to Content

Gear : Media : Just a Good Read : Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Next >

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Average Rating = 3.40/5 Average Rating : 3.40 out of 5
Item Details | Reviews (6)
Premier Sponsor:
Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Manufacturer: Other

This item may be available at:

Go Backcountry
Go Altrec
Go Moosejaw
Go Backcountry Outlet
Go REI Outlet
Go US Outdoor
Go RockCreek


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.

You can purchase the book at This Link

6 Reviews

GoWrite your own Review
GoRead all 6 reviews

Great book 5 out of 5 stars

Review by: skidawg, 2007-05-19

I'm not very big into reading at all, but I really enjoyed this book. The writing style, and structure are very well done. There are gripping parts, and humorous parts as well...highly recommend.

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: shouldbeworking, 2005-07-13

Overall- Aron comes off as a real dick in this book; arrogant, thoughtless, and self-absorbed. It is all in the writing/narrative style, though. I mean, this guy CUT HIS OWN ARM OFF TO SAVE HIS LIFE-I'd hope there was more to him than the book reveals. Interestingly enough, I saw the Tom Brokaw special where he interviews Aron- and they return to the canyon to repeat and re-enact his ordeal, and he comes off as intelligent, humble, and much more as the sort of "quiet superman" you'd expect from the details, rather than his unfortuntely poor recounting, of the story.

Review 3 out of 5 stars

Review by: bassmasta, 2005-07-02

good story but i still think the guy was retarted i mean seriously, who goes on a solo climbing/hiking trip and tells NO ONE where he would be. he also tried to scare away a bear by yelling and throwing rocks at it. but im glad he came out of it to climb another day.

Review 1 out of 5 stars

Review by: bustloose, 2005-05-24

You don't rate a 'drama in real life' book on the story, you rate it on the quality of writing. after having waded through this tripe, it would appear to me that Mr. Rolston could have done with an editor who had more than a Grade 10 reading level. The style is ponderous and unfocused, and sufferes from tremendous overdetailing. The reader really doesn't care about what brand of jacket the random hiking girls were wearing.

While Aron may be a reckless mountaineer, a tough SOB, and remarkably fortunate, he is far from a writer. I was trememdously disappointed with the way this book was written.

wait for the inevitable movie release.


Review 0 out of 5 stars

Review by: cliffhanger9, 2004-10-18

this is a test review - will post the real review when i finish the book. on page 3.

GoRead all 6 reviews

Write a Review