NENA 2011 Keynote Speaker: Aron Ralston

Monday, June 20 – 8:00AM – 10:00AM
Sponsored by Intrado

In 2003, Aron Ralston’s story made headlines worldwide. After being pinned by a half-ton boulder for nearly a week in a remote three-foot-wide slot canyon in southern Utah, Ralston narrowly escaped death by severing his right forearm with a dull pocketknife. After applying a tourniquet, he hiked and rappelled for five hours through Blue John Canyon.
Ralston documented the life-altering experience and his remarkable will to survive in his New York Times best-selling book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. His story has been adapted into a movie by Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle. The film, 127 Hours, was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture. Thanks to the movie’s success, the book returned to the Best Seller’s list for another six weeks in 2010–11.
Ralston graduated as Carnegie Mellon University’s top student in mechanical engineering in 1997, with Phi Beta Kappa honors for a second degree in French. He left his job as a mechanical engineer with Intel in 2002 to follow his passion for outdoor adventures in Colorado.
Aided by radical prosthetic devices that he helped design – Ralston has expanded his adventures to the world’s great peaks, deserts, and rivers. He is the only person to have solo climbed all 59 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot-high mountains in winter; the only person with a disability to have skied from the summit of Denali, North America’s tallest mountain; and in April 2009, he became the first amputee to row a raft through the Grand Canyon.