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bitmasher's picture
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Man self amputates arm to survive

You all probably heard about this already.

Pinned hiker cuts off arm

However there were two other accounts of people self amputating to survive.

I could not imagine having to self amputate an arm or leg to survive. The two stories of guys cutting off there legs at the knee are unbelievable. One was with a 3" pocket knife....

expatriate's picture
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Man self amputates arm to survive

I heard tell of a similar story once where a guy woke up with his arm trapped under a really large woman and had to cut it off to avoid waking her up. But I haven't been able to confirm it.

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Man self amputates arm to survive

After reading about this and seeing it on TV this guy gets my vote for the toughest man of year award! :eek::

expatriate's picture
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Man self amputates arm to survive

Tough, yes. Dumb, definitely. Technical climbing by himself in tight slot canyons without telling anyone where he'd be or when he'd be back, no emergency communication...

I have a hard time honoring somebody who may have done a tough thing because he had to in order to extract himself from his own stupidity.

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Man self amputates arm to survive

I agree, expatriate. What he did was foolish in the extreme and he ended up paying the price.

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Man self amputates arm to survive

Quote:


On 2003-05-05 19:27, expatriate wrote:
I heard tell of a similar story once where a guy woke up with his arm trapped under a really large woman and had to cut it off to avoid waking her up. But I haven't been able to confirm it.

I can confirm this story cause it happened to my friend. You have one of the details wrong though, he didn't cut it off he had to chew it off. :smile:

[ This Message was edited by: rather_be_huntin on 2003-05-06 23:35 ]

bitmasher's picture
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Man self amputates arm to survive

Oh come on now Don and Ex, don't you think you guys are being a little harsh?

I fully admit that the Tennessee Pass incident suggests the guys central nervous system may be on the mushy side and had he created his demise in that incident he rightly would have been elevated too darwin award candidacy. However from at least this DP article he sounds humbled by that brush with death.

In the case where he lost his arm, i didn't read anything in that it was his foolishness that resulted in the boulder falling on his arm. Sounds like just a freak accident and nothing more. I have seen and heard of people doing stupider things and coming out far better than missing the better half of an arm.

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Man self amputates arm to survive

A little harsh, yes. But there have been so many articles in local papers here about this guy that seem to want to make him out as some kind of hero for having the courage and fortitude to amputate his own arm.

Yeah, well, he wouldn't have had to do that if he had followed even the most basic of common sense precautions. And I don't mean going rock climbing alone (which is bad enough). I mean going into a wilderness area without telling anyone where he was going (even in a general sense) or when to expect him back, and without taking any kind of signalling devices with him. That was just dumb.

expatriate's picture
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Man self amputates arm to survive

You said it, Don. Remember the Stolpas? They were the young couple and baby that got stuck in the snow in remote Northern Nevada a few years back, tried to hike out, and eventually the guy walked out while his wife and baby huddled in a hole. They barely survived,lost a few toes, and were regarded as heroes in the press. Yet few considered the fact that they traveled into a major winter storm and tried to save time by cutting across a desolate stretch of country on a remote road. They wouldn't have had to suffer through it if they'd used the slightest bit of common sense in the first place. But because they made an incredibly stupid choice and made it out by the skin of their teeth, they got national exposure, a movie deal, etc.

We also need to remember the search and rescue people who put their lives on the line to rescue people from their stupidity, and the taxpayers that have to pay for it.

I'm not suggesting the boulder fell on the guy because he was stupid. But I agree with Don that if he'd had a buddy with him, told someone where he was and when he'd be back, and had a way of emergency communication, he probably wouldn't have had to cut off his arm. Anybody with a fraction of this guy's backcountry experience knows better. Unfortunately, experience often breeds complacency.

I worked with a guy in a National Park once who had severe glaucoma to the point that he was just about legally blind even with his glasses on. One day he just disappeared --didn't come back to work from lunch. It turned out that he'd hitchhiked into the middle of the park, went a few miles up a trail, and left the trail to attempt to climb a peak -- all by himself without telling anyone. Then he took a fall and lost his glasses. I don't know how, but the Park Service finally found him late that night, shivering and helpless on a scree pile. Any one of us would've gladly taken him hiking any time; yet his stupidity cost him his job and nearly cost him his life.

[ This Message was edited by: expatriate on 2003-05-09 21:42 ]

bitmasher's picture
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Man self amputates arm to survive

I hear you on the local media. With the repeated exposure on events like this (or the Stolpas, like Ex points out), it does seem (or is) that the person gets elevated to "honored" or heroic status.

I agree that Ralston doesn't fit the bill of being honored or heroic for the reasons you both have pointed out. However he is tough, as has been said.

I don't believe he is dumb or foolish at least in this incidence and from what I have read. Ralston should have told somebody where he was going, no doubt. However, with the backcountry experience cited in the article it is clear that he would know that he should tell somebody where he was going. I speculate there was probably some reasonable explination for his failure to tell somebody this time. At any rate, telling somebody would not have saved his arm, but might have prevented at least self amputation.

My interest in posting the link was more from the angle of how shocking it would be to have to cut off a limb to survive, regardless if the situation prompting the amputation could or could not have been avoided. Personally, I'm not sure that I could do it, but then I've never had to make the choice between a limb or life...

[ This Message was edited by: bitmasher on 2003-05-10 23:45 ]

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Man self amputates arm to survive

"Not going anywhere for awhile??"

Somebody needs to give "Aron Ralston" a Snickers bar and maybe a movie deal for the shear fact that he amputated his own hand with a three inch knife...

I'm with everyone else that believes that this guy was an irresponsible moron that found himself in a bad situation.

This outdoors men, if that's what some of you would like to call him , should not be honored as a hero, but instead, his picture with his missing hand should be included in every hunters manual, all outdoor safety books, and in every introductory outdoor class as a possible out come if we forget to mention to friends or family where we're going!!

Stupidity should not be rewared with the honor of heroic, but instead used as a learning tool to prevent future mistakes.

_________________
Never take life to seriously... You'll never get out alive!!

[ This Message was edited by: Quicksilver on 2003-05-14 08:19 ]

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