The Hand of Aron Ralston

Post by blogger | June 14, 2006      

I was amused by a recent article about Aron Ralston in Mountain Gazette, Colorado’s wordy journal that covers an eclectic mix of verbiage, all loosely associated with life in the mountain west.

The piece by Vince Welch is titled “The Hand.” It tells the story of recovering Aron Ralston’s famous appendage from its trap under a boulder in Blue John Canyon. In the usual Gazette style the writing is way too long and includes the usual boorish whining about those pesky OTHER people who are moving to or visiting the (read OUR) west, but skim that junk and you’ll find part of the article is quite enjoyable. Who would have thought that going out and getting someone’s chopped off hand would become part of your mountain rescue resume?

As for the rest of this MG issue: I also enjoyed the writing about climbers and their intimate relationships (see “Climbing is for Lovers”). But Dick Dorworth’s troglodytian rant about Yosemite was boring. Is any one else tired of reading whiney writing about “how cool this place was when I was here so many years ago, and how crumby it is now?” Mountain Gazette is full of that stuff, and it gets old. Also, the usual “alcohol is hip” slant in the Jonny Love profile is something I’ve seen enough of. Having numerous friends who are recovered or struggling substance abusers causes me to see whisky through a different lens. (As one who enjoys a few drinks now and then I’m not trying to get sticky here, just opining on the glorification of booze.) Mountain Gazette needs more content that covers the positive fun side of mountain life, less “we are the people and this is the life — and you stay away from my place — and before you leave please pass the whisky” junk.

My own rants aside, check it out for yourself — especially the info about the outdoor cooter. Now in that case I learned something. Really.

If you can’t find a copy of Mountain Gazette at a news stand near you, their website is here.



13 Responses to “The Hand of Aron Ralston”

  1. Mike Marolt June 14th, 2006 3:01 pm

    Wooaaa Lou, just a minute there. They print on recycled paper with organic ink.


  2. Lou June 14th, 2006 4:21 pm

    Woops, I forgot about that. Mea culpa.

  3. JohnHemlock June 14th, 2006 4:32 pm

    I agree the writing in Mtn Gazette could use some tight editing and better writers but from the tone of your writing you would think one of their editors had shot your dog. In any case, I take pride in being a functioning outdoor drunk (not an alcoholic – drunks drink while alcoholics go to meetings.) People have been getting drunk and naked in the mountains since the days of John Colter and I find nothing wrong with celebrating that fact.

  4. Lou June 14th, 2006 4:54 pm

    Where did I write about getting naked?

  5. Mark Worley June 15th, 2006 4:30 am

    Some funny writing, but the Foiled Again section has some really outdated police reports from several years ago.
    (John Hemlock:
    Doubt John Colter broke out the Coors as he was in a race for his life after the Indians stripped him and gave him a “sporting” head start)

  6. Greydon Clark June 15th, 2006 1:14 pm

    Perhaps you should submit an essay on how it’s better now than at any time in the past.

  7. Mike Marolt June 15th, 2006 2:07 pm

    Lou said the article was boring. He didn’t say anything about anything being better than anything, anywhere, in the thing, i don’t think. hu?


  8. Lou June 15th, 2006 3:58 pm

    Yeah, I wasn’t making value judgments about the growth in the west, but I was doing so about the writing in MG. That said, I think there are a lot of positive things about the growth in our area. Some negatives as well. The funny thing is that most people who complain about it actually came here during the growth and/or make their living by it, which I find somewhat strange but also expected as a part of human nature.

  9. Dan M June 16th, 2006 8:49 am

    You found actually found some climbing in the climbing edition, eh? After picking one up with the cool front picture, I couldn’t find the name of the climb in the photo nor much other climbing content.

  10. Tim June 17th, 2006 8:42 am

    That is a gorgeous crack on the cover.

    Makes me want to dust off my climbing shoes, place an ad on Craigslist for a female climbing partner, and head out.

    Anybody know where this clomb is located?

  11. Rick June 20th, 2006 9:48 am

    I read it every month. I could not agree more with Lou’s comments. A concise critique. MG could be an important and valuable contribution. But too often the writing style and general themes that Lou pinpointed become overly tiresome. They could certainly crank up the level a few degrees. Maybe. If they want to.

  12. Corey June 30th, 2006 8:18 am

    I have had a few people call and tell me about this lovely blog that is going on about the “Jonny Love” MG article and how Lou and other have a problem with the article content. As his girlfriend I have to defend him and our climbing group. Team Hideous is one of the most responsible groups of people that still know how to have a good time. They are the ones who pick up other climbers trash at the crag and invite the group next to them to use their rope. I understand that “we” as a climbing community need to create positive press and be respectful in order to keep the crags open, but at the same time I did not see you Lou at the American Alpine Club volunteer events…how about supporting the groups who support your outdoor habits. I’m just saying lighten up, it is all in fun. The guy is 40, plays his sax every weekend until 3am and can still get up early the next morning and have more fun than you could ever have. JONNY LOVE FOR MAYOR.

  13. Lou June 30th, 2006 11:36 am

    Interesting points Corey, thanks, but did it ever occur to you that perhaps what I write in my blog is “all in fun” as well? And as to judging a person by what volunteer events they show up at, you have no idea where or what I contribute in terms of volunteer work, so lighten up on that! And if Jonny Love has more fun than I could ever have, perhaps we should wait and compare when he’s my age. At 40 he’s still a kid.

    P.S., all I mentioned in the blog was that I was uncomfortable with the “alcohol is hip” slant of the Jonny Love article. I said nothing disparaging about Jonny Love. I don’t know the man, and make a policy of not doing personal attacks on my blog. If you’re construing what I said in my blog as a personal attack, I’d ask that you’d go back and read it. I don’t see how it can be interpreted that way unless you’re too close to the issue and much too sensitive. Or perhaps there are some alcohol issues lurking out there for you or your friends, and what I said struck a nerve? If so I hope you get things worked out.

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