Time Machine: 20 years ago, Aron Ralston’s arm amputating survival story hits newspapers | VailDaily.com

Time Machine: 20 years ago, Aron Ralston’s arm amputating survival story hits newspapers

10 years ago

May 2, 2013

The Vail Valley Foundation’s Winter Mountain Games were taking a 2-year hiatus, the Vail Daily reported.

The first event was held in 2012 and a second in 2013, but the approaching World Championships, slated for February 2015, had organizers focused on that event, instead.

“The decision was made in order to help facilitate the ramp up to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships,” a press release from the Vail Valley Foundation stated.

“While the summer games are well-established, the winter version conflicts with the 2015 ski championships, so the event would likely have taken that year off anyway,” the Vail Daily reported. “Add in the complexity of hosting the world top ski racing event, and a 2-year break made sense.”

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Climber Aron Ralston speaks during a news conference, Thursday, May 8, 2003, in Grand Junction, Colo., as he describes how he had to amputate his forearm and right hand to save his life after a climbing accident. His mother Donna listens at right.
File photo/AP

20 years ago

May 3, 2003

The story of Aspen resident Aron Ralston hit newspapers across the country.

Ralston cut off his right arm below the elbow with a pocketknife after holding out for five days pinned under an 800-pound boulder in a remote slot canyon of Utah’s Canyonlands National Park.

“As of Thursday night, Ralston was listed in serious condition at St. Mary’s hospital in Grand Junction where he was flown after doctors stabilized him in Moab,” the Vail Daily reported.

The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported that Ralston’s prognosis for survival was good, according to his family.

“He anxiously looks forward to returning to his love of the outdoors,” the family said.

30 years ago

April 23, 1993

Skiers were testing the Super Bowl, Pete’s Bowl and Commando Bowl areas of Vail Mountain, all located on the south side of Two Elk Creek across the valley from China and Mongolia, for ski area expansion feasibility.

“Vail Associates has been taking snow coaches into the proposed expansion area to let people get an idea what kind of skiing there could be,” the Vail Trail reported. “Meanwhile, at the top of Vail Mountain, the snowpack is almost 10 feet deep.”

40 years ago

May 6, 1983

Sheriff A.J. Johnson assured boaters that despite predictions for a high runoff season, he would only close rivers as a “last, drastic result,” according to the Vail Trail.

Johnson said his deputies will prevent tubers and makeshift rafts from entering the rivers during dangerous high water periods, the Trail reported.

“If they don’t have the proper equipment, then I’m going to ask them not go in,” Johnson told the Trail.

Johnson was working closely with local kayakers who will assist his department in posting signs along the river, the Trail reported.

“The cooperation is in stark contrast to former Sheriff Jack Haynes, who angered local kayakers by closing the rivers to everyone at one point, which resulted in charges being filed against two kayakers who entered the Eagle River in protest,” the Trail reported. “That arrest, in turn, sparked a protracted lawsuit.”

50 years ago

May 4, 1973

Ski Area Management magazine interviewed Pete Siebert for their Spring 1973 issue, predicting that Seibert will be elected to become the president of National Ski Areas Association following his term as vice president.

Seibert said he wanted to get smaller areas back into the NCAA, and see the U.S. Ski Team program operated by a small board of directors made up of the people who provide the money for it.

Seibert also said he was upset about the firing of Willy Schaeffler from the U.S. Ski Team, pointing out that the team actually did very well over the winter, including two firsts, one second and a third in the last four World Cup races.

“That didn’t sound like a disaster to me,” Seibert said. “They also had (in mid-winter) three men in the top downhill seed in the world something that has never been accomplished before in this country.”

Seibert said a month before Schaeffler was terminated, he had agreed to resign at the end of the season.

“The fact that he was terminated in mid-season was a very unnecessary, thoughtless and cruel personal blow to Willy,” Seibert said.

60 years ago

May 2, 1963

The city of Aurora was making plans to issue $7 million to $8 million in bonds to start construction on the $57.7 million Homestake water project to be shared with Colorado Springs, the Eagle Valley Enterprise reported.

“Colorado Springs has approved transmountain diversion of waters from the head of the Eagle River,” the Enterprise reported. “Because of some $4 million on hand Colorado Springs will not have to issue bonds for its share of the initial work.”

The water was to be diverted over Trout Creek Pass, through South Park, and divided between Aurora and Colorado Springs just below Eleven Mile Reservoir, with Aurora water flow down the South Platte River, the Enterprise reported.

“Initial work will start not later than June 17 and July 8, respectively, on a 4-mile road from Gold Park south of Red Cliff to Homestake Lake and a 5.5-mile tunnel from the lake to Turquoise Lake,” the Enterprise reported. “Construction of a 225-foot earth and rock dam to raise the storage capacity of Homestake Reservoir to 43,000 acre feet is scheduled for next spring. The project, involving Eagle County water, is said by Aurora officials, ‘to more than adequately provide expanding water needs of the two cities well into the next century.'”

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