'DATELINE NBC: DESPERATE DAYS IN BLUEJOHN CANYON' REPORTED BY TOM BROKAW
Marking the Six-Month Anniversary of His Fateful Accident, Aron Ralston Returns for the First Time to Bluejohn Canyon on an Emotional Journey with Brokaw
Report to Feature Never Before Seen or Heard Video and Audio Clips Ralston Taped of Himself While Trapped in the Canyon
NEW YORK -- September 7, 2004 -- Marking the six-month anniversary of his fateful accident, Aron Ralston returns with NBC's Tom Brokaw for the first time to the canyon where he nearly died after being trapped by an 800-pound boulder. He discusses and relives his six days there with Brokaw, describing at length his thoughts, worries, and fears throughout the ordeal and, why his survival ultimately depended on him having to cut off his own arm. Trapped with only minimal amounts of food and water, Ralston explains his efforts to manage his body's resources as well as his attempts to free himself from the boulder. The report also includes never before seen or heard video and audio clips, Ralston taped of himself while trapped in the canyon, and interviews with his family, co-worker and rescuers. "Desperate Days in Bluejohn Canyon" reported by Tom Brokaw will be broadcast on Friday, Sept. 10 (8 PM, ET) on "Dateline NBC."
While trapped for six days in Bluejohn Canyon, Ralston ? who often carried a video camera on his adventures ? decided to record messages to his family and friends after realizing his slim chances of survival.
The following excerpts from Ralston's clips provide viewers with an intimate look at Ralston's most painful and poignant moments in Bluejohn Canyon:
"I don't know what it is about me that's brought me to this...Go out looking for adventure and risk...so I can feel alive...and don't tell someone where I'm going, it's just dumb."
"If I had a way to end it I probably would...it's miserable, it's cold. I cant keep the wind off of me it's cold...I'm doing what I can, but this sucks. It's really bad. One of the worst ways to go. Knowing it's going to happen."
"So again love to everyone. Bring love and peace and happiness and beautiful lives into the world in my honor. Thank you. Love you."
On the morning of his final day trapped inside the canyon, Ralston knew what he had to do to survive ? he had to cut off his arm that was pinned by the heavy boulder. In intimate detail, he describes to Brokaw the slow and excruciatingly painful process he went through to relinquish his arm from the rock, saying that once he was free from it he felt reborn.
Ralston tells Brokaw, "[It] was the happiest moment in my life...there will never be a more powerful experience for me. I...just spent all this time trapped here. And then having the opportunity I...thought I was going to die...and to have gotten to that point I...where I engraved my own epitaph...gravestone, in a sense that it...was absolutely the greatest feeling to be...given the chance to get out of here. And looking down in canyon, I knew I had a...hell of a trip left. But at least...I was not going to die right here. And the power of that was astonishing."
David Corvo is the executive producer of "Desperate Days in Blue John Canyon." Marc Rosenwasser is the executive editor, Colleen Halpin Rubino is the producer, Karen Epstein is the field producer and Richard Platt is the editor.