Having read the article "Should we bestow Sainthood on the Reckless"in The Independent a while back, and having already read the book some years ago, I felt that the journalist didn't go far enough on his comments about Ralston. I however have no problem going further!
To call Ralston a hero by any individual, shows a total lack of knowledge of both, what it takes to undertake feats of adventure, or what it takes to become a hero.
In reading the book I felt that it was quite clear that Ralston had been a individual changed by the experience of self amputation, having gone from an individual who took loads of risks without a thought for the consequences, to someone who was ultimately changed by the experience enough to open himself, 'warts and all' to the critique of others.
Ralstron had to self amputate because of a sheer disregard for the simple precautions that the knowledgeable mountaineer would have taken as a normal preparation akin to packing a rucksack, even more so as a solo adventure.
In today's modern society where we are afforded such a simple safety at work through both mobile and land-line telephones, and even Facebook, twitter and email, a quick message to give details of times and places would have given a greater increased chance of search and rescue. As someone who enjoys the mountains and the experience of off trail solo adventures the appeal is huge, but there are risks and there is no use in taking the view it won't happen to you. As in this case, like many cases it was an accident, we only need look back at the Cairngorm Tragedy where qualified and experienced individuals were in control and every precaution was taken but an unfortunate accident caused one of the worse accidents in Scottish Mountaineering history.
To see an individual not take some of the most basic precautions who seems to have only been saved by his own arrogance (something you get from reading his book) and an altered mind state from blood poisoning, in being capable of cutting his own arm off. I know some individuals have commented on the release of Danny Boyle's film based on the experiences of the "127 hours" stating that and I quote "this guy is a legend" "awesome what a hero". Call me crazy but in what way is this guy a hero? He was an arrogant man who repeatedly flaunted best practice and unwritten rules that are there for a reason and are there to aid when accident such as this happen. He was and hopefully not is, a reckless adventurer not in any way intelligent one and learnt his lesson the hard way.
Hero? Hero's are the Mountain Rescue and Lifeboat volunteers that go out 365 : 24/7 to rescue these reckless individuals who don't take simple precautions to reduce the risk of an accident like this happening and to increase that chance of survival when it does.