Amos Richards, a hiker inspired by the film “127 Hours” nearly ended up in his own disaster movie after breaking his leg whilst walking in the same canyon where the drama took place.
Amos Richards, 64, from Concord, North Carolina, went out on his own to Little Blue John Canyon near Salt Lake City in Utah, but fell 10 ft (3 m) down a hole and hurt himself.
With a broken leg and dislocated shoulder, Amos Richards was forced to drag his body through the desert for four days until a search helicopter saw him.
Amos Richards later revealed had only gone to the remote park after watching “127 Hours” in which James Franco players a climber who is forced to amputate his right arm to free himself from a boulder – after falling down a canyon at Little Blue John.
Amos Richards’ version began when he tumbled down the hole and realized the full horror of his situation – his mobile phone was not working and he only had two protein bars to keep him going.
Amos Richards also realized it would take him days to reach civilization or get back to his car but given nobody knew where he was he had to set off.
The hiker later recalled: “I was just thinking that this may be it, I may not be found.”
As he crawled along the ground Amos Richards filled his water bottles with rain as he painstakingly retraced his steps, eventually dragging himself almost five miles.
Each night Amos Richards had to sleep under the stars with no tent or a cover sheet as temperatures plunged to barely 10 C (50 F).
“I was actually following my GPS, crawling right on top of my feet print that I had hiked in on.”
Rangers at Canyonlands National Park sent out search parties when Amos Richards’ camp site was discovered unattended and two days later they found his car.
On the day four Amos Richards was tracked down by a helicopter and taken to Moab Regional Hospital, where he was treated for leg fractures, internal injuries, trauma and dehydration.
Now Amos Richards is expected to make a full recovery.
“127 Hours”, the 2010 Danny Boyle film was based on the account of climber Aron Ralston who went hiking in Little Blue John Canyon without telling anybody where he was going.
Aron Ralston’s autobiography Between a Rock and a Hard Place detailed his struggle including the awful moment he had to chop off his arm with a pocket knife or face dying in the desert.
Paul Henderson, the assistant superintendent of Canyonlands, said the incident was “at least the third or fourth time that we’ve had issues at Blue John since the movie.”
Henderson said about Amos Richards:
“He made some of the very same mistakes that Aron Ralston did.
“He went into a very remote area and nobody knew what his travel plans where.”