Dave Rust: A Life in the Canyons (Nonfiction)

by Frederick H. Swanson
by Frederick H. Swanson

This well-written book gives us a detailed (almost day-by-day) account of the 33-year career of a rugged outdoorsman of whom most of us have never heard.

But Rust is important to the history and lore of the Grand Canyon. He built the first trail to its bottom from the North Rim, the Bright Angel Creek Trail, and underwent the first crossing of the deep-cut Colorado River, in a cable tram, to connect the North Rim to the South Rim. Rust soon left his beloved Grand Canyon in order to devote himself to guiding parties of tourists over much of the Colorado Plateau:?Glen Canyon, Kaibab Plateau, Rainbow Bridge, Bryce and Zion.   Although a college drop-out, Rust was a footloose intellectual who preferred to guide small parties, rather than squads of tourists, and on obscure trails of, say, the Escalante Wilderness, than on the paved paths of national parks. His textbooks were the mountains and canyons. Over his long career, he never strayed far from the Colorado Plateau. That was world enough for him; what Wallace Stegner called “the lovely-and terrible-wilderness.”

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