Harley Rustad

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Harley Rustad
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  • Author
  • Magazine editor
  • Journalist

Harley Rustad is a Canadian bestselling author, magazine editor, and journalist whose writing has appeared in publications including Outside (magazine), The Walrus, The Globe and Mail, Geographical (magazine), The Guardian, and CNN.

Early Life

Rustad was born on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, where he spent the first few months of his life in a tent while his parents built their home.[1]

Journalism Career

Rustad has been an editor and writer at The Walrus, a Canadian general interest magazine, since 2014.[2] He is a faculty editor at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity’s Mountain and Wilderness Writing Residency.[3] He is the author of Lost in the Valley of Death[4] and Big Lonely Doug.[1]

Big Lonely Doug

His first book, Big Lonely Doug: The Story of One of Canada’s Last Great Trees,[1] a nonfiction book published in 2018 is about the second-largest Douglas fir in Canada that was a saved by a logger who wrapped green LEAVE TREE ribbon around its trunk, and the fight to protect old-growth forests in British Columbia. The tree, Big Lonely Doug, is growing in the middle of a clear cut near Port Renfrew, British Columbia. The book started as a magazine article in The Walrus.[5] The book was nominated for the 2018 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing,[6] the 2019 Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize,[7] and the 2018 Banff Mountain Book Festival|Banff Mountain Book Competition.[8]

Lost in the Valley of Death

His second book, Lost in the Valley of Death: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas[4], was published in 2022 and investigates the 2016 disappearance of Justin Alexander Shetler in the Parvati Valley, India. It was a Canadian bestseller.[9]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lederman, Marsha (August 21, 2018). "Meet Doug: B.C.'s biggest celebri-tree". Globe and Mail.
  2. Medley, Mark (May 19, 2017). "In wake of cultural appropriation debate, who will take helm of The Walrus?". Globe and Mail.
  3. "Mountain and Wilderness Writing".
  4. 4.0 4.1 Paterniti, Michael (January 21, 2022). "Seeking Enlightenment, He Disappeared Into a Hiker's Bermuda Triangle". New York Times.
  5. Rustad, Harley (September 19, 2016). "Big Lonely Doug". The Walrus.
  6. "Books about masculinity, energy projects among Shaughnessy Cohen Prize finalists". Globe and Mail. April 3, 2019.
  7. "BC Yukon Book Prizes Winners and Finalists". BC Yukon Book Prizes.
  8. "Banff Mountain Book Competition Announces 2018 Finalists". Rock and Ice. September 10, 2018.
  9. "The bestselling Canadian books for the week of Feb. 6-12, 2022". CBC. February 15, 2022.

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