For a guy with such a fragile name, Hugh Glass must have seemed unbreakable.
Shot twice and mauled by a grizzly bear, the mountain man made famous in the book and acclaimed movie “The Revenant” grew to mythological proportions in his era. Yet after cheating death so many times, and under such unusual circumstances, in real life his adventures were ended on the Yellowstone River, just east of Billings, in 1833.
"He was quite a character," said Jay Buckley, an associate professor of History at Brigham Young University, who is familiar with Glass' story. "We don't know a ton about that era, but we wouldn't know anything about Hugh Glass if he hadn't been attacked by a bear."
Glass was a fur trapper in the heydays of the mountain man, the 1820s to 1840s.
“It was a really pivotal time in history,” said Laurie Hartwig, who served as director of the Museum of the Mountain Man in Pinedale, Wyo., for 14 years and is now a staff member.
The mountain men traveled on the heels of western explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, some of the first Euro-Americans to explore the Missouri and Yellowstone river drainages in Montana. The routes the fur trappers traveled, Hartwig said, are the same paths that settlers would later follow to lay claim to the West.