Okay, I’ll say it up front. Although I’ve emailed Brendan Leonard and we’ve read each others’ writing, I don’t know him. We’ve never met, and he’s not related to me in any way that I know of. He’s not a friend of a friend or my climbing buddy’s second cousin. We never dated the same girl or took a class together. So this isn’t one writer promoting a guy he knows because well, you know…
Nope, I’m recommending Brendan Leonard because he’s positive, funny, intelligent, and a quality writer. That’s all. Easy.
So what do we need to know? First, Leonard is a contributing editor to Climbing Magazine. A great mag. And his piece in the July Photo Issue is awesome. In that issue, his article “How To Win Friends and Influence Climbers” is calling for a supplemental grading system for climbers called the EGS (the Enthusiasm Grading Scale). For example, in the EGS, a climber could earn a 5.14 rating by being incredibly kind to visiting Canadian climbers, loaning a sleeping bag, a pair of shorts, and inviting them to share the campfire. I world-class EGS rating means that you make the world better for the people you meet.
Pretty cool, right? And I nominate Mr. Brendan Leonard, right here, right now, for the first EGS Golden Piton Award for thinking up the idea. Why not?
But if that isn’t quite what you were looking for from a writer or blogger, or you don’t have a copy of that magazine, consider Leonard’s website Semi-Rad.
First, check out his drawings and flow charts. Two good examples:
Pooping In the Outdoors: A Flow Chart
Facts About Climbing Mount Everest (with his lead drawing)
Or if you’ve ever taught one of your favorite outdoor past-times to anyone new, read:
How To Get Your New Boyfriend/ Girlfriend To Hate Your Sport
And if you’ve ever had a gnarly outdoor vacation/adventure/trip, check out:
Your Best Vacation Is Someone’s Worst Nightmare
There are so many others. His article on the word Epic is great too. So, better yet, just read most or all of his site.
Oh, and did I mention that Brendan lives in his car, travels around, sleeps wherever, and takes pretty much any adventure he’s offered? Yep, most of us would like to be that brave.