August 1, 2016 by Eric Hanson General, Photography 0

Brendan Leonard on Becoming a Writer and Doing What You Love

Becoming a writer, a filmmaker, or a photographer is hard. But there is good news. Most people who consistently work hard tend to make it. Yet let’s not work hard at the wrong things. I decided to reach out to people who have accomplished something unique, interesting, and inspiring in order to glean wisdom. I want to learn from those who have done it in order to help me accomplish my own goals. My intent is that their answers can help others who are working in a creative field. Brendan Leonard is an author, filmmaker, climber, and outdoor adventure guy. He recently released his second book, Sixty Meters to Anywhere. The book is truly wonderful. I highly recommend picking up a copy. I asked Brendan four questions about the path he has taken in his creative pursuits. – What was the most important thing (such as a trait, habit, or action) that helped you reach some sort of tipping point towards positive things, or “success,” in your life? “I think putting my writing online on my website at Semi-Rad.com and making a genuine effort to write something high-quality every single week (even though I wasn’t getting paid for it) did more for my writing […]

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April 24, 2015 by Eric Hanson General, Photography, Travel 1

Trekking Alpamayo: Searching for the World’s Most Beautiful Mountain

Turns out, it’s not easy to get to the world’s most beautiful mountain. Alpamayo, located in the heart of the Cordillera Blancas in Peru, has long attracted climbers and trekkers for its stunning beauty. In the 60’s, a German magazine conducted a survey of climbers and photographers, polling them on what mountain was the most beautiful in all the world. 19,500 foot Alpamayo came out on top, and Peru has been touting that claim to fame ever since. Having been to the Cordillera Blancas twice before without witnessing the mountain’s beauty with my own eyes, trekking back to it during my travels this time around was a priority. For those interested in trekking here themselves, perhaps this could be useful. Here’s my “travel notes” style description of the 8 day trek (I recommend doing it in 9 days). Victor wrangles the donkeys Day One: It took about 5 hours to get to the trailhead via collectivo, a rickety van that seats 12 people, but fits upward of 26 people if the driver so desires. Four hours of this drive and you are on the craziest, most zig-zag-winding, steep, beautiful road I’ve ever been on. In the town of Vaqueria we met […]

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February 28, 2015 by Eric Hanson General, Photography, Travel 8

How I Crapped My Pants 20 Times. Or, Climbing Cotopaxi.

Warning: This gets vulnerable and messy, but it’s an honest account of my climb up Cotopaxi There’s no ifs ands or butts about it, I have woken up this morning with an unfortunately-timed case of the runs. We are heading to climb Cotopaxi, a 19,300 foot beast-of-a-volcano in Ecuador, this is no time for Montezuma’s Revenge. Maybe it will pass, I think as we meet our guide Joaquin and head to Cotopaxi National Park. Climbing Cotopaxi had been a major goal of mine as Eric and I traveled, and I am feeling a little nervous about the climb. I have never experienced climbing anything close to this big. Eric and I have put in our work to acclimatize, recently climbing 15,000+ foot Imbabura and hiking in the National Park the day before at 16,000 feet. I feel ready for the mountain. A burst of hail pelts Joaquin’s vehicle as the three of us sit quietly inside, listening to the steady thump of the hail pounding the vehicle. “Once this passes, we will go up,” Joaquin says. The first task is to get to the Refugio, a climber’s lodge built just below the glacier. We need to ascend to 16,000 feet to […]

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Shut Down? Climbers Still Climb

Government shutdown got you down? Not these guys. Four climbers ascend the route known as Tricks of the Trade in Zion National Park. The route is one of the most difficult climbs in Zion, and follows a crack in Isaac Peak. Issac is a landmark familiar with Zion tourists. Millions of people see the peak every year and know it as part of the Court of the Patriarchs, a series of three peaks bearing biblical names; Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

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October 2, 2013 by Eric Hanson General 0

Launch Your Dream

How many of us like to sing in front of a crowd of people? Only a small percentage choose to do it. The rest of us would rather not. We’d rather not be judged, or humiliated. We’d rather not put ourselves out there, because we’d rather not give others a golden opportunity to think less of us. Starting any creative endeavor can feel like getting on stage in front of a crowd, singing your heart out, only to hear David Hasslehoff tell you he’s seen more talent in lumps of plastic. We look at others who have already started successful things, and wish we could be like them, that we could start something that a hundred thousand people clamor over.

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