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He Lives Major: Brody Leven

Christine Mitchell Adams January 14, 2016

Brody is one of the most energetic people I've come to know. His enthusiasm for what he does and his passion for living life to the fullest is infectious. Not only is he a professional skier and adventurer (he partners with Salomon, Goal Zero, Suunto, Discrete, and Black Diamond), Brody also dedicates his time and efforts to education and activism in relation to our environment and avalanches. Through guest speaking engagements, he shares his own incredible mountain experiences to inspire growth, change and passion. We chatted with Brody to learn more about what he's been up to, and what inspired his passion for the outdoors.

Photo by KT Miller

You travel around the world, but where are you from originally and what about your upbringing inspired your passion for the outdoors?
Northeastern Ohio. It was (and still is) pretty flat. I was an entrepreneur from a young age, owning a mobile DJ business for nearly 10 years before moving to SLC for college. I’m adverse to some societal norms, especially those that apply to work. I’ve never owned a TV.

Not owning a TV will definitely help you get outside a bit more. What has been your most memorable trip or expedition?
My memory kinda sucks, so it’s usually the most recent one. But a great way for me to remember a trip is for it to require huge amounts of exertion and suffering. My website features some seriously memorable projects. Real-time, I share them via my Instagram

Your Instagram is actually one of our favorites to follow. You do a lot of activities - from biking to running and skiing. Is there one in particular where you feel totally in your element?
I prefer to spend my time in the mountains, year-round. It’s more about traveling among them and telling stories from them than it is about about what activity I’m doing. I like to move among them with as little STUFF as possible, running without excessive gear and skiing on lightweight equipment. Most of my time is spent mountain running (which involves a LOT of uphill walking, out of breath, with my hands on my quads) or climbing and skiing mountains. I don’t use chairlifts, helicopters, snowmobiles, or any motorized machines to reach summits. I use my legs. They’re little machines that only require burritos.

Burritos! That's awesome. You are involved with the environmental group Protect Our Winters. How did you get involved and what do you do with them?
I’ve been heavily involved in environmental stewardship since my terms as student body president at my university. After graduation, I wanted to find another platform to encourage environmental responsibility and education because I, deep down, care about it. I spend all of my time in the mountains and cities, and see the impacts of humans on the world around us. Jeremy Jones, the founder of POW, introduced me to it and I’ve been heavily involved as a volunteer ever since. I work on education and outreach, and make an annual trip to Washington DC to speak with our elected officials, representing the snowsports community. I also went to Paris for COP21 (the 21st Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity) to be the eyes, ears, and voice of skiers.

You also do speaking engagements promoting education and activism in relation to the environment, mountains and avalanches. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Skiing, as a profession, can easily be a selfish pursuit. I choose to focus my outreach and stewardship, shared from the platform I’m working to build, on these two emphasis. Is that a word?

Photo by Jim Harris

Sure! Why not :-) From the stories you share, what's your favorite crazy, embarrassing one?
Immediately after the plane dropped us off and flew away, leaving us alone in the middle of a massive glacier near the highest mountain in north america, I realized I’d made a massive, potentially life-threatening mistake. You can hear about it here.

In your own words, what does "Live Major" mean to you?
I put alternative lifestyles on a pedestal. So while I translate it differently for each person, I try to live major by living a lifestyle that I know may not be easy, but is good for the world first, and good for me second.

Photo by Jason Eichhorst

All photos are from

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