Due to the nature of my work and life, I could live anywhere in the world. I’ve chosen Salt Lake City for the past 12 years—all of my adult life—for the same reason most of us move here: city conveniences, inspiration, and diversity complemented by nearby mountains. As a professional mountain athlete, I train in the Wasatch every day, and sometimes I wonder if I’m getting sicker than I am healthier by choosing to live and train here.
My job includes putting myself in the public spotlight as much as possible, but more often than not, I find myself defending Utah and its infamous air quality to influential people and business owners who would live here, if only the air quality weren't an issue. But it is. And to them, it’s the issue. Air quality is the number one thing stopping the $887 billion outdoor industry from centering here. I encounter countless families, young people, and seniors who would live here if only they could consider it a healthy decision. More want-to-be-Utahans ask me about the air quality than about Mormons; that’s when I know our air quality has hit an alarming level of concern.
Brody Leven is a professional adventure skier who ironically prefers climbing up mountains to skiing down them. He travels the world on a shoestring, returning with elevated stories of his year-round mountain adventures to inspire others to tackle difficult challenges. His activism focuses on environmental stewardship, public land advocacy, and avalanche education. b. 1987