brody leven mugBrody Leven was just a Salt Lake City-based pro skier and writer who posted a gazillion sick Instagram photos from his backcountry sessions, gradually gaining followers – until he landed on Instagram’s “Suggested User” list in summer 2012. He blew up overnight, going from about 1,000 followers, to 5,000, to 25,000 followers, where he somewhat stabilized (he says hundreds of “Beliebers” unfollow him weekly). A sponsored skier (O’Neill, Surface Skis, Dynafit, Terramar) who travels the U.S. and the world seeking pow and stuff that’s sometimes not-quite-pow, the 25-year-old Leven writes for Adventure Journal, Teton Gravity Research, Freeskier, and other publications, as well as on his website,

Follow him: @brodyleven.

After selling anything that takes pictures larger than two square inches, the only cameras I own are my iPhone and GoPro. Wearing that little POV camera does more than verify your gnarliness to people riding the chairlift above you; it allows you to relive mountain moments that you otherwise couldn’t safely wait to capture…because the longer you spend fiddling with your aperture and ISO and whatever the rest of those little buttons and levers and dials do, the longer you’re standing in avalanche paths.



Maybe I love Instagram so much because it allows me to visually demonstrate what I do in the mountains on a daily basis. And how stupid my days usually are.


Splitboards make skin tracks wide enough for any skis. So, just make them break trail.


It’s really rare that I’m in my own ‘grams. I like taking pictures of my friends. But, come on, as if this whole thing wasn’t just to boost your ego… Wait, it isn’t?



Scramble in the afternoon, downclimb during sunset, brag about it by nightfall: the life motto of the outdoorsy segment of Generation Y.


When it comes to promoting my Instagram account, I am shameless. Instead of a true acceptance speech for my Powder Award, I just talked about Instagram and held this eco-friendly sign I made out of recycled materials.


I don’t participate in #TBT, or Throwback Thursdays, because I always try to be doing something cooler and more share-worthy than things I’ve done in the past.


Because the only photo-worthy thing about my life involves mountains, most of my photos are taken there. On occasion, though, I capture things specifically to appeal to all of the 8-year old Russian girls that somehow started following me.


A cool part of Instagram is taking your phone places that you wouldn’t have previously taken it.


Even if Zion had better cell service, it takes me a full evening of editing and filterizing to post images. Thus, each of my posts is a #latergram.


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Brendan Leonard is a contributing editor to Adventure Journal. Follow him at his blog, Semi-Rad.