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Today’s European Spotlight shines on Wolfgang Schultes, who has been teaching soldiers how to enjoy the great outdoors for two decades.

What happens at Outdoor Rec?

We provide all kinds of outdoor activities, such as skiing and snowboarding trips in winter, mountain bike races, a hunting and fishing program, scuba diving and more with the focus on introduction and education. We provide all the equipment and classes with certified instructors. We have seven staff. We try to teach people lifetime skills and introduce them to activities and maybe help them to find an activity they will hang onto. Maybe they will find a hobby for life.

What’s your personal favorite outdoor activity?

Skiing. We do weekly ski trips throughout winter to Arbers Resort about three hours from here. It has slopes suitable for beginners up to experts at a reasonable cost. A day pass costs 24 euros and you can stay there for as little as 25 euros a night.

What’s your best ski trick?

I’m not into extreme skiing but I like to ski black slopes. One of my favorites is called the Flachau Winkl (in southern Bavaria). It has a drop that is almost straight down and even better skiers are really scared to just get on the run. It is not as hard as it looks and most people are OK once they get on the run.

Should skis or snowboards be issued to troops serving in mountainous parts of Afghanistan?

No, but snowshoeing is coming back as a sport in Afghanistan. Snowshoes look like big tennis racquets that you put on your feet and use to walk around in the snow.

What is the funniest thing you have seen on skis?

A person we took on a ski trip got picked up like a coat hanger by a T-bar at the exit point and got dragged back down the mountain about 50 meters before the lift stopped.

What is the most pathetic outdoor activity?

Bird watching. I’m not sure if I should say that. The Poles love it.

Have you done all the activities offered by the Outdoor Recreation Center?

Yes. The only thing I’m not doing myself is rock climbing. The activities we do here are pretty much the classics — we even teach wind-surfing — but we don’t do a lot of the high alpine stuff because or our location.

Would you rather go to the X-games or the Olympics?

The Olympics.

Wolfgang Schultes

Age: 40

Title: Director of the Outdoor Recreation Center at Grafenwöhr, Germany.

Europe readers: Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Send the person’s name and contact information to news@mail.estripes.osd.mil.


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