Stefan Winter of the Deutscher Alpenverein shares a special story about a passionate friend
Hi Stefan, please introduce yourself.
I was born a passionate athlete and have tried everything from athletics to cross country skiing. I studied sports science and love to pass on my knowledge as mountain guide at the headquarter of the German Mountaineering Association (Deutscher Alpenverein) to members and mountain lovers.
What does outdoor sports mean to you?
Outdoor sports to me means direct and intense contact with nature, soaking it in with all senses and to feel to be part of it all. It’s also very fun.
How are you helping people to be active outdoors?
I develop programs and and campaigns for people who want to start hiking, climbing, ski touring etc.. It is important to me that everyone learns the basic competencies to decide independently and with risk awareness during a trip in the mountains. To do that it is important to teach how real nature is. It is not a virtual world where you can turn off the risks. You have to know the risks and know how to avoid and minimize them.
Do you have a special story about someone getting inspired to be active in the mountains?
A very good friend of mine is not very athletic, flexibel and not in the best physical shape. Yet, I took him to the mountains often, as he always had fun. He is now going on trips in the mountains by himself, which I would have never expected. He still isn’t much more athletic or in better shape, but his passion for the outdoors is amazing – just a like a child who is playing outdoors. This experience really opened my eyes and taught me tolerance, even if we move up the mountain very slowly.
What motivates you to spend time in the mountains?
There is no place where I can feel freedom more intensely.
If you want to find out more about the German Mountaineering Association (Deutscher Alpenverein), check out their webiste.