Explorer Spotlight: Eric Schuette

By: The Outbound Collective
April 23, 2015

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Name: Eric Schuette | Age: 30 | Location: Denver, Colorado

What’s your day job?
I am a school psychologist at the largest district in Colorado. I also run a chess club at an elementary school I work at.

What are your favorite things to do outside?
When I am outdoors I enjoy just about everything but currently my favorite things to do in no particular order would be: hiking, fly-fishing, climbing (rock and ice), photographing, and snowshoeing.

What first drew you to the outdoors?
I grew up with a dad who was a naturalist at a large state park in Missouri and was very lucky that from an early age I was expected to be outdoors. We lived next to the park and had about 30 acres of woods to play in. if I wasn't in school I was most likely outside somewhere. As I grew older I continued that love and appreciation for the outdoors. Now, I try to be outside as much as possible enjoying the beauty of Colorado.

What’s your favorite hometown adventure? ...and, almost as important, where’s your favorite spot to get a beer after?
It's tough choice but getting off trail in the Indian Peaks wilderness is always such a treat and only an hour from where I live. Afterwards it's hard to beat a good beer at Cannonball Creek in Golden.

What’s your essential gear that never gets left at home?
For me I can never leave the car without my camera and good quality/comfortable socks.

What’s your favorite trail snack?
I have recently discovered a special peanut butter trail mix that is delicious.

Any go-to soundtracks when you’re hitting the road?
Lately it has been an eclectic mix of Tom Petty, Ironmaiden, Rise Against, and Mumford and Sons.

What’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened while you were adventuring? And/or, the funniest?
About 6 years ago I was hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park and got caught above treeline in a lightning storm. The storm turned electrical much earlier than normal (by 10:30 am) and I was on a hike without a good escape route. 8 miles of backcountry hiking, losing my wallet, down climbing waterfalls, and a courtesy ride by a national park ranger later and I returned to my car a bit frazzled. On the ride with the ranger I learned several people had been hit by lightning throughout the park from that same storm.

Who’s your number one adventure partner-in-crime? Who inspires you?
My good friends Curt and Liz. Curt is the founder of the Art of War Project, which is a non-profit that helps veterans get into the arts. It's a wonderful cause and worth checking out.

What are your top destinations for adventure travel?
Last year they were Alaska, Australia, and Colorado. This year Iceland, Alaska, Colorado, and we'll see....

What’s on the top of your must-do adventure list right now?
At the moment the tops of the list would be Greenland and Antarctica. They are two incredible places that have vast areas that are relatively unexplored.

Show us your most memorable photo, and tell us about it!
This photo (see above) was taken in the plunge pool of Tolmer Falls in Litchfield National Park, which is in the Northern Territory of Australia. To make this shot happen I had to have a lot of growth personally and photographically. For those reasons it remains my favorite picture I have ever taken. Jumping into a waterfall plunge pool at night sans clothes but the possibility of crocodiles while under the milky way (and large flying foxes) listening to the waterfall is an experience that will remain with me forever.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph.