Lance Benzel

Out There Reporter

  • The magic of Moab: New trails increase allure for mountain bikers

    Updated: 5 hr ago

    Moab, Utah - With punishing rock steps and gasp- inducing grades, Captain Ahab Trail has stomped its way to the top as a new titan of the mountain biking scene here - at least among riders who manage to survive it. Yet the celebrated experts- only romp - completed in 2013 and feted...

  • Bigger things in store for Colorado Springs outdoors retailer


    At Mountain Equipment Recyclers, part of the proceeds from sales of used and donated gear goes back to the community, and a running tally of goodwill - now exceeding $60,000 - is posted in chalk behind the register for all to see. Soon, a bigger chalkboard might be in order....

  • How to make the most of these snow days

    Updated: Thu, Feb 26, 2015

    School was canceled, but fifth-grader Delilah Tefertiller showed up just the same, a sled tucked under her arm. Her lesson plan for the day: discovering the thrill of going airborne. "A lot of people like to make jumps or ramps, which are fun," the 11-year-old said between trips...

  • Colorado Springs among 'fit' cities — with a footnote

    Updated: Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    Let's all pat ourselves on the back — and then maybe go for a run. Colorado Springs is near the head of the pack when it comes to the nation's healthier cities, but there's plenty of room to improve. That's the thrust of an assessment released last week by...

  • Ski resorts tout double-digit snow totals after weekend storms

    Updated: Tue, Feb 24, 2015

    The powder is on in Colorado. A storm that canceled school for thousands of children in Colorado Springs also blessed skiers and snowboarders - freshening up the slopes across central Colorado and absolutely dumping on a handful of lucky areas. "This storm treated us awesome,"...

  • Colorado ultra-runners find niche in unassisted group runs

    Updated: Thu, Feb 19, 2015

    No entry fees, no T-shirts, no winners, no whiners. That's the hardcore ethos behind a series of long, low-key runs put on as a labor of love by ultra-runners along the Front Range. While many runners spend winters slogging away on treadmills and multiuse paths, this crowd weathers...

  • Obama's plan to make Browns Canyon a national monument gets cheers, criticism in Colorado

    Updated: Wed, Feb 18, 2015

    Steeped in division for decades, the scenic Browns Canyon section of the Arkansas River is once again troubling political waters. The latest provocation: News that President Barack Obama will use his executive authority to designate the more than 20,000-acre area as a national...

  • Rider in Residence: Advanced trails possible for Ute Valley Park

    Updated: Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    Fans of expert-level downhill mountain biking soon could experience an unfamiliar thrill in Ute Valley Park: a place to ride that's actually legal. On the horizon at the newly expanded 540-acre refuge in western Colorado Springs is a plan for up to three downhill-oriented trails,...

  • For Colorado stargazers, winter offers portal to space

    Updated: Thu, Feb 12, 2015

    Even to the naked eye, the night sky over Palmer Park plays out ancient battles. To the east, Orion the Hunter readies a blow - so vivid on this Thursday evening that his outline can be traced with a finger. Beside Orion, his quarry: Taurus the Bull, its red eye glowing above the...

  • Woodland Park musician fighting for consciousness after January crash

    Updated: Tue, Feb 10, 2015

    A Woodland Park musician remains unconscious three weeks after he was thrown from a sport utility vehicle in a crash on Interstate 25 near Monument, friends and relatives say. Charles Ortega, 41, suffered a traumatic brain injury, a fractured pelvis and other broken bones in the Jan....