Lance Benzel

Out There Reporter

  • High country snows welcomed as more Colorado ski areas open

    Updated: Fri, Nov 14, 2014

    It's numbingly cold in Colorado Springs, but there's an upside. Continuing snowstorms are sweetening the powder across the state as several ski areas prepare to open for the season. Breckenridge Ski Resort reported 13 inches of snow fell Wednesday, improving conditions for the...

  • For Hillside residents, a new way over the tracks - and some peace

    Updated: Thu, Nov 13, 2014

    If all goes according to plan, the Hillside neighborhood near downtown Colorado Springs could get a whole lot quieter. As part of a long-sought road project slated to begin in late 2015, city officials say they will pursue a federal "quiet zone" designation for the area - meaning...

  • City: Trail ringing downtown Colorado Springs could fulfill Palmer's vision

    Updated: Thu, Nov 13, 2014

    It's an extension of a century-old vision: linking downtown Colorado Springs' parks and open spaces by means of a single, multiuse trail. But it has been out of reach for generations - fractured by broken connections. Now, city parks officials say they are closer than ever to the...

  • Rider in Residence: Seven Park Loop offers stunning perspective on Colorado Springs

    Published: Thu, Nov 13, 2014

    Stop in Ute Valley Park at a place with a view - say, the rocks overlooking Hummingbird Trail - and the way ahead grows clear. Imagine a ribbon of singletrack that starts beneath your feet and stretches into the horizon, gradually climbing into the rugged hills around Pulpit Rock...

  • New Castle Rock city park has something for everyone, including mini incline

    Updated: Mon, Nov 10, 2014

    After her second trip to the summit - a 200-stair climb straight up a ridge - Diana Pine could have been forgiven for cursing. Instead, she was full of praise. "This is the best thing they could have done for me," the Castle Rock woman exclaimed between gasps, grateful for a...

  • Colorado Springs graffiti artist fights urban decay with spray paint

    Updated: Sun, Nov 9, 2014

    For graffiti artist Larry "Fuse" Masters, spray cans are weapons against urban decay - capable of blasting though blight with elegant lines and bursts of color. For proof of concept, see the eye-catching displays that ring a low-slung warehouse just under the downtown Colorado Avenue...

  • Colorado mountain biking trail network rises from the ashes

    Updated: Thu, Nov 6, 2014

    In a sense, the Buffalo Creek Recreation Area was born of fire. It was around 1990 when a group of U.S. Forest Service firefighters recognized the raw potential in the rolling, wooded hills near Pine while preparing for a prescribed burn. "We're all out there digging line and we...

  • Pickleball goes beyond junior high gym class, finds popularity in Colorado Springs

    Updated: Mon, Nov 3, 2014

    At the Monument Valley Park pickleball courts, Nancy Steffy deals in lobs, kills and dinks. Those are some of the shots that spell victory in pickleball, and Steffy, a retired physical education teacher, has employed them with enough panache to earn a 4.0 player's rating on the...

  • Big hike brings big questions for Colorado Springs man

    Updated: Sun, Nov 2, 2014

    When Wesley Trimble wrapped up a 2,660-mile trek on the Pacific Crest Trail in September, he might have become the first person with cerebral palsy to complete the hike. The experience offered more proof that a permanent limp can't deter him, but it also spawned a vexing question....

  • Colorado College geology professor makes discovery of career

    Updated: Fri, Oct 31, 2014

    Colorado College geology professor Christine Siddoway made the discovery of her career from the saddle of a road bike. It was during a climb through North Cheyenne Cañon Park that Siddoway, 52, glimpsed alternating bands of sandstone and granite fused vertically in a rocky slope off...