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OUT THERE 2

I the gazette I thursday, december 16, 2010

classic happy trails seven bridges rating

• 3 boots • 5.5 miles round trip • 1,600-foot elevation gain

more online

All Happy Trails all the time at gazette.com/outthere This is one of the most popular trails in the region, winding through a shaded drainage above North Cheyenne Cañon across sometimes-difficult scree slopes,

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with access to points deeper in Pike National Forest. You’ll find more solitude in winter. Snow can be deep in the shaded route in midwinter, though it makes a great day hike when the early-season weather isn’t too frigid.

the mouth of Cheyenne Cañon. Veer right onto Cheyenne Cañon Road. Drive 3.2 miles to the top of the canyon. Park in a large, dirt lot at the junction with High Drive.

To get there

Start west up Gold Camp Road, closed to cars because of a tunnel collapse, for a half-mile. At a switchback to the southeast, leave the road and follow a marked trail up North Cheyenne Cañon, par-

From Colorado Springs, take U.S. Highway 24 west to 21st Street. Go south on 21st to Cheyenne Boulevard. Turn west on Cheyenne Boulevard and go a half-mile to

The hike

allel with Cheyenne Creek. In less than a mile of walking through spruce and fir (and crossing many bridges), the trail climbs a daunting scree slope past Undine Falls. Above the falls, the trail splits. Go right to Jones Park, left to Nelson’s Camp, or return the way you came.

Details

Dogs allowed. Wear good boots as you may encounter snow and ice on the shaded

trail. Watch for ice on the bridges as a spill into the creek would make for a cold walk down.

Rating

A scale of one to four boots. One is more gentle, with little elevation gain at a reasonable altitude. Four is most difficult, with severe elevation gain, difficult terrain or extreme distance or altitude. THE GAZETTE

Climbing Saturday

“Climbing Film Series” — Filmmaker Chris Alstrin will show a compilation of his rock and ice clips, 7:30 p.m., City rock, 21 N. Nevada Ave., $10 at the door; www.climbcityrock .com.

Cycling ONGOING

Carmichael Training Systems coaches-led mountain bike ride — 8 a.m. Saturdays, 600 S. 21st St.; peakregion cyclist.com.

Hiking ONGOING

Garden of the Gods Visitor and Nature Center sponsored hikes — 1805 N. 30th St., free. Reservations required unless noted differently: 219-0108. • Daily guided walks, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., reservations not required. tueSday

“Full Moon Winter Solstice Hike” — 7 p.m., free. Call for location and registration: 687-6893.

Nature ONGOING

Nature programs at Starsmore Discovery Center — 2120 Cheyenne Canyon Road; 385-6086. • “Holiday Open House,” with cider, hot cocoa, cookies to decorate and more, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, free. Nature programs at Bear Creek Nature Center — 245 Bear Creek Road. Reservations: 520-6387. • “Audubon Christmas Bird Count,” 8:30-11 a.m. Saturday, $5. • “Little Wonders — Animal Footprints,” 10-11:15 a.m. Dec. 23, for ages 2 and 3, $3 per person. Sunrise nature/wildlife photo shoot — Saturday mornings, Westcliffe, $55. Reservations required: 1-303823-6399 or kennethwajda .com/naturewildlife. tOday

CHRISTIAN MURDOCK, THE GAZETTE

Ski Logik sales representative Jeb Marsh runs the young company out of its world headquarters in Breckenridge. The company was founded by David Mazzarella, a skier who made his name in the business by designing custom skis. Ski Logik customers can pay extra for personalized designs.

ski logik: Skis manufactured in China from page 1 —

a mass embrace of what has been a key element of skis for thousands of years, one that has fallen out of fashion in recent years: wood. “If you’re going to be a skimaker, you’ve got to be a woodworker. I just love the beauty of wood and the natural aspects of it, the warmth of it,” he said.

Headquarters in Colorado

“This is it. Ski Logik’s world headquarters.” It’s not much to look at, a single cramped office with plastic-wrapped skis lining the walls. Marsh answers the phone, taking orders, fielding questions from ski-shop employees about how to mount the bindings, and talking to skiers around the West who are trying out Ski Logiks.

They ski as well as a lot of other things out there that are really fantastic performers. They just have a really beautiful look to them, and each person can have their own individual graphic that no one else can have.” maTT chmielarczyk — sales manager at mountain chalet

As of early December, the company had sold about 1,200 sets of skis and was operating on a two-week backlog on new orders. “That’s a pretty big splash for a brand-new ski company. It’s been challenging, but it’s been fun,” Marsh said. Mazzarella, a skier who did not want to work for one of the large manufacturers, made his name in the business designing custom skis in Denver, Silverton and then Breckenridge. “I was able to just do it on my own, according to my own ideals as a passionate skier. That meant trying to

make the best skis possible and being able to pursue what I would want as a skier, rather than having to fit into a job behind mass production,” Mazzarella said. He was not at the world headquarters for our visit. He spoke by phone from China. After crunching the numbers (real estate, wages, taxes), he decided he could not make the skis in Colorado and keep them affordable. So he gave up the sport he loves — except for the occasional vacation — to move to a tropical island off the coast of China. There he oversees

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* 0.0% APR financing for 48 months on 2010 Kizashi. Monthly payments of $20.83 per $1,000 financed. Amount of down payment and other factors may affect qualification. 0.0% APR financing offer is in lieu of the standard customer cash rebate. No customer payments for 90 days from the contract date (may exclude required down payments, taxes, title and license fees). Interest will be charged to the account from the contract date for any financing rate greater than zero percent. Customer’s payment(s) may be deferred for up to 60 days. Offer valid only through American Suzuki Financial Services (ASFS) and subject to credit approval. Offer ends 1/3/11. See dealer for details. 1Based on IHS Global Insight’s® Lower Midsize segment and manufacturers’ web sites as of 10/4/10. 2Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA’s) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). 3Automobile Magazine is a registered trademark. Kizashi shown with optional equipment. New Suzuki automobiles come standard with a 100,000-mile/7-year powertrain limited warranty. See dealer or SuzukiAuto.com for complete warranty details. Visit SuzukiAuto.com for Offer details. © American Suzuki Motor Corporation 2010. Suzuki, the “S” logo and Suzuki model names are Suzuki trademarks or ®.

the 35-employee operation. His wife does the ski artwork and works with skiers who pay $100 extra to come up with their own design.

Critics rave

When Mazzarella introduced Ski Logik to the world at the 2010 Snowsports Industries America gathering in Denver in January, there was plenty of interest. Skis have been made of wood for eons, but for the past 20 years the bulk has been created from an array of metals, plastics and carbon fiber. Most modern skis have a wood core, if there’s any wood in them at all. Mazzarella’s skis not only keep the wood core — from a single tree so the left ski matches the right — but sidewalls of black locust. The top is covered with a wood veneer to keep the retro appearance. Sure, people said, Ski Logiks were pretty, but how would they ride? “If not the most versatile ski we have ever tested, certainly in the top ten. This may be the ski no one ever thought could be made,” wrote the website Realskiers.com, which named Ski Logik’s Ullr’s Chariot the 2011 Overall Ski of the Year. “The Howitzer was one of the top-scoring skis in the test,” wrote Freeskier magazine of another Ski Logik model. “The ski was rated a perfect 5 for carving, and a near-perfect 4.5 in all other categories. This combination gives it a stable ride that shreds the backcountry and skis the frontside like a missile.”

The stability of the ski was what struck me during an afternoon of skiing at Breckenridge. The wood seemed to absorb the bumps and rough snow effortlessly and carve the soft spots with authority, all on a ski much lighter than a similar-size ski of typical construction. Matt Chmielarczyk, sales manager at Mountain Chalet, called them “really incredible skiing skis.” “They ski as well as a lot of other things out there that are really fantastic performers. They just have a really beautiful look to them, and each person can have their own individual graphic that no one else can have,” he said. “They’re very user-friendly. It’s not something you’ve got to really work hard at,” said Bob Walker, owner of The Edge Ski Paddle and Pack in Pueblo, who skis and sells Ski Logiks. Other custom-made wooden skis might cost up to $1,800, he said. “They have been popular. They’re extremely eye-catching, and for a custom category ski, they’re affordable. I love them,” he said.

Availability

The one downside reviewers have noted is availability. While Ski Logiks are sold at 14 stores in Colorado and a handful of others around the West and in Europe, they are absent from many key markets. They are sold in only one store in the Northeast and two in the Pacific Northwest. Still, they can be purchased online at skilogik.com, and Mazzarella is thrilled with the response — twice the number of sales he expected. There are no active plans to expand into snowboards. Said Marsh, “We’ve got to start somewhere and right now we’re happy just to be offering a high-quality ski.”

“Colorado’s Ice Age Discoveries” youth programs — Presented by Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society, 5:30-6:15 p.m. for Grades 6 through high school, 6:30-7:15 p.m. for Grades 2-5, Colorado Springs Senior Center, 1514 N. Hancock Ave.; Steven Veatch, 748-5010. Saturday

“Wild Winter Christmas Celebration” — With breakfast, photos with wolf pup, carols and more, 9-10 a.m., Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, 4729 Twin Rocks Road, Divide, $25 for adults, $15 for ages 12 and younger. Reservations required: 687-9742 or www .wolfeducation.org.

Running ONGOING

The Colorado Springs Running Club runs — 7:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 6 p.m. Wednesdays. 45- to 60-minute runs, free; 635-3833.

Volunteering ONGOING

The Snowboard Outreach Society — a local nonprofit organization, needs volunteers for the season and fundraising events; Jodi Link, 1-970-845-7040. Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center — needs volunteers to assist riders with disabilities during horseback riding lessons. Experience not required; training will be provided. Time commitment is two hours, ages 14 and older. Training sessions held 10 a.m.noon second Saturday of each month; 495-3908 or e-mail volunteer@pptrc.org.

Etc. ONGOING

Rocky Mountain Dinosaur Resource Center — 201 S. Fairview St., Woodland Park. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. MondaysSaturdays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $9.50/$8.50 for seniors 65 and older/$6.50 ages 5-12/free ages 4 and younger; www.rmdrc.com or 686-1820. For more events, see outthere colorado.com. Listings are published on a space-available basis. Information due two weeks before publication. Include event’s name, time, date, place, cost (or specify free), and daytime phone contact. Send to: carlotta.olson@gazette.com; 636-0202 (fax); or Out There/ Calendar, The Gazette, 30 S. Prospect St., Colorado Springs 80903.

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