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Katherine Martin

Location:
United States
Sex:
Female
Age:
36

katemartin has climbed up The Incline in Colorado Springs

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Conquering The Incline in Colorado Springs

In July of 2008 my husband Steve ( who was my fiance at the time) and I took a trip to Colorado that included a brief visit to Colorado Springs. We stayed with some friends, Paul and Stephanie. Paul is very athletic and into extreme sports, so when we asked about a good hike we could do the next morning before leaving, he recommended The Incline. The Incline as it exists now is the roadbed to the former Mount Manitou Scenic Incline Railway — a cable car that took people up the eastern face of Rocky Mountain to about 8,600' before shutting down in 1990. It's only 1 mile up, but gains 2,000 feet of vertical by way of 2,800 railroad ties. It is basically like climbing 2,800 stairs! My husband and I didn't think it looked that bad. I should preface that we began this hike around 9 am and had not had anything to eat yet that morning. If memory serves, Paul thought it would take us about an hour. I should also add that though I had brought a Nalgene bottle full of 32 oz of water with us, we decided not to take it because carrying it can get burdensome. BIG MISTAKE!! We did think it was worth it to carry the camera though, so we have great pictures!

I don't remember the temperature that day, but it was very sunny and getting hot quickly. I love running stairs for exercise, but I overestimated my physical fitness and poor Steve kept having to stop and wait for me to catch up. By the time we were half way up it was already 10 am and my legs felt like Jello. Steve was sweet and said we could stop and go back down, but I was more afraid of falling if I tried to go down on my wobbly legs than I was of continuing, so onward and upward we went. Eventually I did tell him to just keep going and wait for me at the top. I had to stop a lot for breaks. I was blessed by a woman who had an extra bottle of water and offered me a few sips. Around 11:30 I made it to the top and, after catching my breath, took in the beautiful view. It was totally worth it!

Of course, now we had to get down!!! With my legs about to give out, I was not about to go the way we came up. I was sure I would end up falling to my death if I did. Luckily, there is a 4 mile trail back down the Barr Trail's switchbacks. We decided to take that route. It was defintely a wise choice but was not without a challenge of its own--about 1 mile in I got a major nose bleed! I had to take my shirt off and hold it to my nose while we kept jogging. By the time we made it down it was 12:30 pm. We were dehydrated and starving but pleased as pie with our adventure. I would definitely recommend this hike to anyone who visits Colorado Springs. I myself hope to revisit it someday:)

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