Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Manitou Incline

Last Saturday, Patrick and I decided to climb the infamous Incline.  
See that snow covered path going practically straight up the mountain?  
That's the Manitou Incline - an old railway that has a 68% incline in some areas.
It is less than a mile long, but gains a staggering 2,000 feet of elevation.
While filming a movie in Colorado this summer, Kevin Bacon posted on Facebook about tackling the Incline.  He also stated that it 'Almost killed him."  Sounds about right.
We ventured up the incline once before in July, but attempting the climb in January was a completely different experience.  And by different, what I really mean is slick, scary, and unsafe.  Looking back on the situation...we probably should have waited until the snow was gone.  In the parking lot we were greeted by two ambulances carting away injured hikers, and on the way down we passed a girl with a broken ankle awaiting a medic.  Yikes.  
If my parents knew about this, they would not be thrilled.
The path, which consists of wooden beams secured by metal railroad stakes, was ridiculously slippery.  Impacted snow between the steps transformed the path into a steep, icy ramp.  The morning was sunny and 55 degrees, but the shady areas were still very slick.

Somehow we made it to the top!  It took an hour and nine minutes
(Kevin Bacon's time was fifty four minutes, but he didn't have to deal with ice).
See parents, we are completely exhausted but safe - no bones were broken.
Look at that view!  Breathtaking!
(Literally - you definitely feel a 2,000 ft. elevation change)
Hikers are discouraged from descending down the incline.  As you can imagine, it is very steep.
A twisting three mile trail (also steeper than your average trail) winds through the trees and down the side of the mountain leading back to the base of the incline.
Some areas were so slick that people were sliding down on their bottoms.
Our saving grace was this pair of Kahtoolas loaned to me by a co-worker.
Until last weekend, I didn't know these crazy things even existed, but they are nothing short of amazing.  I didn't slip a single time - not once!
When Patrick lost his footing, he grabbed my shoulder to steady himself.
For those of you that are as clueless as I was: Kahtoolas are like a pair of giant rubber bands with chains and spikes on the bottom made to wear over your regular shoes .  They are bad ass.  As my friend Josh likes to say, B.A. legit. I see myself buying a pair of these in the future and wearing them year round, everywhere.
It was a little bit reckless and super exhausting but well worth it. 
Saturday mornings can be a tug of war between doing something crazy and uncomfortable like this or watching Netflix at home all day.  Nothing is going to stand in the way of our Year of Adventure - not fear, reality TV marathons, or ice!   Get out there guys, live life to the fullest, and try something new and exciting!

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