First Off, HAPPY NEW YEAR to Everyone! It was nice to wake up early WITHOUT a Hangover. A few days ago I asked a friend if he wanted to make an early ascent of the Incline in Manitou Springs Colorado, on New Year’s Day. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the Incline, check that his out this link: http://www.inclineclub.com/incline.htm Anyway, we decided to head out around 6:30am on January 1st. Thankfully, I had a Fun but Alcohol Free NYE so it was Much Easier to get motivated. The hard part was the 9 degree temperature outside. Hey, as long as you are dressed properly, it won’t be that cold! Well, except for the fact that I can NOT find my hat that covers my ears! When we got to the Incline, we saw something that i have NEVER seen! Our vehicle being the only one in the parking lot! If you have never been, you want to get there Early, or plan on walking up to the Trail Head. When we got to the Trail Head, there were a couple of people coming down, but there were very few people on the Incline. Possibly because of the fact that the Rescue Run 5K/10K is run on New Years Day as well, or maybe everyone was still Hung Over. We start up and I am already peeling off my Jacket. Base Layer and my new Brooks long-sleeved 1/2 zip shirt will do! I had no expectations about this ascent, especially since the entire climb is snow packed, and it is well below freezing. When I made it to the False Top, I realized that I had not stopped Once! I figured with the pace I was going, that I would make the top, again, WITHOUT stopping. This would be a first for me. I have it in my head that I will have to Travel down to Manitou Springs a few more times to use as a Training Tool for the Silver Rush 50 in July, and was happy when I made the Top, that I made it without stopping, and thereby shaving time off and holding a new PR 42:27!
After resting a few minutes, and admiring the View from the top, it is time to Gear up (definitely replacing my Jacket) and head down the Barr Trail. You can had back down the Face of the Incline, but that would scare me Shitless ESPECIALLY since I forgot my Screw Shoes or Yak Trax. I was even a little concerned that I had made an error in choosing my Footwear. Actually, I just plain forgot my Yak Trax and Screw Shoes, but I did bring, and wear, my Brooks Adrenaline ASR 9’s. Thankfully, they worked very well! Not a slip on the very Snowpacked 3+ mile descent of the Barr Trail. It was a bit slower than normal, but still a very enjoyable Trail Run, and really nobody coming up the Trail, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
I was able to get a few good pictures along the way, but then because of the Cold, my phone froze up. I will definitely need to look into getting a new phone, because this is a place that you DO NOT want to be, without emergency communication. I have made the descent many times, but have come across 3 different groups that have needed to make the call, for one reason or another, to Search and Rescue. The coverage is spotty, but especially if you do the Incline by yourself, you want that safety net. Pretty much the entire way down, I was aware that I was slowly growing an Icicle on my visor. Yes, an Icicle of Sweat (I mean hard work:-)), so that is what I am going to leave you with! I hope that everyone has a Happy and Healthy New Year. I know mine will be filled with many more OUtdoor adventures, like this one!