The Incline outside of Colorado Springs, in Manitou, provides a challenge for athletes in Colorado training from the nearby Olympic Center, soldiers, and outdoors enthusiasts. Scaling the side of Pikes Peak, the incline rises 2,000 feet in just one short mile. It is one of the most difficult but rewarding climb in Colorado that anyone can ever do but surviving the incline is not always as easy as you may think.
A Note on Parking
Parking will be tough. Although the incline has its own little parking lot, this is always full, and most end up having to park up to a mile away along the side of the road. To avoid this go as early as you can.
Preparing to Climb The Incline
The Manitou Incline starts at 6,600′ rising in a nearly vertical path to 8,600′, creating a trail that is both steep and lacks oxygen. So if you are new to Colorado be aware of the almost crippling affect that a lack of oxygen can have on someone who is not acclimated.
Here is a list of items that you will want to bring with you on your trip:
• A light weight pack
• Plenty of water
• A snack with natural sugar in it
All of these items are essential to this climb even if you are a well-tuned athlete. If you do not have them you won’t finish.
What to Expect on The Incline
Initially the climb starts out fairly tame. The trail is well kept, and not as steep. Take advantage of this to warm up your muscles, but do not start out to fast because you will be burned out before the hard part even starts. As the trail goes farther on it gets steeper and the railroad ties that comprise of the path become haphazard and dangerous. Be careful it is easy to trip and get injured.
How to Succeed
• Don’t drink all your water too fast
• Don’t stop for too long, your muscles will get cold
• Set small goals and focus on those instead of how much farther you have to go
The feeling at the top is one of euphoria, and the view is spectacular. Not only can you see the valley that Colorado Springs rests in, but also Pikes Peak rises up behind you in all of its glory.