Right after my convocation, I went home and started to pack because I had to catch my 7am flight to Denver the next day. The smile that I cracked during the entire ceremony and pictures wasn’t because I was graduating. It was because in two days, yes that’s 48 hours… I would get to hike Manitou Incline. I waited 3 years to hike it and that gap was finally getting smaller and smaller.
I stood at the bottom of the stairs and I remember how excited I was to hike it. It almost felt unbelievable and unreal. The elevation would gain 2000+ feet in under one mile which made this hike extremely strenuous and categorized as an advanced hike. But, that was exactly what I fell in love with, the high altitude and the difficulty.
I felt giddy with excitement. I wanted to run up those stairs and reach the top, but I knew that was impossible. Yeah, not everything is possible. Since it was a solo hike, I was able to pace myself. But, because of the high altitude, even walking was hard. Instead of focusing on trying to catch my breath, I was constantly adding videos and pictures to my Snapchat story (@fionnluk). Hey, at least they made for a good story, right?
If you ever want to fit in a workout, this is it. Those steps were no joke, you wouldn’t want to mess with them. It seemed as though the steps got higher and higher. It definitely would workout your legs and increase your stamina.
Oh… and maybe your lower back too if you ever need to crawl up. Just a little heads up, you might want to stay in bed the next day.
The Manitou Incline was a little tricky. About 3/4 up the trail, there was a platform where people could rest. That platform is also connected to Barr Trail which many people could take to go down or up because they never want to see stairs again. At least for the next few days. I called it the “detour platform”. From that platform, you can actually see the top. At least that was what everyone thought. It was actually the false summit. There was still a bit of a hike to do until you finally reach the summit. Oh yeah, it doesn’t get any easier, too. Once I reached the top, I was exhausted, thirsty and hungry. None of those feelings were bothersome because the feeling of surrealness took over. It was almost like a dream when I stood at the summit. It is so true that the best adventure is what lies in front of you.
Hiking back down was even more of a challenge. The loose rocks combined with a very steep decline… it was a no brainer that you would slip at least once, or in my case, three times. You might even see blood or you might get a swollen palm from falling too much. Maybe both.
If Manitou Incline intimidates you, it might actually be a good thing to try. Run when you can, walk when you have to, rest when you must, but ultimately, never give up!