Hiking the Incline in the Winter: An Audio Postcard

· Dec. 24, 2013, 8:33 am

People come from far and wide to hike the Manitou Incline, especially now that it’s legal.  Rain, shine, or even snow, everyone who makes the trek has his or her own motivation.  Along with her friend Mariel Dempster, KRCC’s Kate Dunn made the journey during the cold and snowy weather we recently had in the Pikes Peak region, and brought back this audio postcard. 

The Incline daily record holder, Greg Cummings, was known for making the trek 601 times in a year. 

Climbing the Incline in the winter can present its own set of challenges.  Tim Bergsten of Incline Friends has the following tips for hiking the Incline in wintry weather:

1. Wear layers on cold days, but don't over dress. Dress as if it's 20 degrees warmer than the current temperature because you'll warm up quickly while running or climbing. Bring an extra layer or windbreaker and tie it around your waist in case the weather turns bad, or you need to stop or slow down.

2. Very important: wear additional traction when the Incline is snowy or icy. Many people wear microspikes, which easily attach to your shoes and provide excellent traction. Any running store, REI, or Mountain Chalet, will carry "Kahtoolas" or "YakTrax." Be sure tell the salesperson that you need something that can withstand the wear and tear of the Incline. Another option: "screw shoes," a favorite among the locals. Simply take an old pair of running shows and screw sheet metal screws into the tread. It really works.

3. Stay hydrated. Fluids are important on cold days, as well as warm. 

4. Climb during daylight hours.

5. Descend on Barr Trail. (For first-timers, it's probably a good idea to climb with a friend who knows how to find the trail down.)

6. Before you go, let a friend or family member know you intend to climb the Incline.

Incline Friends, the nonprofit organization responsible for raising money to fix the Manitou Incline, is participating in the IndyGive! Campaign. Anyone who would like to make a donation can do so by visiting the IndyGive site.  KRCC is a partner in IndyGive!

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