Christmas Morning Incline Hike

I was invited to ‘do the incline’ on Christmas day, and
since the invite was for 10am I figured sure! 
I tend to be an over-planner, so I left my house early and my pack
included microspikes (not necessary).
The invite said we’d all meet at Manitou Park and carpool there.  I knew 3 people who’d RSVP’d, so I figured I’d
have friends.

Well, when I got there the group chat started lighting up
with everyone’s whereabouts. 
There were
a few people at the park, but everyone I knew was already at the incline.
I talked with the group in the parking lot, realized they were the ‘4
hour crew’ and thought it’d be better if I just drove up to the Incline parking
lot by myself.

As I was leaving the park I saw someone I recognized from Villa
heading down. 
He said there was plenty
of parking in the incline lot.
  I met Tim
about halfway up Ruxton Ave and gave him a ride to the top.
  Parking was only $5 (Woot!  I’d thought it’d be $10).  We met Jill at the bottom. She was super
excited her son gave her a Navy running set for Christmas. She’s so proud of
that boy!

Tim and I knew we’d have different speeds, so we hiked for about
30 seconds together before splitting off.  
The trail actually looks great since they re-did it (for the third time…).

About halfway up there was a decorated Christmas Tree

Even though it was brisk when I started, pretty soon it got
warm due to the exercise. 
I was
  I knew from past experience
most people time their hike, which means it’s a personal competition to do
better each time than you did the last time.
I was exhausted about half way in, but kept trudging on.  The most difficult part was breathing, which
I found curious?
  My body wasn’t tired,
but I had to stop to catch my breath.
This was maddening!  Hey, I’m used
to doing hikes above treeline, why was this so difficult?
  In any event, my time was 35 minutes 35
seconds to summit, which is a great time!
I’m proud to say no one passed me on the way up!

At the top there was a decorated Christmas Tree. 

I admired it (and the view) until Tim summited, and then we
hiked down the Barr Trail together. 
drove home, and woke the kids up to celebrate Christmas!

This is the third time I’ve hiked the incline.  I usually avoid it on principle, but was
seriously glad I’d hiked today!
social is difficult for me:
  this was a
nice segway into socialization… lol!

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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