Sunday, December 29, 2013

14er Deferred - "The Incline" Instead

View from the top of The Incline
We went to Colorado for Christmas and I had every intention of climbing Pikes Peak on Christmas Eve. Surprisingly, I got very little resistance from anyone. Maybe that means everyone's just used to me doing stupid things...

I packed an obscene amount of clothes, read the most recent conditions report, and kept checking the weather at the summit on Monday trying to get a feel for how terrible this could be. Well, the temperature never got above 7 degrees at the summit, had average winds of 35ish mph and gusts well into the 50s. These conditions and my complete lack of experience made me realize that this would be a good way to ruin Christmas.

So, instead of climbing the peak, we decided to do The Incline. It's an old railroad track that still has all of the ties in the ground. It's about a mile long and has 2,000 feet of vertical rise (the Sears tower is a meager 1,451 feet tall). The record for doing it is 16:42. So, of course, I thought I could probably do around 20:00. After the first minute or so, I realized that wasn't going to happen and just transitioned into slog through it mode. In the end, it took me 36 minutes to reach the top. The important thing is that I did it faster than the 4 other guys I went with.

Once you get a few steps from the top, almost everyone runs those last few steps so you can feel like a badass and try to brush off that you were just destroyed right before that.
James doing his badass bound
So, while it wasn't a 14er, it was good fun and a unique experience. I'll be making a trip sometime next spring to hit up Pikes Peak. Anyone know when the best time before June 18th is for making this climb?

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