I was at the bottom of the Manitou Incline for the reopening on Friday. There were hundreds of people lined up to take their first trip up the Incline after the repairs. Only about 20% of the Incline that was in the worst condition was worked on so more work will be needed in the future.
I’ll share more photos and my thoughts on the changes in another post. For now here’s a before and after photo. Those that had the 2014 Manitou Incline calendar will probably recognize the before photo as the June photo. 2015 Manitou Incline calendars are now available for order here.
Timberline Landscaping has been working since August 18th to make the Manitou Incline safer and more sustainable. Tomorrow, Friday December 5th, the Incline will reopen to the public after a ceremony at the base of the Incline at 10 AM.
According to an Out There Colorado article, the helicopter made 90 trips with materials. 900 tons of gravel and 1,800 ties were used. The ties were used for steps, retaining walls and timber chases to divert water
KOAA has a nice preview of the work that was done. The workers were carrying packs with up to 100 pounds. Worker Antonio Benitez said, “At the end of the day you’re legs are just crumbling. You’re ready to get to couch and get a nap right away.” The Out There Colorado article says Benitez lost 25 pounds while working on the Incline.
Some businesses are offering specials for the Incline reopening. SALUS Natural Body Care (906 Manitou Avenue) is offering a free bath bomb Friday and Saturday to those that go in and show a photo of them on the Incline. Through December 31st, Amanda’s Fonda (3625 W. Colorado location) is offering an All Day Happy Hour for anyone that shows either a picture from the top of the incline or a parking stub.
Below is an interview at the top of the Incline on Thursday morning with Incline Friends president Sandi Yukman.
2015 Manitou Incline calendars are now available for ordering. $3 from each calendar will be donated to the Incline Friends. I expect for the calendars to be available for shipping around December 5th.
Keep an eye on the Manitou Incline Hike Facebook page or InclineHike on twitter if you prefer to buy in person. I plan to be near the Incline and/or at a local merchant a couple times before Christmas.
To order now, go to the 2015 Manitou Incline calendar order page.
The Manitou Incline will reopen on Friday, December 5th, 2014. It has been closed since August 18th for repairs. An update with photos of the Incline repair work is here and more info on the Manitou Incline repair project is here.
Press release from City of Colorado Springs.
Join us for a reopening celebration of the Manitou Incline on Friday, December 5 at 10 AM at the base of the Incline. Please park in the COG parking lot, 515 Ruxton Av, 80829.
The Manitou Incline will be reopened to the public after being closed for repairs for the past three months. Phase 1 construction has been completed to repair the steepest sections of the Incline and protect it from further erosion and damage due to future storm events and public use.
Goals of the Manitou Incline Trail Enhancement Project
The Incline project’s four major goals are improved safety, enhanced user experience, long-term sustainability of the trail and increased accessibility. Work on the Incline included repair and replacement of damaged retaining walls, cleanup of rebar and loose debris, construction of additional drainage structures, stabilization of existing ties and stabilization of surrounding slopes. The new drainage structures will significantly reduce the velocity of water, a critical factor in reducing erosion and ensuring the Incline’s long-term sustainability.
History of the Mt. Manitou Incline
Under the ownership of Dr. Newton Brumback, the Manitou Incline was originally constructed as a one-mile cable tram for the purpose of providing access to water tanks at the top of the mountain that would provide gravity-fed water pressure to the cities of Manitou Springs and Colorado Springs. Shortly after its completion in 1907, the tram was opened as a tourist attraction. The Incline boasted a 16-minute ride to “scenic splendors” and ten miles of hiking trails in Mt. Manitou Park, and claimed to be the “longest and highest incline on the globe.”
The Incline’s 2,741 steps make up one of the most challenging and popular recreation sites in the nation. The trail is a one-mile ascent with an elevation gain of 2,000 feet, and the average grade is 43%, reaching 68% at the steepest point. Nearly 20 years of unmanaged trespass and use of the Incline have resulted in significant erosion on the mountainside and dangerous trail conditions.
In 2010, the three property owners – Colorado Springs Utilities, the COG Railway, and the US Forest Service – together with the cities of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, agreed that serious safety and liability concerns, including the trail’s condition and impact on nearby neighborhoods, called for development of a Site Development and Management Plan to address these issues, allow the Incline to open for legal use and to capitalize on the Incline’s benefits. The Incline is now officially open and legal for recreational use.
Update 12/1/14: The Manitou Incline will reopen at 10 AM on Friday, December 5th.
A lot of work has been done on the Incline over the last couple months. Much of it has been to reduce the erosion issues along the side of the ties. On the steep section where the ties were in the worst condition, a section has been replaced with new timbers. The new timbers are anchored into the mountain side to reduce the chance they’ll slide down the slope.
Below you can see photos of some of the work done around the Barr bail trail. Note: these photos are courtesy of the Colorado Springs Park and Rec department and the Incline is still closed to the public during repairs.
The cold and snow last week slowed progress on the repairs. Not only does bad weather make it hard for the crews to work on the Incline but it affects scheduling of the helicopter that is being used to lift gravel and supplies up to the work site. The helicopter is only available when it’s not being used on its primary contracts with other companies.
I spoke with the project manager, Sarah Bryarly, last week. She said the crew from Timberline Landscaping is working hard to stay on schedule. However, she thought that it’s unlikely the Incline will open on December 1st but she expects that it’ll still be sometime the first week of December.
Want to be one of the first few up the Incline to see the repairs? The Incline Friends are offering an opportunity to the first 30 people who donate $250 or more to the Incline through the Indy Give! campaign to get to climb the Incline a day early, before the official re-opening! Giving through Indy Give! also makes your donation go farther through matching funds.
Update 11-24-14: 2015 Manitou Incline calendars can be ordered here.
2014 is coming to a close and 2015 will be here before long. I’m a little behind schedule but I’m finalizing the 2015 Manitou Incline calendar and will have it available the beginning of December.
Below are some photos that may be on the 2015 Incline calendar. You can give your input on what you’d like to see on the calendar by liking or commenting on them over on the Manitou Incline Hike page.
Have a photo you think is worthy of being on the calendar? Share it and if I use it you’ll get a free calendar. For photos to be used on the calendar, they need to be shot horizontal and available in high resolution. Most camera pics aren’t high enough resolution.
This Saturday, November 8th, the Iron Springs Chateau is holding a fundraiser for the Incline Friends. The Incline Friends is the official friends group for the Incline and play a huge rule in creating a sustainable Incline. All of the night’s show proceeds are being donated directly to the Incline Friends.
There will be an update on the Manitou Incline repairs. The Incline Friends will also be announcing an EXCLUSIVE chance to have a sneak peek at the repairs on the Incline.
The show is “The Pigskin Perils of Old PU” a football melodrama set in 1915. Alisha Scott, local radio celebrity from the Cutter and Alisha morning show on CAT country 95.1, joins the Iron Springs Chateau Players and Incline Friends in a community fund-raising kick-off event for the 2014 “Indy Give!” campaign.
For $40 you get a three course meal with dinner salad, main course (4 entrée choices, including gluten free pasta) and dessert, coffee and/or hot or cold tea, and a show pass. Dinner is at 6 PM and the show begins at 8 PM There will be a cash bar available.
Get the details on the fundraiser here or call (719) 685-5104 for reservations.
Feeling Incline withdrawals while the Manitou Incline is closed repairs? Air Force Football has a challenge for you to prove you haven’t been sitting around losing fitness.
Falcon Stadium will be hosting a first-ever fitness challenge, which will take place prior to the Air Force vs. New Mexico football game on Saturday, October 18. This challenge will take place on the stairs of Falcon Stadium, and will include a short and long course. The short course will be 886 steps on the Mezzanine level, and the long course will be 1,719 steps on both the Mezzanine and Upper levels.
When it comes to the course for the Falcon Stadium Challenge, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. The image to the left (click for larger size) shows the course. Competitors will run up on one set of stairs between the seats and down the next as they go across the stadium level or levels depending on whether doing the short or long course.
Depending on the number of participants, competitors will be released from the start line in heats (20 per minute or so). Those doing the long course will start first and then the participants who are doing the short course will start.
The challenge isn’t officially being timed but anyone who wants to time themselves are more than welcome to do so. The idea is to keep this inaugural challenge as simple as possible and motivate people of all levels to push themselves to just complete it and have fun instead of striving to beat a time or come in first place.
Registration for the Falcon Stadium Fitness Challenge is $30, and includes participation in the challenge, a game ticket for the Air Force vs. New Mexico game, a t-shirt, and a post-challenge recovery package.
Participants can head to Falcon Stadium for this event at 9:30 AM. The challenge will begin at 10:00 AM, and will end at 11:30 AM. Air Force will kick off against New Mexico at 1:30 PM. Spectators can also purchase game tickets for $22.
For more information, contact (719) 472-1895. To register online, click here.
This Saturday, September 13, will be the first of 3 work days this fall for the Manitou Incline. The other 2 are October 11th and November 1st.
This first work day will be on the trail that connects the top of the Incline to Barr Trail. This connector trail has been a social trail with serious erosion issues and multiple paths. The social trails will be closed and a new sustainable trail will be built.
Participants must be 12 years or older, anyone under 18 must have a guardian accompany them during the workday. Check-in/late registration the morning of will begin at 7:30 a.m., in the Barr Parking Lot. The project will begin at 8 a.m., ending at 3:30 p.m. Please come prepared to work the entire day and hike 3 miles up Barr Trail to the project work site.
Tools will be provided and brought to the project work site by staff. You will need to bring and hike with your own gloves, water, hat, sunscreen and lunch.
This Saturday is the Pikes Peak Ascent and Sunday is the Pikes Peak Marathon. On Saturday the 1st Wave starts at 7 AM and the 2nd Wave at 7:30 AM. Barr Trail should be clear after 8:30 AM for runners going up.
Sunday the start is 7 AM but there will only be a small window before runners will be coming back down Barr Trail until late afternoon. The cut-off for an official Pikes Peak Marathon time is 5 PM but runners will still be coming down after that time.
If you still want to go this weekend, try avoiding Barr Trail while the racers are on it. The racers have right of way and have trained hard for the event so please respect them and stay out of their way.
On Saturday there will be no parking on Ruxton Avenue and some side streets from 4 AM until 8 AM. Sunday there will be no parking 4 AM to 5 PM. Also because of the race, the free Manitou Incline shuttle won’t be running up to the Iron Springs Chateau. Iron Springs Chateau will have their $5 a day parking open starting at 5 AM both Saturday and Sunday.
The Manitou Incline closes at 6 AM Monday and will be closed until early December. This weekend is your final chance to hike the Incline before repair work is done. Just beware of the racers and let them complete their races as quickly and safely as possible. If you want to get one last hike in, Saturday after 8:30 AM would be the best time.