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BTMR On July 19th, 2015

BTMR Logo

The 14th annual Barr Trail Mountain Race is Sunday, July 19, 2015. The 12.6-mile course begins in Manitou Springs, Colorado, and ascends Pikes Peak’s iconic Barr Trail to Barr Camp before turning, descending and finishing back in town.

Although the course doesn’t include the Manitou Incline, the area will be more congested and runners will be on Barr Trail. The race starts at 7 AM and most runners should be back down by 10:30 AM. It is best that you avoid being on Barr Trail between those times. If for some reason you feel it’s necessary to do the Incline and head back down Barr Trail during those times, please be courteous and give the runners right of way whether they’re going up or going down.


“100: Head/Heart/Feet ” Movie Fundraiser for Incline Friends

100: Head/Heart/Feet – Trailer from Hammer & Saw Films on Vimeo.

The Incline Friends are showing the “100: Head/Heart/Feet” movie as a fundraiser that will help with additional repairs on the Manitou Incline. The showing is Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015 at Stargazers Theatre & Event Center. Doors open at 6 PM and the movie starts at 7 PM.

Tickets can be purchased online for $10 or if seats are still available tickets will be $13 at the door.

About 100: Head/Heart/Feet Movie

If you thought 26.2 miles was tough, lace up your running shoes for a journey into the world of ultrarunning.

From Hammer and Saw Films, “100: Head/Heart/Feet” follows Ultrarunner Zak Wieluns as he attempts to run The Vermont 100 Endurance Race. The film focuses on Zak’s intensive training regiment and its impact on his relationships while exploring the reasons he was singularly dedicated to completing the Vermont 100 Endurance Race, one of the original 100 mile runs in the USA.

Filmed on the race’s 25th anniversary, “100: Head/Heart/Feet” records the stories of handlers, pacers and crew members while exploring the friendships that motivate their preparation for this grueling race over Vermont’s paved streets, gravel back roads and wooded trails…in daylight and darkness… all within a 30 hour time limit. A well-trained few complete the race; many will never cross the finish line.


Free Manitou Incline Shuttle Starts for 2015

Manitou Incline Shuttle

Today, May 17th, the free Manitou Incline shuttle starts running again for the summer. It will run through September 12, 2015.

The Incline bus (Route 33) will operate from 6 AM – 8:15 PM every day on 20 minute intervals. On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays there will be a 2nd bus from 10 AM until 8:15 PM. The 2nd bus will be timed so there will be about 10 minutes between buses. There’s also another bus route that will service downtown Manitou. See the map of the routes here.

The Incline bus runs from the free parking lot behind the Tajine Alami Restaurant at 10 Old Mans Trail in Manitou. Park around the side and back of the restaurant and not out in front. The shuttle stop is across the street from the restaurant.

There is a 2nd bus route that services the shops along Manitou Avenue. That bus doesn’t go up to the Incline. If you’re going to the Incline you have to get on the bus across from the Tajine Alami Restaurant.

Manitou Incline Photos

Snowy Manitou Incline at Dusk

I’ve had some requests for some of the photos I’ve shared on the Manitou Incline Hike Facebook page recently. Manitou Incline photos are now available for purchase on my UltraRob photo site.

Amanda’s Fonda Sunday Evening Incline Specials

Amanda's Fonda logo

Amanda’s Fonda on the Westside is starting a new social club for people that love the Incline. Beginning today, January 11th, they will be welcoming Incliners every Sunday from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at their 3625 W. Colorado location to relax, enjoy some awesome margaritas and socialize with other great people that love to conquer the Incline.

Go by Amanda’s Fonda on Sunday evening and enjoy these great specials

  • $3 Small, House Margaritas
  • $3 Pints of Coors Light, Bud Light or Tecate
  • $2 Plates of Nachos
  • $2 Tacos (2)

Manitou Incline Before and After Repairs

Manitou Incline Before and After Repairs

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.

Manitou Incline Repair

Manitou Incline Repairs 2014

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

Manitou Incline Calendar 2015 Cover

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.

Manitou Incline Reopening Friday, December 5

Manitou Incline Closed Sign

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.

Manitou Incline Repairs Update

Manitou Incline Repairs 2014

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.