If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Incline and Barr Camp

We had thought about trying some new trails up north a ways on Sunday, but decided with the great weather - and the prediction that it would be leaving town - we might rather enjoy the awesome day closer to home and leave the 3 hours in the car for another weekend.  So we pulled a random one from the hat and decided to hit the Manitou Incline and then head up to Barr Camp.  Some may be shocked by this, but in 20+ years living in the shadow of Pikes Peak, I have had never been to the iconic Barr Camp.  In fact, I have never been on the summit of Pikes Peak.  Kathleen has done both, but not me.  Of course, I have only been on one 14er period, as I have ear troubles that high, but I see this mountain every.day.of.the.year.  Given that it was forecast for sunny skies and 70 in town, what better day to see some new turf.
Manitou Incline looks so innocent from far away
Step and Repeat ... approaching the 68% grade and looking up to the false summit
Kathleen summits with Colorado Springs west side sprawling below

As was expected, the Incline was a freeway - lots and lots of 'traffic' to weave through, which is not easy on 3000 railroad ties going straight up.  I'll try not to rant, but there were a fair amount of inconsiderate folk out Sunday who did not want to move out of the way, which is very annoying.  This was the case coming back down Barr later in the route as well.  Let's be honest here - if you are going to be out on the Incline and/or Barr Trail on a weekend, there are going to be lots of folks out.  A good handful of them will be runners and fast hikers.  If you get your snuff ruffled by having to move aside for traffic to go through, probably not a good place for you.  Just a public service announcement....  Anywho, where was I???  So we made our way up the Incline, not pushing to quite our normal extent as we needed to have a good reserve for the continuing climb to Barr Camp.
Kathleen feeling invincible at the top of the Incline!!!
Shooting over the connector trail to Barr
Lots of stellar views of this rock on Sunday!
Happy Trails indeed - not too shabby for a photo backdrop!
Making our way up to Camp
Up here, the leaves were long gone...
Made it to Barr Camp

We hopped onto Barr Trail from the Incline connector and had just under 4 miles to the camp.  Along this section, there are a couple stretches which are the "flattest" parts of Barr Trail and made for some nice running.  It was shaping up to be a phenomenal day and we were soaking it in, taking tons of pictures, and enjoying the treat that it is to live in the place we call home!  It was probably in the low to mid 50's as we approached Barr Camp, but the intensity of the sun at 10,200' made it quite balmy.  We sat out on the deck for a bit, refueling and chatting with the gracious caretakers.  It was pretty sweet hanging out there and probably won't be the last visit to that deck on a sunny day .....  After fueling up and getting a short rest, it was time for some raging downhill.  Aside from several short climbs on the way down, you are looking at 6.5 miles of mostly decline heading back into Manitou Springs.   Hang on!
Sunny day and feeling good
Looking out from the W's across to the Garden - awesome!
Back down at the Cog Railway Depot - spectacular fall day!
Our 11.25 mile route - quite the gaudy first mile, eh?

The Incline shaves a bit of mileage off the round trip number, but who is really counting miles on this kind of run?  11.25 miles with accumulated gain and subsequent descent of 4100' made for some tired legs (and sore quads!!) by the time we were done.  It was a blast and we had some stellar weather to be out enjoying the lower part of the Pikes Peak Massif.  

Shoes - K Nike LunarFly Trail
S Brooks Cascadia

We were not done with our visit to Manitou Springs, however, as it was time to refuel at Coquette's Bistro & Bakery.  Check out these plates:
Kathleen went for the Fat Frenchie
And I had the Monte Cristo Crepe - plate was not full for long!
Manitou was hopping on this fantastic fall day
Monday, Kathleen enjoyed near record temps out on the road bike touring the hills above our neighborhoods.  She was once again treated to some awesome views on a 25 mile loop with overlooks such as this:
Not bad views for a Monday ride?
Great day for a walk in the park, too!!

Happy Trails!


Jill said...

Well, you KNOW I am absolutely jealous you guys did this on Sunday, it's been on my list for a few weeks now but no umph in me on Sunday.

Once again, in awe here that you can "run" up to Barr Camp. I know I walk a lot of that (at least this year I did - ha). Such a pretty run and the nicest caretakers at the camp.

Can you wear earplugs, Steve, to help the ear issues any? I felt a little looping up on the Peak this year and only one other time felt like that (Mt. Evans Ascent) and someone told me it's cuz I don't acclimate. Hahahah....did you see how slow I ran PP this year? I had ample time to acclimate.

Anyway, nice run guys. Maybe next summer I'll be in better shape to keep up with you for some of it...let's just go on a Monday (Steve, you have some vacation, right? :)), weekends up there are just a mess. Unless it's December!!

Jill said...

"loopy" .. I'm up way later than I should be!! :)

mtnrunner2 said...

Looks like an awesome day, great pics as always. The boulder photo got a chuckle. And the food looks great.

I don't know if you remember my post, but I haven't been to Barr on the weekend for quite a while, and unfortunately it's because of the downhill runners, not hikers. Surprise!

Bearing in mind that uphill traffic has the right of way on trails...

...as I'm hiking up the Ws I was basically persona non grata, even though I'm stopping and getting out of the way as runners bomb down. No "hey", no eye contact, grunt, thank you, nothing. Then at the top I start jogging, and all of a sudden the runners start saying "Hi" and are nice to me. It was like a movie where you're transported into the body of some oppressed member of society and discover how it is for them. Not a positive experience.

Bottom line: go on a weekday.

misszippy said...

What a life you live that you can put trails into a hat and pull out something like that! I am envious. Looks amazing and worth it, even with the crowds.

HappyTrails said...

Jill - Running is relative on 10% plus grades :)

Mtnrunner2 - we are uber-considerate trail users and always have been. It was the downhill traveling folks on Barr that were the issue and there were hardly any runners out to irritate them. Point is, if it is a hardship to show common decency on a public trail, stay home and be rude inside your house ;-) BTW, next time you're down here for this one, look us up!

Misszippy - we're lucky and we don't take it for granted!

GZ said...

Go today. I bet there a few less folks out there today!

Christi said...

I have done the Incline on several occasions. I am very slow so I try to get out the way as much as possible. Mainly so I can rest and catch my breath!

I really should try and make it to Barr Camp. I think that will be a goal for next year!

I love the pics!

Now enjoy the snow that the day has brought us!

Johann said...

I don't mind which day I go. As long as I can do that one day. I think I must come join you and Jill for this.

Ace said...

Never been to barr camp? My brain can not process this. Too public and popular? Too commercialized?

Looks like you enjoyed your stay...it was indeed a perfect day...

mtnrunner2 said...

HappyTrails - Were the downhill hikers roped up on some of the more technical sections of the Ws? They might have been worried you were going to dislodge some of their hardware. Sheesh.

GZ - I should ski Barr today. That would kill two birds with one stone.

mtnrunner2 said...

PS - Disclaimer: For those of you from out of town, don't worry the above photo is not the Barr Trail :) It's rock climbing in Boulder.

PS#2 - The Barr Trail is still awesome, and the higher you go the better it gets.

HappyTrails said...

Just a little added clarification from Kathleen: With the gorgeous weather conditions, we were expecting crowds on the lower flanks of Pikes Peak. No worries there. And weaving around the slower folks going up the Incline is not a problem. We have slower days, too. Our frustration on Sunday is the overall general lack of courtesy, manners, and kind consideration to others that many people seem to have forgotten, never learned, or choose not to use. Like Steve said, we are intentionally friendly trail users, trying to greet everyone with a cheery "good morning" and a smile. Probably overly so. We aren't speedy descenders anyway and were choosing to run the descent even more mellow than normal so we weren't plowing over poor, unsuspecting hikers. Other folks' grumpiness probably bothers us because we do make a sincere attempt to be nice. Unfortunately, cranky rudeness is evident not only on trails but in our everyday living - just drive down the road and visit the grocery store - it is on brilliant display! :-) But, thankfully, there ARE still lots of kind and courteous people out there. Kudos to being nice!

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Look at that rock lifting! K's been taking her vitamins!

A little wave or a smile on the running/walking path means so much to me when I'm out there. : )

T Z said...

The incline. It's on my list of gnarly things to cross off. A same day finish would be nice, ar just a visit would be good too.
PS, I bet it's a big hat.

Glenn Jones said...

Very nice guys! P.S. - It snowed in the Sierras again yesterday. Mammoth Mountain opens for skiing in 15 days. Where did autumn go?

Brad Poppele said...

Great Pictures!!! I was shocked to hear you had never been to Barr Camp. One would just assume you had been. Glad to hear you finally made it! Next year the top of Pikes?

ajh said...

Looks like such a stunning day! Jealous of that hike. I am also jealous of the bike ride on Monday although I had a great bike ride on Sunday - no sun though although it was out shining brightly when I was back at work on Monday.

I didn't do the Incline when I was out there (Mary wanted me too) but I did get to Barr Camp and up Pike's Peak which I am still immensely proud of.

Mary did the Waldo Canyon run last weekend and I was also jealous of that - that was my favorite place I went out there. I guess I just had the Colorado blues last weekend.

Dax said...

That elevation profile looks sick, but in a good way. Beautiful pictures, especially of the well-earned food.

Jennifer said...

Food pictures! Yay! Looks like a cool little town to visit. And OMG look at those altitude numbers! I would have to spend a week there just to jog at 6000 feet, never mind going up to 10!

ajh said...

No cars in DC for us for post run clothes. It's all walking, Metro or the occ. taxi which I must confess we used tonight.

Tara said...

OMG! Look at those plates of food! They look so yummy...must try this place.

The Incline has been on my "to do" list for awhile now, one of these days. Although, I'm not sure if I would make it to Barr Camp or not!

A few weekends ago, we were mountain biking on the Colorado Trail and some hikers made a big stick about having to get out of our way. They even yelled at us, we were kind of stunned that people would act that way.

BTW-The lake that I was referring to on my last blog post in Twin Lakes Colorado, right outside of Independence Pass. Have you all been up there? If not, it is absolutely beautiful. You feel like you are just a little closer to heaven out there. :)

ajh said...

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
ha ha ha ......a swimmer.....ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

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