Hi! I’m going to be visiting Colorado in 2 weeks and (foolishly?) agreed to do the Incline with a friend. Any tips for my first time? Much appreciated :)
It’s only foolishly if you are not from high altitude and are in super duper bad shape! If you are one or both of those, it’s still okay, you can still do it it’ll just hurt more!
Bring water. If you have a camelbak that’ll be best if not then just bring a big waterbottle. The later in the day you go, the more you’ll need, because it’ll be HOT.
DON’T WEAR PANTS. Seriously, it can get so hot. Even when there’s snow on the ground, pants are not really necessary.
Pace yourself. Seriously. You’re going to be miserable if you go out too hard. The first part is easy and then it gets harder until the false summit.
Oh yeah, there’s a false summit. From the bottom you’ll see what looks like the top, and then you get there and still have another 15-20 minutes of climb before you get to the top. It’s the worst when you find out about it when you’re almost there. So here’s your notice.
Take breaks. It’s okay. Trust me. Everyone around you feels the same pain you’ll be feeling. Try not to sit down if you can, because it’s that much harder to get up, but if you feel like you need to go ahead.
Don’t go down the incline. So many people have destroyed themselves doing it, plus it’s technically against the rules. Go down Barr Trail, which connects to the incline. If you or your friend don’t know where it is, just ask anyone up there!
In regards to the heat also, try to go early if you can. The best would be around sunrise, because it’s beautiful and cool, but also because since the Incline has been legalized it’s been really really packed. Most recreational incliners don’t wake up that early :P
Take pictures! Midway, at the top, everywhere. Don’t forget this is technically a hike and it’s really freaking beautiful.
Finally, listen to your body. Seriously. There’s a difference between pushing your body and hurting your body. If you’re from out of state and not at altitude, pay attention to your breathing and drink lots and lots of water, and if you start feeling light headed or weird, STOP. Dear god, stop. Be careful. They just reported on the news that with the legalization of the incline the emergency responders and search and rescue have been called up there every day due to people who aren’t ready for the incline. There is a little escape point to get off the incline if you feel that you can’t make it, it’s a little bit above the 1/2 mile mark, you’ll see a fence to the left. There’s no shame in slowing down or having to stop or turning around. It’s not easy! It used to be for trains not people!