There is a hike in Colorado Springs called The Incline. I was told that it was just a lot of stairs to the top and then you go back down. I didn't do much research besides that because technically you're not supposed to climb it because it is unsafe. However it is not a marked trail and I had no idea how to get to it. So last Saturday before work, I hiked it with a few of my friends who had done it before. I'm glad they were with me because I needed the company and encouragement to get up this! Above is the view from where we started. But that crest up there is not the summit. There is more after that before you reach the top.
At this point we were only about half way. We started at 6,570 feet and needed to get to 8,595 feet. The entire 2,000 feet that we climbed were stairs; which are really old railway ties...and a little questionable in a few spots. After an hour we did reach the top. I was the second one up out of the four of us. I guess I'm starting to get used to this elevation. Kind of. I had to stop quite a few times to catch my breath.
Once we were all reunited at the top, it was one o'clock and we needed to be in to work by three. So we took the side trail and ran to the bottom in thirty minutes. After walking up stairs for an hour running four miles downhill seemed like a breeze.
The run downhill was a series of switchbacks across the side of the mountain. I found this article from the NY Times that highlights more about The Incline. Even though this hike was one of the hardest workouts I've done I can't wait to do it again! Portman will be here in June. I hope he's up for the challenge!