Incline Hike

This has been a really nasty winter so far and December is only a few days old! A cold front moved through last weekend and dropped temperatures into the single digits for a day or two. It warmed up a little on Saturday, so Nick and I took advantage of the 30 degree temps and headed out on the bikes. Now that we both have good, warm clothes, shoes and gloves, it’s easier to ride outside on those marginal days. There weren’t too many other people out riding or hiking on Saturday, so it was nice. I was dragging a little after the Computrainer races on Friday. Sunday, we woke up to single digits again and blowing snow. Nick was trying to get the gang together for a ride, but no one seemed to be biting. Grant was interested in a hike, but not riding. Can’t understand why. It was just a perfect day for a ride outside! I was supposed to do a running workout then a swim and was packing to head to 24 Hr Fitness. Then Nick suggested that we just do the incline and swim. That sounded a little more appealing the staring at the walls for hours, so off we went. We stopped to pick up Grant on the way. He tried (unsucessufully) to get Nick to hike in the Canyon instead of the Incline.

This was only my third time up the incline. Because of the temperature, I was carrying my own pack with lots of warm clothes for the hike down Barr Trail. I dressed for going up and loaded my pack down. Nick, Grant  and I hiked up at our own pace. I’m a little faster going up the hills because I’ve got the run training. It was so quiet up there, with the snow blanketing the trees and the clouds drifting over the sun. I made it up in a decent time, then headed down a little to meet Nick and Grant. Every time we’ve done the incline, we always see a few people hiking down. When I make my way down to meet Nick, it just amazes me. It might take longer hiking down Barr Trail, but it’s so much safer.

After reaching the top, we bundled up and started down Barr Trail. Grant was smart - he had a really warm pair of mountaineering pants, so he was comfortable the whole time. I had my second warmest gloves, warmest hat, a craft shirt, a wind blocking fleece, warm jersey, heavy coat and Gore jacket on, and I was still chilly. My nose was freezing by the time we reached the car. It took over an hour for my hands and nose to warm up and my toes were still cold when we got to 24 hr fitness. I don’t know how some of the athletes in the Iditarod or mountaineers handle the cold weather like they do. I am a warm blooded, liking the sun kinda person.

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