The Incline

This looks like fun (depending on your idea of fun). It’s the Manitou Springs Incline: an ex-funicular railway track in Colorado which has become a… “thing”. It’s about 1.42km long, and gains (or loses) an incredible 613m in height over that distance.
(c.f. Winnat’s Pass 188m over 1.6km; Constantia Nek to the dams: 473m elevation over 6.6km; Platteklip Gorge 680m over 2.8km. I think that’s all the major reference inclines covered.)

So basically almost twice as steep as the front of Table Mountain. Yeah – it’s mental.

This excellent video sums up what it was, what it is, and documents the odd community (are we allowed to say “cult”?) which has grown up around it:

As a one-off visit or as part of a regular exercise regime, I guess that it’s all good. And yeah – I get the speed thing, because there are records for speed in everything (the record for this 1.42km is 17m25s). But then middle aged men came along and because they couldn’t break the speed record, they invented a new record: they had to do it more than other middle aged men. And this is where it gets a bit obsessive and weird. Because that record is (obviously) the number of ascents in a single (365 day) year, and that figure currently stands at 1,825 (that’s 1,100,000m of ascent). When each up and down trip takes at least an hour… that’s at least 5 hours a day, every day. Plus getting there, getting back and (hopefully) some shower time.

Nope. I mean, well done, and each to their own, but that just seems like a colossal waste of time over 12 months when you could have been sleeping or drinking or blogging. Or, quite plausibly, all three.

Still, I guess that if I lived there, I’d also be using it as a free gym (and people have moved there just to do this). Can you imagine your calves after a few weeks? Bulgy.

Given that it is unique, it’s obviously going to be difficult to recreate something similar here in Cape Town (or anywhere else), but it does seem like the sort of challenge worth trying at least once.