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Why would someone want to do the Manitou Incline? - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Why would someone want to do the Manitou Incline?

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Manitou Springs -

2,693 steps and almost a mile up... straight up. 

The Manitou Incline is one of the hardest climbs in Colorado. It is a Stairway to Heaven for many and a Highway to Hell for others. But whatever side of the aisle you're on, it's got plenty of disciples. 

"I think we are a little bit crazy. It just has an allure to it, I guess...." one hiker said.

The incline is not your friend and it will not play nice. But the thing that keeps some people coming back -- and keeps others away -- day after day is just getting to the top of that thing. 

Shawn Erchinger found health on the incline when a trip with his wife's friends started his long-term love and hate relationship with the stairs. 

"My wife would say it's an addiction, but it's more about being able to get out and train with my brothers, Eddy and Fred. It sucks when you're doing it, but it feels great when you're finished," Erchinger said.

Fred Baxter grew up in Manitou Springs and when he isn't hanging out with his twin brother, Ed, he's up the incline. He did it 13 times in one day -- that's more than 35,000 steps total -- at the young age of 63.

"I know a few people up here that are 75 and 77, and they are still doing it. So I plan on doing it then. I like to beat anybody that is younger than me. That's my goal," Baxter said.

Madison Sexton is one of those younger incliners -- she's also crazy. She hiked the incline to train for track season at the Air Academy, but she says reaching the top is what makes all the hard work worth it.

And maybe that's what draws people in: the submission to the torture that is the Incline. But do not take it lightly, you'll lose that battle, but if you're anything like these people, you'll always go back and try again. 

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