Annie Engen ’19, who worked for the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Department this summer through Colorado College’s Public Interest Fellowship Program, undertook a side project that will be seen by hundreds of fitness enthusiasts. A mathematical economics major and Environmental Studies minor from Minneapolis, her project helped connect the dots between mathematics, a local hiking trail, and world-famous landmarks.
Engen created a safety sign for the Manitou Incline, a perpendicular trail on the remains of a former narrow gauge railway whose tracks washed out during a rock slide in 1990. The Incline, which gains more than 2,000 feet of elevation in less than a mile, has an average grade of 45 percent and is as steep as 68 percent in some places.
Engen’s sign lets people know that hiking the Incline “is not a walk in the park.” To put the Incline’s 2,744 steps in perspective, Engen’s sign notes that hiking the Incline is comparable to climbing the Eiffel Tower (twice), the Washington Monument (three times), the Statue of Liberty (six times), or the Empire State Building (once).
Read more about Engen’s PIFP work here.