Once told he would never walk again, man scales Manitou Incline in Colorado

Patrick Rummerfield overcame the odds to hike the Manitou Incline.
Published: Aug. 10, 2022 at 7:35 PM MDT
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - The Manitou Incline was once a near-impossible thought for Patrick Rummerfield.

For those who aren’t familiar with the hike, the trail gains about 2,000 feet in elevation from start to finish and features nearly 3,000 steps. The trail used to be used as a tourist cable car track.

At the age of 21, Rummerfield was paralyzed from the neck down following a horrific car crash in 1974. At that time, was told he only had days to live. His father delivered the unbearable news.

“He bent over my bed and the tears, the tears were just squirting off of his cheeks down onto mine,” Rummerfield explained what his father was doing when he passed along what doctors had to say. “I thought, whatever he says next is not going to be positive.”

Rummerfield wasn’t expect to make it 72 hours after the crash. Days passed and Rummerfield was still alive. Doctors couldn’t figure out how.

Surviving was just the first step for Rummerfield. Nearly 50 years after the crash, he continues to beat the odds. Step after step, Rummerfield spent the years after the crash going from wiggling his toes to competing in Ironman competitions and marathons after grueling physical therapy. On Wednesday, he tackled nearly 3,000 steps on the Manitou Incline west of Colorado Springs.

Through all the bad news, Rummerfield never it let it discourage him about what sits at the summit of his Journey.

“Ya know, it’s kind of like planting a seed,” Rummerfield explained before taking on the Incline. “The first couple of months you don’t see anything, maybe a year you don’t see anything. and then all of a sudden, here comes a flower or a tree. And that never would have happened if you hadn’t have planted that seed first.”

Step after step, even crawling at one point, Rummerfield completed the Incline in about six hours with a group of people cheering him on at the top.

Rummerfield completed the challenge for a few reasons. To give hope to others trying to overcome spinal injuries and to raise money for Missouri Kids. Click here for more on the organization that helps kids who have suffered permanent disabling injuries and to give.

Watch the full interview with Rummerfield before his hike below:

Visit MissouriKIDS.org for more information and to donate. Patrick Rummerfield is getting set to hike the Manitou Incline in Colorado, 2,744 steps!

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