Despite the fact that I’d probably climbed the equivalent of the Cathedral of Learning’s 34 flights over my six years at Pitt, I’d never truly climbed all 34, and certainly not in one sitting. We decided to tackle the historic fitness event on the least-muggy late May day we could find.
We opted to go earlyish on a Sunday morning, which we thought would be good, because less people would witness our sweaty, not-conditioned-for-this-type-of-activity selves attempting this climb.
The trade-off was that without scores of other humans there to conquer Leg Day, we didn’t have anyone to follow, and we wound up taking a wrong turn at the very start, leading us up the completely wrong stairwell.
So, as it turns out, Stairwell A is the one you need. All others result in a dead end. But Stairwell A will get you as high as you can go!! Only took us like 12 minutes to find that out. (But that’s why we do these Achievements – so you don’t have to suffer through the wrong turns, dear readers.)
At last, we reached the 34th floor. This is the highest you can go for fitness, and there’s only the one elevator, so they recommend you go down one more flight before taking the elevator down to the ground.
I wouldn’t recommend the Cathedral stairs in summer, as it’s a massively tall, un-air-conditioned building, but once the weather cools off a bit, if you’re looking for a place to cross train and work on your quads, give the Cathedral steps a try. Even going as slowly as we were with wrong turns and stopping to take lots of pictures, were up and back down in less than half an hour. If you get really ambitious, you could go up a handful of times in a single visit!