I'm Frank, I don't post hikes as much as I used too but to stay in shape for the Winter I climb the Cathedral of Learning Steps for an hour and then go to Lulu's Noodles on Craig Street. (this is my excuse to go to Lulu's it's that good ;-) ). And there are no calories after going stair climbing, it's good torture an I always meet interesting people. btw my contact info is[masked] txt me (but if I'm driving(see below) there I won't txt ya back until I'm at the Cathedral).
What we are doing is meet at 6:50 pm on 1st floor by Cathedral of Learning Elevators. Then at 7pm just keep on climbing the stairs till you get to the Top and then take elevator back down and keep on climbing until it hits 8pm. It's 36 floors and a good workout.
FYI I live 35 miles away so sometimes I get caught in traffic so start without me if I'm not there by 7pm, I am posting this all the way until 2nd wed of December then I'll start it up in January again once Pitts classes start again all the way till mid march (not sure what day I'll schedule the climbs in January but we'll see).
After the Stair Climb at 8pm, walk to Lulu's we'll get a table of hot n sweaty stair climbers who have earned their hunger. Not everyone who climbs eats but we usually end up with at least 10 people eating. I recommend the PHO and Tom Yum Soups personally, but Lulus's has amazing asian food, the service is okay but the food is amazing!
In regards to difficulty, the Cathedral Stairs are not hard you are fighting gravity but you do it at your own pace and YOU decide how much you do. I usually start off doing two cathedrals in a hour and by the end in march am up to four in a hour (and am a sweaty mess). BTW besides LULU's the other reason I do this is I have a Charity Stair Climb Team, we climb the One Oxford Center Building at the End of March with Several Fire Companies and local celebrities Andrew Stocky of Channel 4 News and Sean McDowell from WDVE. But that's another post when I'll try to recruit people for the Pittsburgh Fight for Air Stair Climb 2014 (google it! It's FUN!).
Two important things: Bring a water bottle or camelback it gets hot climbing those stairs.
and the second, you can leave your coat up on the desk of 36 floor but carry your own valuables on YOU!
PARKING: Good luck, it's tough to find a space, although the good news is that it is free after 6pm. I recommend trying north oakland and then walking to the Cathedral.
PS. Something to consider if you want a true challenge hiking: Either the 37 mile or 19 mile Rachel Carson Trail Challenge word of warning this is TOUGH
PPS. I also am a HASHER (Pittsburgh Hash House Harriers) it's a bunch of trail runners/walkers who hash (trail run/walk) over 100 times a year! A better description it's a drinking group with a running problem. I hash about once or twice a month now and it's a great way to socialize and have fun and the M/F ratio is about 55%/45% but it is a REAL FUN WORKOUT! Just show up and say Dirty Santachez sent ya!
Pgh Hash House Harrier Webpage and Calendar of Hashes: http://www.pgh-h3.com/wp/
You'll never meet more down to earth, friendly, crazy fun people. And for a history of hashing here's the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hash_House_Harriers
*** Cross Posted with my Facebook, Pittsburgh Social Club Meetup, Pittsburgh Adventure Lovers and Pittsburgh Hikers Group and Pittsburgh Hash House Harriers Facebook Page and lastly the Square Runners Club ***