Glad you getting back to those mountains you love!
Yup...so important to get those knees, feet and hips ready for real mountains. I have to agree, stairs.
I have several times used stadium stairs...up one side...across the top, then down, back across the bottom and repeat.
Do you have a pedometer ? You can gauge by steps and time and get a really good workout a couple times per week. I have also done this carrying a pack when preparing for backpacking (When time was a real issue during training)
Become the change you wish to see in the world.
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