Do you remember the taped interview with 1985 (?) World Champ Kari Sallinen? He talked about knowing his shape by how he felt walking up the stairs on the ferry between Finland and Sweden. I guess that's kind of the same thing just substitute "boat full of drinking Scandinavians" with "hillside covered with sage."
I do remember.
Over time, I have come to feel that only a person who had never visited the Ames Monument would gauge fitness by climbing ferry stairs.
It's understandable, however. Of the seven wonders of the world, the Ames Monument is the one that is routinely overlooked.
I seriously doubt you have climbed the Ames Monument. (I probably would have, but my traveling companions put the kibosh on that. )
Rick Oliver climbed the Ames Monument. He did so with no safety gear and in running shoes. As I was watching I made a quick mental plan about how we'd get help when he fell. Fortunately he didn't fall, but it was a bit terrifying to watch him climb down.
I will politely decline to address any suspicions I may have climbed the monument. I will only say that there didn't use to be a sign stating that it was forbidden to climb on the monument, and that since such sign appeared, I have never climbed it.
However, climbing up the stairs early in the morning, as the Silja ferry weaves through the archipelago coming into Stockholm in the Nordic dawn, is a treat well worth the exertion.