Author: Roxanne Vogel

Using heat exposure to prepare for high altitude may sound illogical, but I used it to take advantage of a process called cross-adaptation. By exposing my body to the stress of the heat, I would theoretically improve my tolerance to another stressor: hypoxia. In May I summited Mount Everest in two weeks door to door—from my home at sea level. My keys to success: hard work and strategic pre-acclimation methods. For five months leading up to the climb, I engaged in consistent, structured training under the guidance of coaches Scott Johnston and Seth Keena-Levin. For three of those months, I…

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I like to say it was The Amazing Race: Mount Everest Edition. I waited in Berkeley, California, for a weather window, jetted to Tibet to take advantage of it, then booked it back down the peak for a whirlwind return trip—all in just 14 days. So many factors had to align to make this two-week door-to-door ascent possible. I gave every ounce of my being to the goal, and I received support from a number of fronts. I also got a little lucky. I started climbing mountains seven years ago, after trekking to Everest Base Camp and seeing the Himalaya…

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