Berkeley woman sets Mount Everest climbing record

ByKris Reyes KGO logo
Thursday, May 30, 2019
Berkeley woman sets Mt. Everest record
Thirty-three-year-old Roxanne Vogel from Berkeley now holds the fastest known sea level to summit ascent of Mt. Everest -- in just 14 days. Here's how she did it:

BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Thirty-three-year-old Roxanne Vogel from Berkeley now holds a Mt Everest climbing speed record -- she climbed to the top of the world's tallest mountain and returned back home in just 14 days.

Her secret? Tricking her body with science.

For three months, Vogel spent 12 hours a day in a hypoxia chamber, which mimics the high altitude environment of Mt. Everest. That meant sleeping under a tent and working in a special office that had low oxygen levels.

"I had a tent over my bed for three months leading up to the attempt, living in simulated altitude," Vogel told ABC News. "It was like living in a fishbowl."

RELATED: Berkeley climber summits Everest in record time

At the end of her training, she was sleeping and working at a simulated level of 20,000 ft.

But that wasn't all she did.

Vogel took an unforgiving training regimen that included hitting trails around Berkeley, ultra-marathons and climbing three 19,000-foot peaks in five days.

"I think the biggest thing that people have a hard time believing is that if you try and climb something that high and that fast, most people would get altitude sickness and have to descend or die," Vogel told ABC7.

The previous fastest climb was 28 days but most climbers take two months just to climb from Everest base camp to the summit.

Vogel's thoughts on her accomplishment? "It's kind of mind-blowing."

This was Vogel's lightning-quick timeline:

  • May 10 - Left Berkeley for Tibet
  • May 22 - Reached Mt. Everest Summit
  • May 24 - Arrived back to Berkeley at 11 p.m.

Her typical day:

  • 4:30 a.m.: Wake up
  • 5-7 a.m.: Training
  • 7-7:30 a.m.: Sauna time
  • 8:30-5:30 p.m.: Go to work
  • 5:30-6:30 p.m.: More training
  • 7 p.m.: Dinner
  • 8 p.m.: Bedtime in the altitude tent