San Francisco to Everest Summit in 12 days. How is that even possible?

Twelve days ago many would of been skeptical of a schedule like this – an attempt at summiting Everest in two weeks, door to door from the USA.

You have got to be kidding right?

Photo from Instagram – with an enthusiastic and appreciative shout out to her Guide, Lydia Brady.

But this morning, hot on the heels of the Tibetan rope fixers on Everest’s North Ridge, Roxanne Vogel and her guide Lydia Brady topped out on Everest, a mere 12 days after departing the U.S.

While the full story will undoubtably make for a very good telling, the simple fact that #Roxymtngirl traversed the world, roared across Tibet, and up Mount Everest in a year where the weather has seemed to be nothing but trouble, and is now headed home, is nothing less than astounding.

And while the goal was 14 days round trip, I think it is only fair we give her a day or two extra to actually get home.

The details from Alpenglow on Instagram:

My original post, and additional background below.

The countdown starts today for a woman attempting to leave home, fly to Everest, climb to the top of the world, then be home and back in her own bed – all in 14 days.

Everest North Face from Base Camp
Everest North Face from Base Camp. Just the walk up to ABC takes most people 3 days the first time around. Will there still be time for a Puja ceremony to bless the climb?

For so long, the time commitment to acclimatize properly for Everest has been insurmountable for many, with ascents commonly taking two months. With Lukas Furtenbach now popularizing his “Flash” expeditions and Adrian Ballinger’s Alpenglow now offering both “Rapid Ascents” and this, the even quicker “Lightening Ascent”, no longer is the time such a challenge – though it will cost you quite a bit more.

Of course the “Thunderbolt Ascent” is waiting in the wings for those with even less time and even more money.

This ascent is more interesting because Roxanne Vogel is a 33 year old woman who is an elite athlete and certainly isn’t the atypical Everest ascentionist – which even this year is more than 80% male. Roxanne has gained the support of her company Gu where she works as a Nutrition and Sports Research Manager, has already done five of the seven summits and if her training schedule is anything to go by, is probably more than fit enough.

There is of course the still relatively untested acclimatization plan, a mix of doing other climbs so knowing you have at least been reasonably high before, and a few months in an oxygen tent. It will have some advantages, but will it be enough?

There are two things more important than her training that are similar for most Everest climbers: her Guide and the weather. She is being paired up with Lydia Brady, who became the first woman to climb Everest without oxygen in 1988. Lydia has the background, the experience and the reputation to certainly be an ideal and very experienced partner to Roxanne.

Then of course there is the most critical factor, the weather. Notorious, fickle, and as much as we like to think predictable, not all that much. Last year many climbers were lucky with one of the longest good spells on record. As Roxanne wisely points out:

“Yeah, I’m nervous about what I can’t control, but at the end of the day you can’t control that,” she said. “So, to worry about it is kind of fruitless.”

While the background on the Gu site is all about training and nutrition the question at the end of it all to ask is: “Did you have fun?”

Plus or minus a few days doesn’t really make much difference, it will be a very interesting attempt to follow in any case, with her Instagram @roxymtngirl.

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