Roxy Gonzales-Vogel is making history.
She made it big in 2019 after completing one of the fastest ascents of Mount Everest in history, taking her from sea level in her former hometown of Berkeley, California to the summit of the highest mountain in the world in Asia and back in just two weeks.
A year later, she added her name to another elite list when she climbed the summit of Mount Vinson in Antarcticaaccomplishing the extraordinary feat of reaching the highest peaks in each of the seven continents of the earth.
In addition to climbing the tallest mountains on earth, Gonzales-Vogel has also summited six of the tallest volcanoes on the planet, the last of which she completed just two days after summiting Mount Vinson.
His main goal this spring is to make history in another way: to conduct nutritional research that aims to improve athletes’ endurance and performance in extreme heat conditions. This is an area of research where there is currently little data, especially for women, and one that could have major implications for adventurers who regularly endure the harshest elements on the planet.
She conducts her research in familiar territory: Texas Woman’s University, where she earned her master’s degree in exercise and sports nutrition in 2017. She uses a thermal chamber at the university to simulate extreme conditions for athletes. Her research is supporting a PhD in exercise physiology which she is pursuing at Southern Cross University in Australia. The results of his research also have potential application in his career as a Nutrition and Performance Research Manager at GU Energy Labs in California.
Gonzales-Vogel has personal experience of pushing the body to its extreme limits in pursuit of the Seven Summits adventure. To prepare for her ascent of Everest, she spent three years training: climbing mountains, performing long-distance runs at high altitudes, and working and sleeping in oxygen-limited quarters to simulate the conditions on the world’s highest peaks. Additionally, she maintained a strict diet and robust exercise regimen to stay in peak shape.
“For me, it’s always trying to see if there’s a limit to what I can do – and where that limit is. I guess I haven’t found it yet,” Gonzales-Vogel said.
In addition to research for his thesis, Gonzales-Vogel also has his eye on another adventure – and another opportunity to make history: completing the Explorers’ Grand Slam, which involves climbing the highest peaks in each continent, then skiing to the last degree of the South and North Poles.
She pursues a meticulous training program while conducting daily research. If plans pan out as she hopes, Gonzales-Vogel will travel to the North Pole in April 2023.
She hopes her accomplishments will serve to inspire others who may not think they have the spirit to embark on their own adventures.
“Your mind is so much stronger than you think, and even if things don’t go your way – and it’s not the way you imagined – you still have a little in reserve,” she said. “So you can always rely on yourself to pull through.”