Texas Woman's University

After Climbing Seven Summits, TWU Alum Prepares for Explorers Grand Slam

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It's an adventurer's challenge few have ever attempted.

To complete the Explorers Grand Slam, a person must make it to the far reaches of the world, including the north and south poles and the tops of the Seven Summits.

For Roxanne Vogel, it’s simply another challenge to conquer.

“I guess, for me, it's always just trying to see if there's a limit to what I can do and where that limit is," said Vogel. "And I guess I haven't found it yet.”

The Texas Woman’s University alum started adventuring in 2012.

In the years since she’s climbed the Seven Summits.

On Mount Everest, she set a record becoming the first person to make it from sea level to the top of Mount Everest and back in just 14 days. That’s something most take at least a month to do.

Now a Ph.D. student, Vogel is conducting research at TWU while her Australian University remains off-limits due to COVID restrictions.

While in Denton, she’s working to develop a nutritional product that will help athletes in extreme temperatures, a situation she knows well.

Last year, Vogel ventured to Antarctica.

"That was definitely the coldest and most remote environment I'd ever been in," she said. "At one point, we started running low on food and things seemed pretty bad. We were stuck in a bad storm. I ended up even getting some frostbite on some of my toes, so it was a crazy experience.”

Still, as always, she ended the trip asking herself, what comes next.

And with the Seven Summits and South Pole under her belt, the Explorers Grand Slam was the obvious next step.

“What the Explorers Grand Slam is is you climb all the Seven Summits to the highest peak on each continent, and then you ski the last degree to the South Pole and to the North Pole,” she said.

The latter of which is all that remains for Vogel to complete a challenge only a few dozen people have before her.

It also could prove her most challenging yet.

"You're basically floating around on a sheet of ice," said Vogel. "So where you go to bed one night might not be where you wake up the next morning, and there are breaks in the ice. So you may have to sometimes go into the water and come back out of the water. And then there are polar bears, so you have to carry protection for polar bears."

For the next year, she’ll continue to train running long distances at high altitudes while pulling heavy weight.

And in end, she'll hope to be stronger, not just for herself but for those she hopes to inspire.

"The number one thing I always want people to take away with them is that your mind is so much stronger than you think," said Vogel. "And so even if things are not going the way you want them to, and you know it's not how you had envisioned it turning out, you always have a little bit left in reserve. So you can always count on yourself to get yourself through."

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