Climbing Manaslu – 1 month update

Climbing Manaslu – 1 month update

Read in / lee en: esSpanish

I’m one month into training for climbing Manaslu and her 8156 meters / 26,759 feet. There are six months to go. This is article #2 in my series on how to train for your first 8000 meter mountain (over 26,200 feet). There are 14-8000+ meter mountains in the world and on August 25th I will leave for Nepal to climb #8.

If the last 30 days were a representation of what is to come, my next article will be… “Hiiiiii, I’m leaving!”

training for Manaslu

During the last month, there’s been a lot of work in terms of getting things off the ground. Routine isn’t sexy, but it is what gets the job done. We started our 5:30am workouts, which means my first alarm rings at 4:20am and my butt needs to peel itself out of bed by 4:30am. This in and of itself has required a lifestyle change and been a bit of my struggle, and I need to find a way to go to bed earlier. I’ve been going to bed between 10:30-11:30pm, more often than not towards the latter.

I must say, however, I feel great riding my bike at 4:50am and listening to podcasts. The air is fresh, no one is on the road, and I feel pretty “in the moment.” I have a little crash at 9am before my first (yes, first) coffee and then again briefly after lunch. On Tuesdays and Thursdays when I can sleep till 6:30am, my body feels three sheets to the wind, and, somehow, it is harder to get up on those days.  I literally feel “one” with my bed.

Social time has been hard since I’m constantly feeling like I’m behind on something that needs to be done

… working on my presentation, contacting sponsors, having meetings, writing articles, reaching out to media, my blog’s social media, team meetings, trying to squeeze in video chats with family and friends, oh, and attempting to go to bed earlier. See? I’m still needing that “Time Management for Dummies” book. This I must say, has been stressful, because I don’t want to neglect the important people in my life. So far, people have been pretty tolerant with my being super late in returning texts. Thank you.

Anyways, things have started moving, so I am crossing all 20 fingers and toes that the law of inertia kicks in and it all gets easier to juggle from here.

training for manaslu
Life is good for this girl

I must say, though, I couldn’t be happier.

I honestly feel like I’ve found my “north” and this is the direction I’m supposed to go in. That said, working hard doesn’t bother me one iota!  

Interesting Facts

While I was doing research and preparing my personal presentation, I found some pretty cool statistics.

Out of all the United States of America, I will (hopefully) be the 9th woman to stand on this mountain!

And, if all goes as planned and I can summit without oxygen, I would be only the second American woman. In broader terms, I would be number 34 considering men and women, and it looks like the first person to represent my midwest Wisconsin home.  #MKEHOME baby!

Training for Manaslu
A couple weekends ago while training in Cerro El Plomo

Looking at Chilean expeditions, there have been 2 Chilean men on the summit, but no Chilean women. While I’m not Chilean, I am a very happy Chilean resident who has called this country home for the last 6.5 years, and I am excited to be a woman on a Chilean expedition. It is thanks so Chile that I have been able to practice and grow so quickly in this passion and life of mine.

Himalayan Style Workouts

Workouts are going great, based on cardio and high resistance, but well balanced with strength and power. I love them. There are more specified core and calf exercises than I used to do, but it makes sense. Between circuits we do work on the track (400 meters), varying from relays, sprints, runs, and even speed walking. Woah, speed walking, now let me tell you that that took me for a surprise. Holy shista. If you want to feel your shins and calves buuuuuuurn, do 400 meters of speed walking. And then repeat. You’ve got arms pumping, torso swaying, and your legs going so fast, you just want to break into a run, but you can’t, because then you stop working the target muscles.

To give a comparison, using my FitBit as the measurer, my normal metabolism burns around 1400 calories per day. In the past, I would typically burn between 2200-2600 calories on a given day, taking into account my workouts and daily activities like using my bike as a mode of transportation.

Now, I am averaging 3300 – 3600 calories with the other variables consistent.

The only thing is I get to the office at 9am so hungry that I can already taste the oatmeal and passion fruit yogurt before it’s even in my mouth. A detailed article on workout strategy is to come!


Expeditions of this magnitude require more commitment than just physical. I’ve spent a lot of time meeting with the team to work on our expedition presentation… the moment to bring on sponsors is NOW, while we have months to offer in terms of marketing, promotion and collaborations, between all the activities pre, during and post expedition. This has been a bit overwhelming, because it isn’t easy to ask for money, nor reflect on what we/I have to offer, make lists of potential options, and then go confidently with business propositions.

However, we’ve already had some good meetings, and we have a couple sponsors on board:

  • North Face: North Face Chile will sponsor our equipment needs. Most notably, this means the critical summit day gear. Next week after getting back from Ojos del Salado, we will all go to the store, and I’m literally dreaming of trying on the one-piece snowsuit. I think I’m going to feel like a kid in a candy shop.  A detailed equipment article to come!
  • Winkler Nutrition: Winkler is sponsoring our nutritional and supplemental needs. As I mentioned, I am burning many more calories per day than before, and, according to my blood tests done with our expedition doctor Dr. Mario Sandoval, I already had various issues due to protein deficiency. Protein supplements are an important part of muscle development and recovery. Also, we are just waiting to get an evaluation with their nutritionist, who will work in collaboration with our doctor / medical results, to make sure our bodies are getting the nutrients they need to keep training. A detailed nutrition article on to come!
  • AM Rent a Car:  AM Rent a Car is sponsoring the transport for our expedition to the tallest volcano in the world, Ojos del Salado, in northern Chile. This volcano is located off-road in the middle of the desert, 678 kilometers / 421 miles from our homes in Santiago, and not all vehicles can handle rough route, not to mention the altitude.
breakfast in the mountain
Who wants breakfast?

There’s been more meetings than just this, but not all have some seen fruits and some are still in the works. We are looking at doing an event to help raise money as well, which would include a Himalayan base camp re-enactment, with all the gear and equipment, as well as some stations on Himalaya related climbing and scenarios. However, we haven’t been able to pull the planning together amongst everything else, so it may push back a bit, towards the end of April or beginning of May.

So, in addition to larger expedition sponsorships, I’ve also worked on my personal sponsorship presentation, for companies that would like to support me, as a person, as a woman, as a Wisconsinite… or whatever portion of me that I can make interesting! Haha This opens the door for closer relationships that I have, where people or companies can help me in smaller amounts.

Personal Sponsorships

As an expedition, and personally, conversations have been started, but the work has just begun. I guess when I was originally sharing this expedition idea with my friend Andres and he warned me about making sure I was at a point in my life where I could get, and fulfill on, sponsorship obligations while working out, oh, and working… I’m now seeing he was right.

That said, if your company or anyone you may know would be interested in talking to me, I’m super friendly and committed to making win-win deals for sponsorships big and small! 😊

Upcoming Expedition: Ojos del Salado, the tallest volcano in the world  

I leave this Friday, March 1st to climb the tallest volcano in the world, Ojos del Salado, in northern Chile, together with 2 other members of our group. Ernesto will be climbing Kilimanjaro and Rodrigo has work obligations that aren’t allowing him to get time off. All in all, this week-long expedition will be a good bonding and teamwork experience for Carlos, Luis and myself.

training for manaslu
training is hard work…. so I nap when I can haha

The weather up north has been quite unstable in terms of wind, cold, and snowfall, so it will be a physically and mentally demanding journey. We’ve been watching the forecast and, as I check it right now, winds are averaging 60kph / 37 mph, so we will just have to see how things progress with the week and make decisions.

Media Coverage

Okay, well, that’s my one-month report. So far, it’s just been a lot of organization and rolling up the sleeves on the research and dirty computer work, but, hey, that stuff has got to get done too!

Stay tuned to Facebook and Instagram for pictures and videos from our climb up north! See ya on the way down 😊

A big summit hug,

training for manaslu
Stretching… what is supposed to be the easiest part of training, but isn’t.

Follow me on Social Media. 
The journey to Manaslu will be just as good as the mountain itself. 

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