First All-Black American Climbing Team To Make History On Mount Everest
Photo Credit: Full Circle Everest

Photo Credit: Full Circle Everest

First All-Black American Climbing Team To Make History On Mount Everest

Parker Diakite
Parker Diakite Sep 1, 2021

There’s a group of climbers aiming to make history as the first all-Black American climbing team to attempt to summit Mount Everest: the highest mountain on earth.

It’s something that hasn’t been achieved before.

Famous climber Sophia Danenberg, a Black woman based in Seattle, ascended the mountain in 2006, but her great accomplishment has not been duplicated, as reported in Outside Business Journal.

To date, no Black American man has ever made it to the top of Mount Everest. Black men and women from Africa and Jamaica have reached the Himalayan peak, but never a team exclusively of Black Americans.

Phil Henderson, a former instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School and a veteran Himalayan mountaineer, is trying to change that through a project he’s leading called the Full Circle Everest Expedition.

Starting in 2022, the nine-member team made up of seven men and two women will begin this historic journey.

“I believe this project is important to the development of our team members in their growth in the mountaineering space,” Henderson told the Outside Business Journal. “It is bringing forward a greater conversation about Black and brown people in the outdoors and what that means: past, present, and future. Being that our entire team is made up of Black people, it is an important display of leadership, commitment, and teamwork to our community as well as the greater climbing world.”

So, who’s on the team?

North Face-sponsored athletes Manoah Ainuu and Frederick Campbell; Eddie Taylor, a high school teacher; Demond “Dom” Mullins, a combat veteran of the Iraq War; Abby Dione, owner of Coral Cliffs Climbing Gym; James “KG” Kagambi, a NOLS instructor with many successful climbs of mountains in Africa and Europe; Thomas Moore, an entrepreneur based in Denver; and Rosemary Saal, a NOLS instructor who led the first all-Black American team to the summit of Africa’s Kilimanjaro in 2018.

“We need greater representation in the outdoor industry,” Henderson added. “A big part of that has to be on the upper scale. This is an iconic mountain. We want to include Black and brown people in the history of American mountaineering in the Himalayas. Right now, there just aren’t too many of us. We want to change that.”

Let’s send our love and positive vibes to the group as they prepare for this historic climb. You can also support them by clicking here.

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