They Made it! The First Team of All-Black Climbers Summit the Tallest Point on Earth
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They Made it! The First Team of All-Black Climbers Summit the Tallest Point on Earth

(Image: Courtesy of Full Circle Everest and The North Face)

Reaching the top of Mount Everest is a feat all on its own. Yet, the Full Circle Everest Team has made history as the first all-Black American team to attempt and successfully summit the Himalayan peak.

According to CNN, seven members of the full circle expedition completed their quest on May 12. This day signifies that the groundbreaking achievement nearly doubles the total number of Black climbers who have summited the Earth’s highest mountain overall.

Alongside Sherpa climbers and a support team, the seven-person team included: Manoah Ainuu, Eddie Taylor, Rosemary Saal, Demond “Dom” Mullins, Thomas Moore, James “KG” Kagami, and Evan Green.

“The Full Circle Everest team led by Philip Henderson from California has made history as the first all-Black team to stand atop the summit, the highest mountain on earth,” Jiban Ghimire, managing director at Shangri-La Nepal Treks, confirmed to the Himalayan Times.

“Our goal here is to help folks aspire to have a profound and respectful relationship with the outdoors and feel not entitled to it, but welcome to it. If you see it can be done, you can do it right,” said Abby Dione, a member of the Full Circle team.

The determined group first arrived in Nepal in January 2022 to begin adjusting to the lower levels of oxygen, also known as the altitude acclimation process. As the journey began, costs began to pile up. The Full Circle Everest Team managed to secure a group of corporate sponsors including North Face, Summit Coffee, Smartwool, Mountain Safety Research (MSR) and Microsoft. The rest is history.

BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported that Henderson, a former instructor at the National Outdoor Leadership School and veteran Himalayan mountaineer, launched the Full Circle Everest project in hopes of documenting personal stories and highlighting the value of the climbing journey.

“There is representation of Black people in mountaineering, climbing and the overall outdoor industry,” Henderson wrote on Instagram, “but our stories are not being told,” CNN reported.

In making history, Full Circle’s goal was to “represent a zenith in generational perseverance. This expedition will showcase the tenacity and strength of these climbers, and highlight the barriers that continue to exist for Black communities in accessing the outdoors. This historic attempt will inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, educators, leaders, and mountaineers of color to continue chasing their personal summits,” as per the group’s website.

Follow the team’s historic journey on Instagram and on their website.


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