First All-Black Climbing Team Has Summited Everest

Six of the nine members of the Full Circle team, an all-Black climbing group, led by Colorado’s Phil Henderson, have summited Everest. Prior to yesterday’s successful ascent, only ten Black climbers had ever reached the highest point on earth. They were aided by eight Sherpa, with three of the team members holding back at camp.

The team was experienced at climbs over 20,000 feet, especially Henderson, who’s been climbing for decades.

“There’s so few [Black mountaineers] at this level that it’s our duty, in a sense, to bring this to our communities, to our young people and talk about the benefits of being outdoors and connecting with nature and having a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives,” Henderson told NPR.

The team consists of Phil Henderson, Manoah Ainuu, Fred Campbell, Abby Dione, James Kagambi, Thomas Moore, Desmond “Dom” Mullins, Rosemary Saal, and Eddie Taylor. It’s unclear yet which members stayed behind or why, but nevertheless, a historical moment.

Top photo: Full Circle

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