An All-Black Expedition Team Made It to Mount Everest’s Summit

full-circle-everest
Image: Instagram/@fullcircleeverest.

Full Circle, made history by becoming the first all-Black team to climb Mount Everest, USA Today reports.

The expedition took place after several months of training, beginning in the Himalayas and eventually making it to the top of Mount Everest, which is the highest mountain in the world above sea level.

Phil Henderson, the team’s leader, expressed his adulation in a post on Full Circle Everest’s Instagram

“I am deeply honored to report that seven members of the Full Circle Everest team reached the summit today (May 12),” Henderson’s post read. “While a few members, including myself, did not summit, all members of the climb and sherpa teams have safely returned to Base Camp where we will celebrate this historic moment!”

“From their first steps out of Everest Base Camp, @fullcircleeverest broke new ground,” the post continued. “As the first all-Black team to attempt the summit, they brought representation to the highest place on Earth—and into the global outdoor community.”

In addition to Henderson, other team members include Manoah Ainuu (a professional climber for The North Face), Eddie Taylor, Rosemary Saal, Demond Mullins, Thomas Moore, James “KG” Kagami, and Evan Green.

In an interview with NPR in 2021, Henderson spoke about the need for Black mountaineers and how the sport can introduce others to the beauty of the outdoors.

“We’re all Black people … there is a lack of representation of Black people in mountaineering and in high-altitude mountaineering,” Henderson said. “There’s so few of us 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.”

The Full Circle team joined some elite company including Sibusiso Vilane of South Africa who became the first Black man to reach Mount Everest’s peak, and Sophia Danenberg who, in 2006, was the first African American and Black woman to reach the summit.

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