Climbers aim to be the first black team to climb Mount Everest


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A team of black climbers are ready to reach new heights: the summit of Mount Everest. The Full Circle Everest Expedition Team, an all-black climbing group, prepares to start to cross the highest mountain in the world Next year.

Mountaineering has long been a popular form of exercise and sport for white Americans, but black communities have rarely entered such spaces. With the Full Circle Everest expedition team marking their territory, that will all change.

“We just need more propulsion. We need more power“said Phil Henderson, a black mountain guide who teaches and trains others at the top and will lead the expedition.” This is our boost. We prime that engine.

Mr. Henderson has been mountaineering since college at the University of Colorado, where a friend first invited him to rock climb. He was born into a family of outdoor enthusiasts, which he says is rare for families of color. “These are not traditionally things that families of color do,” he said.



While Mount Everest was first reached by white climbers in 1963, no team of black men or women has ever reached the summit. Meanwhile, the Full Circle Everest Expedition aims to make history as the first group of all-black climbers to do so.

The first obstacle is to find financial sponsors for the group. Reaching the top of the world’s tallest mountain is a costly adventure, and Henderson hopes one of the keys to success will be the financial resources provided by donors.

He also dreams of more outdoor adventures for black communities. Mr. Henderson reflects on the outdoor community’s desire to have more diversity in sport and to have fun outdoors for families and youth. “From gardening to bird watching to climb Everest, the sky is really the limit when it comes to getting out and really understanding the benefits of spending time in nature, ”said Henderson.

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About Ethel Partin

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