The Full Circle Everest Expedition is aiming to put nine Black Americans on the summit of the world’s highest mountain in spring 2022. As of 2020, there have been more than 10,000 summits of Everest, with many climbers ascending it more than once.
The team is being led by Himalayan veteran Phil Henderson, and includes Manoah Ainuu, Frederick Campbell, Eddie Taylor, Demond “Dom” Mullins, Abby Dione, James “KG” Kagambi, Thomas Moore, and Rosemary Saal. At age 19, Saal was a member of the first all African American climbing team to summit Denali in 2013.
Team leader, Henderson, said, “My first experience working and leading a group of Black people was in 2000 on Mount Kenya with a group of college-bound Kenyan students. Again in 2000 on Kilimanjaro in the same year… I am thankful for our community showing up to bring awareness to our expedition. There is representation of Black people in mountaineering, climbing and the overall outdoor industry, but our stories are not being told. Please continue to share our page and stories. There will be many more to come.”
As the team stated, “To our knowledge, only 10 Black climbers have stood on the top of Everest. This expedition will permanently change the future of mountaineering on a global scale.” In 2006, Sophia Danenberg became the first Black woman and first African American of any gender to summit Mount Everest.
As of today, the team had raised nearly $60,000; you can donate to the expedition here. Be sure to follow the climbers on Instagram below, and stay tuned for updates from this and other Everest attempts starting early next year.
Himalayan expert Alan Arnette talks to some of the team