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Everest Summits by All-Black Team and Kami Rita for 26th Time

And the first foreigner to summit this year was awake for over 80 hours during their summit push

The world’s highest peak is busy this season with hundreds of climbers waiting in queue to reach the top. It sounds like things are going smoothly, so far, as around 100 foreigners summited in the past few days.

Managing Director at Shangri-La Nepal Treks, Jiban Ghimire, said that climbers from the Full Circle Everest expedition along with Sherpa climbers have successfully climbed Everest. “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,” Ghimire said. “The expedition team comprises of Manoah Ainuu, Frederick Campbell, Abby Dione, Eddie Taylor, Saal, James Kagambi, Desmond Mullins, and Thomas Moore.”

A statement issued by Full Circle prior to the team reaching the summit said: “This expedition showcases the tenacity and strength of these climbers, and highlights 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 colour to continue chasing their personal summits.”

Kami Rita broke his own record again as he reached the summit of Everest for his 26th time. Rita is the leader of the rope-fixing team, who were the first climbers to reach the summit this year from the Nepal side. Without them, almost no foreign climbers would reach the summit. The team included: Sona Sherpa as co-leader, Ngima Tashi Sherpa, Phurba Tsering Sherpa, Tenjing Gyaljen Sherpa, Lakpa Tenji Sherpa, Phurba Kusang Sherpa, Mingma Dandhu Sherpa, Pastenji Sherpa, Tareman Tamang and Phurba Chhotar.

Lhakpa Sherpa, 48, set a female record for summiting a total of 10 times. She summited at 6:30 a.m. on May 12 with the guiding group Seven Summit Adventure. Also to reach the summit today was Lucy Westlake, who became the youngest American woman to climb Everest. Guiding Westlake was Mingma Chhiring Sherpa of Xtreme Climbers.

Pedro Queiros from Portugal was the first foreign climber to reach the top of Everest this season when he summited on May 9. Queiros and Mingma Sherpa were alone on the summit and were the first team to ascend the fixed ropes put in place by the rope-fixing Sherpas team led by Kami Rita. Queiros said: “I managed to become the first foreigner to reach the summit. I was awake for 86 hours non-stop. I was hungry and thirsty. I walked among corpses and eventually stopped feeling my fingers and toes. I was hit by some wind gusts of up to 100 km/h and endured temperatures that dropped to around -40ºC.”

Hundreds more will be attempting to summit Everest this week as a good weather window has settled in. More information to come as teams return to base camp.

Full Circle Everest


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