First an idea, but this group made it reality to become first all-Black team to summit Mt. Everest

Stephen Nartey November 23, 2022
The Full Circle Everest team /Photo credit: Full Circle Everest

They achieved a milestone by becoming the first all-Black team to summit the world’s highest mountain, Everest. The Full Circle Everest team are said to have almost doubled the number of Black climbers to have summited Mount Everest.

What started as an idea later on blossomed to become a reality on the peak of the 29,032-foot mountain, according to Insider. The team comprised Philip Henderson who led them. The others were Manoah Ainuu, Evan Green, Adina Scott, James Kagambi, Rosemary Saal, Fred Campbell, Desmond Mullins, Abby Dione, Thomas Moore, and Eddie Taylor. They were aided by 12 indigenous climbers known as Sherpa guides.

Henderson first placed the idea in their mountaineering community calling on other Black climbers to join him for this epic journey. He had summited Mount Everest before but he was looking forward to an experience with an all-Black contingent.  

When they were confident they had mastered their steps in the hilly regions of Nepal and trained well enough, they undertook the journey to the peak of Mount Everest. They first traveled to Nepal where they conducted mock hiking to acquaint themselves with the environment.

The team were drawn from different parts of the world so they used their first meeting to increase the bond between them. Green was from Alburquerque in New Mexico; Moore came from Denver, Colorado; Scott was based in Pacific Northwest, and Campbell lived in Seattle, Washington, while the others resided in Florida, New York, Kenya and Montana.

This engagement defined each team member’s role in the history-making summit. Scott was in charge of technology while Green was assigned the role of photography. They began their formal journey in April and completed it in May 2022. Green explained that the whole experience felt like a homecoming for them. Scott said each team member offered love where it was needed; there was teamwork and strengthening of relationships among them.

In conclusion, the bond they built was never seen before experienced in the entire chain of moments before and after summiting the mountain. Campbell recalled that they had lots of fun, from dancing to camp kitchens. One of the traditions is that climbers make stopovers at camps to get their bodies adjusted to the altitude they are about to experience. Campbell said every moment was worth living for through the hangouts.

Through these hangouts, they built a bond with the Sherpa guides who were a huge link to their success. Campbell observed that but for them, he wondered whether they would have smoothly completed their mission to summit Everest.

The Everest team had a firsthand experience of the Nepal culture with the people as well as the local communities who were an institution when it comes to climbing the highest mountain in the world.

The goal of the team was to grow the number of Black climbers who have made it to the top of Mount Everest. Campbell said they saw their feat as one that will inspire generations to come in seeking to summit the mountain.

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