“I was just as surprised as you were. Someone actually had to tell me that I was the first, I wasn’t doing it for that reason. I was just a normal climber; I wasn’t pushing to be a first. I see more Black climbers now, I was just at the front end of a trend growing in US society,” she said in an interview.
Since Sir Edmund Hilary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay first conquered the mountain in 1953, more than 4,000 people have scaled the summit and about 300 people have died trying, according to reports.
These reports, especially of the people, who have died trying did not scare Danenberg at all. The climb, however, was challenging so much that when she reached the peak, she was reportedly suffering from bronchitis, a stuffed nose, frostbite on her face, and a clogged oxygen mask.
Despite these health conditions, Danenberg born in 1972 in Homewood, Illinois to a Japanese mother and black father made it to the top and made it back alive
She has also successfully climbed other famous mountains including Mount Tasman in New Zealand, Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mount Rainier in Washington State, and Mount Kenya in Kenya.
“Trekking is what I do to get to the mountain. Add a little bit of technicality and people drop right off, each increase of technicality allows you to have a little more solitude, more wilderness, you can go further and further,” she says.
The African American started hiking and camping in college. She is not just a mountaineer, but a world traveler, as well as, a business woman who graduated from Harvard University.
She is based in Seattle, WA and works for Boeing as the international policy analysis program in the environment, health and safety (EH&S).
Danenberg also authored for a Thailand travel guide back in the nineties. She is a Fulbright Fellow in environmental economics at Keio University in Tokyo.