Before last week, only 10 Black climbers had ever stood on the highest peak in the world. Now six Americans and one Kenyan have written themselves into the record books, becoming the first all-Black team to summit Chomolungma, aka Mount Everest.
In huge adventure news, the Full Circle Everest team has become the first all-Black climbing group to summit Mount Everest.
The history-making climb occurred on May 12 2022, when seven members of Full Circle (six Americans and one Kenyan) officially stood on the highest peak in the world in the Himalayas on the China-Nepal border. They were aided by eight sherpa, with two team members directing the operation from Base Camp.
It’s hard to verify the exact number of Black climbers who have previously summited Everest, but by most accounts, Full Circle has nearly doubled it. According to the team’s website, despite roughly 10,000 successful summit attempts since 1953, “to our knowledge, only 10 Black climbers have stood on the top of Everest.” The first of these was legendary African explorer, Sibusiso Vilane, who tagged the summit in May 2003 (and who we had the pleasure of chatting to recently).
“There’s so few Black mountaineers at this level that it’s our duty, in a sense, to bring this to our communities, to our young people and talk about the benefits of being outdoors and connecting with nature and having a healthy lifestyle throughout their lives,” Full Circle leader, Colorado alpinist Phil Henderson told NPR.