The First All-Black Climbing Team Just Summited Mount Everest

"Regardless of the mountain in question, the real goal for us is about reverse engineering things for folks."

Full Circle Everest
Didier Marti / Getty Images

A climbing group comprised of all-Black mountaineers accomplished their hard-to-achieve goal of reaching the summit of Mount Everest. The six-person group, called Full Circle, set a new record as the first all-Black climbing team to reach the top of the mountain.

CNN Travel reports that only 4,000 people have been able to summit Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. But very few have been Black – only eight Black climbers have climbed to the top. Adventure Journal reports that 10 Black climbers have made the full trek.

Whether eight or 10, it’s a strikingly low number considering 4,000 people have made it to the top, and the Full Circle climbing group is committed to elevating the sport in their communities – and in doing so, they nearly doubled the numbers of Black climbers who ascended Everest.

Full Circle is a group of all-Black mountaineers and climbers who aim to increase the visibility of mountaineers of color, de-colonize Everest climbs, and promote giving due respect to the Sherpas who accompany climbers on their climbs.

On May 12th, six members of the Full Circle team reached the top, led by Phil Henderson from Colorado, and eight Sherpa. Henderson himself led the camp from the base and didn’t attempt the summit himself – but he was instrumental in getting his team up to the top.

The climbers who made it to the highest peak included Abby Dione, Manoah Ainuu, Frederick Campbell, Eddie Taylor, James Kagambi, Desmond Mullins, Thomas Moore, and eight Sherpa guides.

“Our goal here is to help folks aspire to have a profound and respectful relationship with the outdoors and feel not entitled to it, but welcome to it,” Dione said. “If you see it can be done, you can do it right.”

“The goal (of Full Circle) is to demystify this process,” Dione added. “Regardless of the mountain in question, the real goal for us is about reverse engineering things for folks.”

To learn more about Full Circle and see some amazing photos from their climb, check them out on Instagram.