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All-Black crew set to make historic climb of Mount Everest

A group of Black mountaineers from the United States is planning an ascent of Everest to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the first American expedition to the summit. If successful, the expedition will almost double the number of Black people who have enjoyed the view from the highest point on earth and should inspire a new generation to follow in their footsteps. 

The Full Circle Everest 2022 expedition was launched in August at the Outdoor Retailer summer show in Denver, Colorado, and has since launched a crowd-funding campaign on Gofundme

The leader of the expedition is Fred Campbell. 

“Full Circle is aiming to be the first all-black and brown expedition to the highest place on earth,” Campbell says. 

Campbell is one of 10 people who make up the expedition team. 

According to Full Circle, there have been approximately 10,000 summits of the mountain, but only 10 Black people have enjoyed the view from the top of Everest. This exhibition aims to double that number.

“Our team represents our community and are building blocks for greater representation of the climbing community and the outdoors,” the team states, on its fundraising page. “As a team, we are strong and supportive of each other. In preparation for the expedition, we are climbing and training together.”

Other members of the team include Manoah Ainuu, Abby Dione, Phil Henderson, KG Kagambi, Thomas Moore, Dom Mullens, Rosemary Saal, and Eddie Taylor. It’s a mix of veteran climbers, mountaineers, boulderers, and adventurers from across America as well as Kenya. 

Henderson, a California native with three decades in the outdoor industry, wants to see greater diversity, equity, and inclusion when it comes to outdoor recreation, he told Outside magazine. 

“We need greater representation in the outdoor industry,” Henderson is quoted as saying. “A big part of that has to be on the upper scale. This is an iconic mountain. We want to include Black and brown people in the history of American mountaineering in the Himalayas. Right now, there just aren’t too many of us. We want to change that.”

Mounting an expedition to Everest of this magnitude takes significant funding. Full Circle is nearing its campaign target but could use a final push to get the team to the finish line. 

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