All-Black Team Summits Everest

Photos by Evan Green

Seven members of the Full Circle Everest Team successfully summited Mount Everest on Thursday, May 12. The success of this team nearly doubled the number of Black climbers who have summited Mount Everest.

Towering 8,850 meters above sea level, Mount Everest is the highest peak above sea level and the most famous mountain in the world. Located on the Nepal-Tibet border, this infamous peak lures hundreds of climbers every year. Over 6,000 people have reached the summit of Mount Everest, and until the recent success of the Full Circle Everest Team only eight of those climbers were Black.

The Full Circle Everest leader, Philip Henderson, shares that:

“I am deeply honored to report that seven members of the Full Circle Everest team reached the summit on May 12. While a few members, including myself, did not summit, all members of the climb and Sherpa teams have safely returned to Base Camp where we will celebrate this historic moment!” 

The seven climbers that made the summit were made up of passionate athletes from various parts of the US and James “KG” Kagami from Kenya. The US members were: Manoah Ainuu from Bozeman, Montana — a professional climber for The North Face; Eddie Taylor — a high school chemistry teacher from Lafayette, Colorado; Rosemary Saal — an outdoor instructor from Seattle, living in Tucson, Arizona; Demond “Dom” Mullins — a sociologist and combat veteran of the Iraq War living in New York; Thomas Moore — a mountaineer passionate about diversity in the outdoor space living in Denver, CO; and Evan Greent — a freelance photographer and film maker, born in Queens, NY raised in Texas and living in Albuquerque, NM.

The Full Circle Everest team was supported by Sherpa, who played a pivotal role in the success of this historic climb. The team acknowledges that they would not have been successful without the support and guidance of the following Sherpa:

  • Pasang Nima Sherpa
  • Lhakpa Sonam Sherpa
  • Phurtemba Sherpa
  • Dawa Chhiri Sherpa
  • Sonam Gaylje Sherpa
  • Nima Nuru Sherpa
  • Chopal Sherpa
  • chawang Lhendup Sherpa
  • Tasha Gyalje Sherpa
  • Amrit Ale
  • Pemba Sherpa (camera crew)
  • Nawang Tenji Sherpa (camera crew)

Descended from Tibetan heritage, the Sherpa community are an ethnic group, indigenous to the Himalayan region. Every year, Sherpa climbing guides help hundreds of mountaineers up Everest.


As the title sponsors of the expedition, The North Face and VF Foundation are honored to support the Full Circle team as they change the future of mountaineering, bringing representation to Mount Everest and into the global outdoor community.

About Full Circle Everest

As the first all-Black team to attempt the summit of Mount Everest, The Full Circle team’s success has nearly doubled the number of Black climbers who have summited Mount Everest. The team’s mission is to “showcase the tenacity and strength of these climbers…and inspire the next generation of outdoor enthusiasts, educators, leaders, and mountaineers of color to continue chasing their personal summits.” (FCE)

All Black Team Summits Everest