‘Dream come true,’ says first all-black team to climb Everest

Kathmandu, May 18 (EFE).- The first expedition consisting of only black climbers to have conquered Mt Everest said on Wednesday that it was a adream come true for them, after achieving the feat last week as part of a campaign to ensure more diversity and integration in outdoor sports.

“Indeed, it was a moment of pride for us. We fulfilled our dream,” United States citizen Philip Henderson, one of the members of the Full Circle expedition, said in a press conference in Kathmandu.

He added that the team hopes their success “will encourage people of color to not just dream big, but simply get outside.”

Henderson said that expedition took up the mission to inspire “people from around the globe to be adventurous and resulted in history being made on May 12,” when the climbers reached the world’s tallest peak.

The team consisted of 10 mountaineers, most of them from the US, assisted by three Nepali Sherpa porters.

The director of Shangrila trek organizing company, Jeevan Ghimire, told EFE that seven of the climbers managed to summit the peak: Manoah Caleb Ainuu, Kenneth Eddie Taylor, Rosemary Elizabeth Saal, Demond Terrell Mullins, Thomas Darnell Moore, James Ngarariga Kagambi and Evan Green

“Three climbers, Frederick Douglass Campbell, Douglas Robert Gowler and Abebech Maryam Dione, had to give up because of the altitude problems,” he added.

The first documented ascent of Mt Everest took place in 1953, and in 2003 Sibusiso Emmanuel Vilane from Swaziland became the first black climber to summit the peak.

Nearly 7,000 climbers have scaled the Everest from the Nepali side since Tenzing Norgay Sherpa and New Zealand’s Edmund Percival Hillary first ascended the height of 8,848.86 meters above sea level in May 1953.

Nepal’s tourism department issued 316 climbing permits this season, lower than last year’s 408, when the country had issued a record number of licenses despite witnessing its second coronavirus wave.

Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 tallest mountains, including the Everest, and fee paid by foreign climbers form an important source of income for its economy. EFE


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