My friend and former supervisor Phil Henderson is heading off to Nepal in a few weeks as part of a team that is attempting to summit Everest this Boreal spring. The team includes Conrad Anker and a number of former students of Phil’s from the Khumbu Climbing School. Phil would be the first African-American male to summit the highest mountain in the world. The funny thing is, you would never know any of this; he is a humble, talented guy and he is looking for support to make this dream possible. Head over to his website for details on supporting his bid.
Participating in non-traditional outdoor activities is not something you see many African Americans doing. I have been fortunate to be able to carve my way through the industry and become one of very few black people that work as an outdoor professional. I have held positions as whitewater guide, retail salesman of outdoor equipment, ski instructor, instructor/guide of educational institutions, program director/manager of youth programs and college outdoor programs, Denali guide, NOLS river program director, and volunteer instructor/guide in Nepal. I now have the opportunity of a lifetime: Conrad Anker has invited me to join a 2012 expedition to Mount Everest. The uniqueness of this opportunity first provides me with an opportunity to be on the mountain with some of the Nepali students I helped train and educate at the Khumbu Climbing; truly an opportunity to come full circle. Second, by attempting to climb and having a successful summit attempt I will become only the third black person in the world that I am aware of to do so, and I believe the first African American male to attempt to summit. I am humbled and proud to be given the opportunity to the first African American man to attempt to summit Mount Everest.