AFTER EVEREST: Reconnecting with Phil Henderson - FITS®

February 10, 2023

What does one do after a world-historic accomplishment? Well, for our friend Phil Henderson, he’s back to chopping wood and tending to his goats. 

The accomplishment? Leading the first all-black team to summit Mt. Everest. 

Numerous factors led to Phil’s decision not to participate in the ascent. But it was his organization, fund-raising, and leadership on every step of the way that brought everyone to the mountain. And each time he received a radio transmission stating another teammate had reached the summit–the feeling was overwhelming.

“It’s unexplainable really.” He continues, “It’s the connection with each other and other people that makes it unexplainable. This trip has affected so many people. In so many ways.” Tears of joy being a common response from their supporters back home. 

After the descent, they celebrated at base camp with loud music, dancing in the snow, and a little bit of Nepali rum. A Himalayan party is one that’s not soon forgotten. 

Now, as they’re all back stateside, “Life goes on.” Phil recounts mowing the lawn on his first Saturday home–falling back in the rhythm of caring for his two dogs, three cats, and six goats. Chopping wood for his wife and daughter. And, of course, continuing his work for Full Circle Everest. 

Since their goal was reached in Nepal, he’s toured around the country to consult with different brands, companies, schools, and clubs about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sharing from his own industry experience, and using the story of Full Circle Everest to demonstrate what a diverse team is capable of bringing to a culture. What a diverse team has always been capable of bringing to a culture.

Anyone who’s had a conversation with Phill would quickly agree that his career in the field, and his heart for tough-but-positive conversations, make him the best guy for the job. No questions asked.

We’re certainly grateful for his long-time friendship, and we couldn’t be more stoked for his future. 

Here’s to many more summits.