Introducing the All-Black Full Circle Everest Team - FITS®

April 08, 2022

In our previous blogs, you’ve met their leader, Phil Henderson. And you’ve heard about all the ways that Full Circle Everest is different from other adventure crews. But we’d love to introduce you to each team member – in their own words. 

Phil Henderson

A native of California, Phil has worked in the outdoor industry for almost three decades. His passion for outdoor recreation, education and climbing has provided him with opportunities to travel and climb around the world. He has been on several major expeditions including Everest, Denali, Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya.

As an educator he has assisted in training guides, rangers and porters on several expeditions. In 2012 Philip was a member and team leader of the North Face/National Geographic Everest Education Expedition, became one of few African Americans to summit Denali in 2013 and led an all African American ascent of Mt Kilimanjaro in 2018. He is the recipient of the Outdoor Afro 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Abby Dione

Since 2011, Abby has been the proud owner of Coral Cliffs Climbing Gym in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is an AMGA certified climber and USA climbing coach who has taught various clinics at outdoor climbing festivals like Color the Crag and Flash Foxy. She sits on the Board of The Access Fund and has been asked to speak at events like Outdoor Retailer and the Outdoor Economy Conference. 

Abby has been featured in Essence magazine and interviewed by outdoor publications such as The Alpinist and Rock&Ice for the work that she does. 

With over twelve years of experience, Abby has been a leader in the climbing industry by mixing her passion for the sport with her skill at building strong communities that crush.

James “KG” Kagambi

KG began his guid­ing career in Kenya as a NOLS field instruc­tor. His patience and teach­ing abil­i­ty grew from his expe­ri­ence as a grade school teacher, coach­ing sports, and teach­ing tra­di­tion­al Africa music. NOLS. 

KG has climbed three of the Sev­en Sum­mits and in 1992 rep­re­sent­ed Africa in the U.N Peace Climb for the World on the Eiger. He was the first black African to sum­mit Denali in 1989, and was the first black African to sum­mit Aconcagua in 1994. He is active­ly involved in train­ing Kenya’s moun­tain res­cue teams. 

Most recent­ly KG had the plea­sure of meet­ing Kenya’s pres­i­dent after car­ry­ing the 50th Anniver­sary flag cel­e­brat­ing the country’s inde­pen­dence to the sum­mit of Mount Kenya.

Manoah Ainuu

Climbing wasn’t the obvious path for 25-year-old Manoah. Born in Compton, California to first-generation immigrants from Samoa and Ethiopia, Manoah’s childhood was surrounded by concrete and congested freeways.

Manoah met future TNF teammate Conrad Anker at Bozeman’s Spire climbing gym. “I recognized a gentle soul, a happy person and someone dedicated to the craft of climbing,” says Conrad. The two climbed together and Conrad talked Manoah, still a die-hard skier, into trying ice climbing. 

Manoah has climbed routes like The Rostrum and Lurking Fear in Yosemite, Liberty Ridge on Mt. Rainier and the Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome (the first Grade VI climb in the U.S.). What he loves most is introducing people to the sport. Manoah leads a climbing clinic with kids in Atlanta and Memphis.

Fread Campbell 

Since he was a child, Fred has loved challenges and adventure. For as long as he can remember, these loves have pushed him toward football and math, both of which for him would continue passionately through college. Unfortunately he had to stop playing football after breaking his neck while on the field. But that lead him to pursue a PhD in statistics and fall in love with climbing.

Fred has been climbing snow, rock and ice for the past 10 years and has loved every minute of it. He has climbed in the Alaska Range, the Sierra Madres in Mexico, on Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, in the Cascades in Washington and in the Bugaboos in Canada. He appreciates the combination of athleticism and problem solving in climbing and he is excited to climb anywhere and everywhere else. He is also passionate about sharing climbing with others and has taught introductory climbing classes through the Momentum climbing gym in Houston and later Seattle for the past several years. He has enjoyed many other opportunities to share the sport with others that being a The North Face ambassador has provided over this past year. 

Demond Mullins

He received his PhD in Sociology from The  Graduate Center of the City University of New York  (CUNY) in 2013. He is a combat veteran of the Iraq War,  where he served as a Armor Crewman in OIF II. After  service Demond became a National Spokesman for Iraq  Veterans Against the War (IVAW) and worked as a United  States Senate staffer on veterans health and education issues.  

Demond is an enthusiastic outdoorsman and conducts  social research on the benefits of outdoor recreation,  particularly mountaineering. In 2015, he conducted an  ethnographic study of a group of combat veterans  during their summit bid of Denali. He has also summited  Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya.

Rosemary Saal 

She is an outdoor enthusiast, educator, and Seattle transplant currently living in Tucson, AZ. Growing up in Seattle, she was constantly surrounded by the many mountains of the Pacific Northwest. While she began a thrilling yet sporadic journey of learning to ski at a young age, she couldn’t begin to imagine the many possibilities that existed in the mountains beyond a chairlift. At the age of 12, she took her first rock climbing course with Passages Northwest (now GOLD with the YMCA), and learned the ropes of scaling walls outdoors. 

This initial exposure to the greater world of Outdoor Recreation as an industry and community led to future courses in both rock climbing and mountaineering with the same organization, as well as with NOLS. Eventually, these connections and experiences allowed Rosemary the opportunity to be a member of the Expedition Denali climbing team in 2013. 

Over time, she began to pursue the possibility of turning this passion into a career and in 2016, took her Instructor Course with NOLS. Since then, she has worked primarily as a backpacking field instructor and in the summer of 2019 he began her journey of working in the mountaineering program for the school as well.

Eddie Taylor 

As a Midwestern kid, Eddie dreamed of mountains. From an early passion for snowboarding and trips out west, the seed was planted. For much of his life, his attention was on team sports and competition. He competed in the decathlon as part of the University of Colorado track and field team. Upon graduating his focus shifted.

Athletic ambitions turned to goals in the mountains. From skiing Denali to climbing El Capitan in a day, shared experiences and community building is what drives his outdoor passion. Climbing ice or rock, or peak bagging on skis or foot, he enjoys climbing in all forms, but he finds himself most excited by moving efficiently on long rock routes.

Outside of climbing he is passionate about helping kids find success. He works as a high school Chemistry teacher and is the head track and field coach.

Thomas Moore

Born and raised in the small town of Cartersville, Georgia, Thomas developed a passion for travel as a young man, touring through scores of countries, where he relished experiencing new cultures. One day, a friend invited him to fill an empty spot on a Kilimanjaro expedition. He signed on, despite no prior mountaineering experience and little training, and realized while summiting he had a knack for withstanding the conditions. Scrolling on his phone on the way home to the U.S., he realized the lack of diversity in mountaineering & the outdoor spaces as a whole. In that moment, he committed to learning more about the disciplines of mountaineering and being part of the change in outdoor spaces. 

Adina Scott

She is an adventurer, nerd, and artist. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest she could usually be found digging in the dirt under the porch, playing music, reading a book, or hanging out up in the plum tree snacking.

Adina went on to study electrical engineering and earned a PhD while continuing to unwind by playing music and exploring nature. She now works for the US Antarctic program providing electronics and computer support for scientists working on research vessels and doing field work along the Antarctic Peninsula. When she is not working down south she spends her time running, climbing, and skiing her way around the central Cascades.

She has volunteered as an outdoor educator with the YMCA BOLD/GOLD mountain school and regularly volunteers with central Washington Sisters in Action Sports. She participated in NOLS Expedition Denali and has hiked, climbed and skied in many inspiring areas.

Evan Green

Born in Queens, NY but raised in Texas, Evan is an all-arounder when it comes to outdoors. He is an avid climber, cyclist, snowboarder, and backpacker based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

First introduced to the outdoors by family camping trips and Boy Scouts, he dove deeper into this passion by becoming an Eagle Scout and studying geology in college. He fell in love with climbing while living in Denver Colorado and honed his mountaineering skills climbing dozens of the state's 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks.

Evan works as a freelance photographer and filmmaker specializing in the outdoor industry, combining his passions with creativity to craft authentic stories in the mountains. His work has been published in Rock & Ice, Outside, and Climbing Magazine along with several commercial projects for outdoor brands.

When we read through these profiles, we are not only inspired by what that means on the mountain, but also what comes after.

Think of the children, the spouses, the partners, the parents, the coworkers, the students, the neighbors, anyone, who meets these people. The story that they’ll know. That they’ll share. 

It’s one that might just inspire them to do their own full circle.

If you’d like to help push the story along, consider making a donation to the Full Circle Everest team today. Stay tuned to hear more from Phil himself.