Introducing: The Full Circle Mt. Everest Climbers - FITS®

March 03, 2022

Over here at FITS Socks, we are grateful, excited, and humbled to share that we are an official sponsor of Full Circle Everest — the first all-Black team to climb the world’s highest mountain. We’ve sat down and spoke with Phil Henderson, the originator and leader of this group. Here’s the beginning of the story: 


Who is Phil Henderson? 

He’s the kind of friend you don’t fall out of touch with. You may have shared beers in Colorado, but it’s just as easy to talk on the phone for an hour when you move across the country. 

He’s a husband, and a dad to a thirteen-year-old daughter. Together, the three of them tend their garden and care for their small herd of goats. 

He’s also a world-renowned mountaineer. Having spent decades in the outdoor industry across continents and cultures, Phil has been to some of the highest peaks and steepest inclines this beautiful planet has to offer. 

In this world, people know him as an instructor, a mentor, and a deep conversationalist. But, more than anything, people know him as someone who brings individuals together. Someone who creates communities. 

phil henderson at mt. everest


What is Full Circle Everest? 

The Full Circle Mt Everest climbers are a team from all over America and from all different backgrounds. Phil is their leader, having put the team together himself. With personality and team-fit at the forefront, he’s gathered a group of individuals with a common goal of relationships and a love for mountain expeditions. 

And in the words of Phil, “They just happen to all be Black.“ 

Some of them, he has known for decades, spanning back shared careers in the outdoor world. Others, he simply met by chance while ice-climbing and they hit it off, stayed in touch until Phil gave them a call about the expedition. Their backgrounds range from PhD’s who assist scientists in Antarctica to high-end statisticians. 

When I asked about everyone’s role on the team when it comes to climbing the mountain, Phil explains, “There are no set roles. The team is just climbing the mountain. You have your leader, but that’s pretty much it. Your leader makes decisions about technicalities and when to go, but it’s not really a hierarchy.“

The team was assembled starting in 2017 — before the pandemic, and as anyone can imagine, there have been plenty of complications to get to the point where they are now. But as they’ve been united as a team already, they’ll also be united in their ascent of the tallest mountain on the planet.

“When you get there you have to stay for two months. And, in two months, everyone is going to have a bad day. A bad day might be when you’re sick. And you’re throwing up; it’s -30° outside. But it’s your team that keeps you going.”


Why FITS for the Full Circle Mt Everest Climbers?

Phil is an old friend. He goes way back with some members of our team, and has been generous with his time getting to know some of the newer members.

When partnering with sponsors for Full Circle, the pre-existing relationship was key, whether it was a global outdoor brand or the local library.

And, we’re willing to brag, just a little. Phil assures us that FITS® are some of the most comfortable socks he’s ever worn in his career. Check out a few of the wool socks for men we have available now. 


What’s next? 

They recently took an acclamation trip to the Himalayas. There, they let their bodies adjust to the altitudes, trained together, and got to know their Sherpa team months ahead of their actual ascent.

At the moment, they are all doing their best to get prepared for the adventure ahead while enjoying their careers, family, and friends. For Phil, he’s trying to get all the logistics squared away early so he can “do nothing” for the month before the trip. 

“But that never happens. You’re always working up until the second you leave,” he clarifies. 

Well, we are wishing Phil all the relaxation he deserves, and we’re excited to share more about the Full Circle Mt Everest climbers before, during, and after the trip. 

Be sure to follow along with this series as we discuss Phil, his team, and the developing stages of their incredible story. We are certainly grateful to be among the many who are telling it.