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Detroit Lakes native hopes to make history climbing Mount Everest with all-Black team

Eddie Taylor is one of nine climbers with the Full Circle Everest Expedition that will summit the tallest mountain next year.

September 29, 2021 | Charmaine Nero (KARE 11) |

DETROIT LAKES, Minn. — Hundreds of people worldwide travel to the Himalayas every year to climb to the highest point of Mount Everest.

For Eddie Taylor, who grew up in Detroit Lakes, it’s a chance to make history.

"There's a story of the first person and first woman, Sophia Danenberg, who has done it, but the other stories aren't out there," said Taylor. "And the thing about this, is we're bringing a team of Black climbers and we really want to tell that story."

Taylor is one of nine climbers with the Full Circle Everest Expedition, described as the first all-Black-American expedition that will summit the tallest mountain next year.

It’s something Taylor says wasn’t always his plan growing up in Minnesota, and later moving to Colorado for college, where he now works as a chemistry teacher and head high school track coach.

That's until a chance encounter at a dog park.

"And I ran into Phil Henderson, who's been the leader of this expedition," said Taylor. "He's been planning it the last couple of years and let me know about the project and asked if I wanted to be a part of it.”

Taylor began venturing into the outdoors as a young boy, going camping and skiing with his family. He found a love for rock climbing and mountaineering after college.

"So that's something [I] had passed down, and I know a lot of folks in the Black community haven't had that, and so their first invitation might come as an adult," said Taylor. "They might have a friend who says, "Hey, you want to come camping with us?'" said Taylor. "But we don't have a lot of role models that look like us."

While Taylor is preparing for the 29,032-foot Everest summit, he hopes this experience will inspire more people in the Black community to get outdoors. "If we can show that the team can be successful, it can reach not only climbers, but kids in school who can see people who look like me doing this," said Taylor.

Taylor says the expedition will last for around 70 days and kicks off in March.

If you would like to donate or find out more information, visit the website here.


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