The Community Snow Observations (CSO) project relies on a community…it’s in the name. Our community is made up of outdoor enthusiasts and snow professionals. Those involved are motivated by a love for snow, science, or both. When you’re out in the backcountry and look around, really look around, what and who do you see? Is your local community as diverse (race, gender, age, and any of our unique identities) as you’d hope it to be? If your answer is no, have you thought about steps you could take to change this? One step is to amplify, elevate, and support the experiences of underrepresented communities in the backcountry. Sharing and celebrating their stories and adventures helps to create a new normal; it allows young underrepresented climbers, skiers, and riders to ‘see themselves’ in outdoor sports.
The CSO team is happy to share with you information about the Full Circle 2022 Everest Expedition, led by CSO Ambassador Phil Henderson. While the first American expedition reached the summit of Everest in 1963, it was not until 40 years later that the first Black climber stood on top. The Full Circle expedition will make history as the first all Black team to attempt to summit Everest and, in doing so, will showcase the tenacity and strength of the team, while also demonstrating the barriers that continue to exist for Black communities in the outdoors. While 13.4% of the US population is Black, only 1% of the climbing community is Black and of more than 10,000 known Everest summits, there have been only 6 known Black summits.
If this project excites you as much as it does us, here’s how you can help. First, share it with your friends. Check out their introductory video, follow them at @fullcircleeverest on Instagram, learn about and follow the individual team members. Want to translate your moral support into financial support? There’s a way to do that too.
We at CSO sincerely hope that you’ll take some time to learn about and to support, in whatever way you can, this unique expedition. Full Circle notes that Black history is made all the time, but that the stories aren’t being told. Help them change the narrative, share the story, and change the makeup of our outdoor community.