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James Edward Mills

Phil Henderson on the summit of Denali (20,310'), Dena'ina, Upper Kuskokwim and Koyukon Dene land, in the Alaska Range, June 27, 2013. [Photo] Kt Miller

Climbers of Color Come Full Circle: The Future of Expanded Representation

“The Future of Alpinism,” is the theme of Alpinist 75–which is now on newsstands and in our online store. This special issue includes 18 essays from authors around the globe, along with comments and quotes from many others on the topic. We are sharing eight of these essays online, including this one by James Edward Mills, titled “Climbers of Color Come Full Circle: The Future of Expanded Representation.” He writes: “Through our personal initiative, skills and agency, people of color are affirming their roles as leaders in the climbing world. [Philip] Henderson is now organizing the first all-Black American team to attempt the world’s highest mountain in 2022. He calls it the Full Circle Everest Expedition…. Each member of this team aims to share their experience to inspire others to follow in their example…. US alpinists of color are also continuing to pursue cutting-edge objectives….”

This image is from the award-winning film documenting the first African-American team on Denali. More information can be found at [Photo] Hudson Henry

In Deep

In this fiction story that first appeared in The Climbing Life section of Alpinist 50 (Summer 2015), James Edward Mills imagines a Black 17-year-old named Jamal from Washington, DC, who finds himself dangling from a rope inside a crevasse in Alaska, pondering his attraction to the mountains in spite of what his classmates back home had told him: “Climbing is one of those fool things white people do.”

Hugues Beauzile and Lucien Lulu Berardini climbing at the crag they helped develop in Claret, France. [Photo] Pascal Tournaire

The Force of the Soul: Hugues Beauzile

In this feature from Alpinist 60, James Edward Mills recounts the story of Hugues Beauzile, the son of a Haitian immigrant who became one of the most promising young alpinists in France before his death on the South Face of Aconcagua 1995.

Stephen Shobe, during Expedition Denali in 2013. [Photo] Hudson Henry

Local Hero: Stephen Shobe

James Edward Mills writes about one of his climbing heroes, Stephen Shobe, a mountain guide and member of Expedition Denali, a group that continues to promote diversity in outdoor education.