Life as an outdoor professional California to Everest with Philip Henderson

Philip Henderson is a renowned mountaineer who has completed numerous remarkable expeditions throughout his career. His daring spirit and passion for adventure have led him to conquer some of the world’s most challenging mountains. In 2022, Philip led The Full Circle Everest Expedition. A historic expedition that saw the first all-Black team summit Mount Everest. Henderson is a role model for aspiring mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts of all backgrounds. His story is an inspiration to those who dream of achieving great things.




In this program, Philip will be discussing his work as a Black outdoor professional and how the Full Circle Everest Expedition came to be.



A native of San Diego, California, his passion for outdoor education, recreation and being in the mountains has provided him with opportunities to travel, climb and ski around the world.   Throughout his career Philip has spent countless hours volunteering for youth and adult programs in the US, exposing them to the power of nature. His work assisting people from the Black, Brown and other underrepresented communities get exposed to outdoor activities, is highly celebrated labeling him as a true pioneer in his community. He has been instrumental in training high altitude workers  in Nepal, Kenya and Tanzania and has been a mentor to many men and women working in the outdoor community. 

Philip is a highly accomplished mountaineer and outdoorsman. He has been an employee and instructor at NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) since 1994. He was a member of the 2012 North Face/National Geographic Everest Education Expedition. He climbed Denali in 2005 and 2013. In 2018, he led the first all-African American climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. He is a recipient of the 2020 Outdoor Afro Lifetime Achievement Award. He is a member and expedition leader of the Full Circle Everest Expedition 2022, the first all-Black team to summit Mount Everest.