A team of climbers has made history as the first group of Black women to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, the world’s largest free-standing mountain. The group of nine women come from a wide range of backgrounds but were united in a common goal of the bucket-list climb.
The initiative was spearheaded by marathon runners Diana Kinard and Dawn Frazier. They founded the climbing group called Shades of Favor and began recruiting other Black women interested in the feat. Although Covid-19 restricted some women from participating, the group communicated about training regimens, encouraged one another, and finally set out for their climb in August. It took them six days to successfully reach the 19,340 foot summit of Uhuru Peak, the highest point.
Shades of Favor was created with the goal of “inspiring Black women to embrace their next chapter of growth through travel and shared experiences.” The focus of the group was not just to set a world first, but more so to create a safe space for a demographic that is traditionally underrepresented in climbing. “We wanted to create a safe space, so when we’re doing something that hard that we could be ourselves and have the conversations that would probably only be comfortable with certain groups,” Frazier told ABC News.
The participating women are still in contact and Kinard and Frazier are busy planning their next adventure: Machu Picchu in Peru.