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Lately there have been stories about Mt. Everest all over the news because a record number of people have died this year when trying to summit. Jacque Reid goes Inside Her Story with  Sophia Danenberg, the first Black woman to summit Mt. Everest.

Dannenberg has been climbing mountains for years and has climbed all over the world! “I’ve actually never seen another black person while climbing,” she laughed, but she knows there are other Black climbers out there.

In 2006 when she climbed Everest she wasn’t looking to…she was actually talked into it. The whole time she had in the back of her mind, “you can quit anytime” but she’s so glad that she didn’t.

She’s shocked at the number of deaths this year because, “it’s been a lot of tragedy without a single cause,” she explained. Like many news casters she attributes the deaths to lack of experience and over crowding. The mountain is “well over 20,000 feet” and there’s an area of it called “the death zone,” which is an area you literally can’t survive in for long. Once you get there “it’s a race to get back out,” she explains. This area is dangerous for experienced climbers because “you don’t know how your body is going to react,” but for inexperienced climbers this area is even more dangerous.

Though she’s glad she was able to experience Everest, she says it’s not something that she wants to do again.


Inside Her Story: The First Black Woman To Summit Mt. Everest  was originally published on