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Backpacker Magazine – January 2014

Readers' Choice 2014: Heroes

We asked readers to nominate the people who inspire them.

by: April Cumming


Expedition Denali team, ages 19 to 57
Nine mountaineers hope to inspire kids of color. 

In June, this team, led by the National Outdoor Leadership School, set out to become the first all-black group to summit 20,237-foot Denali. They hope their role-modeling might help correct the striking lack of African Americans involved in outdoor pursuits. “We want everyone, particularly people of color, to feel they have a place in the outdoors,” says team member Erica Wynn, 22, of Queens, New York. 

On summit day, they were caught in a lightning storm at 19,600 feet, and turned around just hours from the top. “It was the right thing to do,” Wynn says. After 21 days on the peak, the crew is now sharing the experience via presentations at schools and YMCAs nationwide.  

Take it from me “A simple way to advocate for diversity in the outdoors: share videos of professional athletes of color,” Scott Briscoe, 41, San Francisco, CA




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