An American Ascent: The story that needs to reach every mountain peak

A few days ago, Georgia Southern University hosted a screening of the film “An American Ascent” and yes it was just as great as the title. An American Ascent is a documentary film about the first all  African-American expedition (crew) to tackle North America's highest mountain, Denali. For those of you who aren’t extremely outdoorsy, the answer is yes. Yes climbing a mountain is extremely tough, yes a million things can and will go wrong, and yes the film made me want to be a part of that crew. The film not only follows this amazing climb, but it also addresses issues of race and the “adventure gap”.


The crew described the adventure gap as the lack of inclusivity in the adventure world. This issue of lack of inclusivity stems from an even bigger issue of the divide between inner-city kids and suburbanism. Let’s face it, some kids have easier access to many things in life. How can we help change that? Why does it even matter?


Not only did GSU host a screening of the documentary, my university also brought one of the crew members all the way to down to Statesboro. I was invited to a roundtable discussion with none other than Tyrhee Moore. Tyrhee was only a sophomore in college at the time of the expedition making him the youngest crew member! During this discussion, we were able to pick the brain of this enthusiastic mountaineer/outdoor education advocate. We were able to learn more about the expedition from his perspective and learn more about his personal goals. Not only is he an outdoor education advocate, he is a huge advocate of increasing diversity and inclusion in outdoor recreation.

To sum up some of his goals, he would hope that his story will reach across the country to increase the opportunity for diversity in outdoor leadership. He hopes to inspire youth of color and serve as a role model, helping them understand that there is a place for them in all outdoor activities. Thank you again Tyrhee for sharing your experience with us!

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