Washington, D.C., native Tyrhee Moore was 13 before he saw his first mountain. Now, six years later, Moore joins a group of African American climbers setting out to ascend the highest peak in North America on Expedition Denali. Brought together by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), these climbers are role models in the African American outdoor community, each having a passion for nature and a dedication to encouraging the involvement of minority groups in environmentally motivated activities.
With hopes to inspire people of color to explore, embrace, and experience the outdoors, this team of trailblazers will begin their summit of Denali in June of this year, on the 100th anniversary of the mountain's first ascent.
Sierra magazine spoke with Moore about the outdoors, being a city kid, and what he’ll do when he reaches the top of Denali.
What originally motivated you to get involved with outdoor activities?
I was in the 7th grade, and my school had this summer opportunities office. I went there looking for something to do over the summer, and they told me about some camp in Wyoming. When I went, it was my first time flying on a plane or seeing mountains. And I was wondering why didn't I know anything about that at 13. I really liked the camp so I kept going back, and they ended up giving me a scholarship for a NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) course. But if it had not been for that camp that exposed inner city kids to outdoor activities, I probably would not be doing any of this.
I understand you are one of the youngest members of Expedition Denali. As a sophomore in college, what made you want to spend a month of your summer vacation climbing a mountain rather than lying on a beach somewhere with your friends?
I can always spend time with friends, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I think that's the reason that we are climbing. It is such a good cause. Right now most of my friends don't do stuff like this, but hopefully my participation in this expedition will change that.