By Cliff Sorrell, Outdoor Afro Leader
Bay Area Outdoor Afros Took the Challenge and Succeeded!
On June 8th, 27 Outdoor Afros set out to hike Mount Diablo to support the African American men and women hiking Mount Denali to reach the summit as our goal. The hike was a 7-mile hike loop trail with over 2,000 feet of elevation change in the open sun.
This was the most difficult hike Outdoor Afro has achieved to date in the region, and we had plenty of leaders on hand to help. I want to give a special thanks to the following leaders: Clay Andersen, La’Neice Blessing, Austin Angelus Sandoval and Clifton Elexander Sorrell III. The leaders each brought a lot of outdoor experience and training to the event.
After our huddle, each leader lead a talk for the Outdoor Afro attendees, such as: leave no trace, park advisories, and a stretch session before we began the hike!
It was over 100 degrees in some parts of our hike, so lots of water was very essential. We enjoyed lunch at a great shaded location on the mountain, where everyone enjoyed each other’s company. There was a lot of great conversation and sharing.
There tremendous happiness once we arrived to the summit at an elevation of 3,849 feet above sea level – we shouted “Outdoor Afro supports Expedition to Denali!” Then some Outdoor Afro’s went into the miniature museum at the top of the summit to see the exhibits, while others visited the small convenience store for ice cream.
I want to thank REI, Clif Bar, KEEN, and Klean Kanteen for preparing us for this challenging hike to the summit of Mount Diablo. There were several moments when we had to pull out a bar or open our canisters to stay energized and hydrated.
As we started our decent down from the summit we were greeted by some awesome views.
Once we returned back to Rock City; our starting point, everyone was filled with great accomplishment and relief. I’m so proud of everyone that took this challenge head on and ascended the tallest summit in the Bay Area.