A message of fitness from on high
James Mills of Expedition Denali, the first team of black climbers to attempt to reach the summit of Alaska's Mount McKinley.
June 19th, 2013
05:59 PM ET

A message of fitness from on high

By Edgar Treiguts, CNN

Editor's Note: Listen to the full story in our player above, and join the conversation in our comments section below.

(CNN) – Right now, there's a group of people tackling the highest mountain in North America – Mount McKinley in Alaska, also known as Mount Denali.

Expedition Denali is made-up of nine members, ranging in age from 18-56, coming from varied professional and career backgrounds. A week and a half into their climb, the group is set to hit the summit very soon. One other note about the group – all of its members are African-American. The team is attempting to become the first group of black men and women to stand atop North America's highest mountain – 20,156 feet high

The makeup of the expedition was by design. It was organized by the National Outdoor Leadership School, with an aim to stir young people, in particuar minorities, to see the value of outdoor recreation and preservtion. James Mills is part of the effort, an African-American who's been an avid outdoor athlete most of his life:

           [1:36] "Our goal is to let people of color, especially young people, know that it's cool to spend time outdoors in nature. It's fun to spend time outdoors in nature."

James Mills is also a freelance journalist. The climb is for his effort The Joy Trip Project, and he's documenting it for National Geographic.

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