‘Bringing It Home’ Connecting To The Outdoors | Merrell

Tyrhee Moore

“Bringing it Home” follows Tyrhee Moore, mountaineer, outdoor education advocate, and founder of Soul Trak, as he tells the story of his connection to the outdoors that was fostered at a young age. Born and raised in one of the toughest neighborhoods in South East Washington, D.C., Moore resides in the area still today and passionately dedicates his time to inspire and educate urban youth about the power and accessibility of the outdoors.

Through City Kids Wilderness Project and his organization, Soul Trak, Moore is enhancing the lives of his community’s next generation by helping them discover local nature as well as some of the world’s more beautiful landscapes.

From Tyrhee: “My introduction to mountaineering simply started with being offered a chance. There was nothing special about me besides I was gifted with opportunity, stable resources, and with Expedition Detail – a community that was real. I was 18 years old when I received a scholarship to take a NOLS mountaineering course in the Pacific Northwest. Amongst the many peaks named after deceased white men, the very snow that covered them, and every other student on my course – my introduction to mountaineering could not have been more white. I was reminded of my blackness in every direction and that frequent reminder created a feeling of exclusion. Despite my isolation, there were a plethora of positive life-changing experiences – like remembering how nervous I was while alpine climbing for the very first time and standing at the top of a spire looking down thousands of feet thinking about how far life had taken me.

I even remember chasing a mountain goat off of a steep cliff edge after trying to run off with my backpack and afterward standing there marveling at how precise each step landed down the side of the cliff’s face to ensure he didn’t fall thousands of feet to the river bed below. I remember wanting my friends to be there so they wouldn’t think it was a lie when I finally returned home to tell them what I’d seen.

The next year in Lake Tahoe I met this team of Black outdoorsman – I didn’t even realize that was a thing. I didn’t realize I had become one – so much so that I found myself in a room full of folks who looked like me. I sat there in my chair listening to all of their outdoor hobbies and accomplishments, I was truly inspired. I was able to “get” their jokes, a few of them reminded me of my mom, I even felt comfortable admitting that I hated trail mix and much preferred to bring my Hot Cheetos and Air Head candy on the trail – and many agreed. It was different. I truly felt at home. My next time on big mountains was alongside them and that sense of belonging was a great comfort. Although the environment still remained just as white as it had before, this time – I was able to look to the people around me and be immediately be reassured we were right where we needed to be – right where we belonged.

That trip on Denali changed everything for me – It made me appreciate nature in a way that I had never before. I was so used to carrying a pack that included both my gear and the entire Black race. This time, in true mountaineer fashion- I was able to shed all unnecessary weight. I’m so thankful for everyone involved in that expedition every single day.

I was so moved by the Expedition Denali experience that I was determined to bring that energy, that feeling of inclusion, back home to Washington DC. With Soul Trak, I wanted to make sure that people knew that WE existed in nature – I wanted to continue to create space for us. Thankfully with social media, these affinity spaces are becoming more visible but sometimes if you have not seen proper representation, it can feel like you’re the only one and that can be burdensome. At Soul Trak we take a multigenerational approach when engaging black and brown communities because each of us has a place in nature. We want our parents, children, and even their children to understand that we belong. This land is our land, too. With the many things I have been able to accomplish individually – my biggest accomplishment has been sharing this space with others and creating new stewards of the public land that I love and cherish.

You can follow Tyrhee at @tyrhee.moore

Please consider donating to Soul Trak whose programs are offered at a low cost to all Soultrakers, with greatest consideration for youth and collegiate participants.

And you can follow Merrell, the sponsor of this film, @Merrell

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