Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger, are aiming to be the first American deaf couple and, to their knowledge, the second and third deaf climbers to summit Mount Everest. Also, they are trying to become the first deaf couple to compete the Seven Summits. Both were born, as they say, profoundly deaf, meaning they had no hearing at all. They live in the Washington, D.C., area and are educators and mountaineers. They summited Denali, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Ecuador’s Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, and Mont Blanc, plus Scott has all the US High Point.
A third-generation deaf person, Scott is an educator and a mountaineer. Given the lack of deaf representation in the outdoors and lack of communication access to outdoor education, the outdoors was not a big part of Scott’s life until he was 23 when he climbed a mountain for the first time. Shayna is a deaf woman, an educator and a mountaineer. Growing up, Shayna often went on camping trips with her deaf family in the 1990s, but they never did. They have full access to outdoor sports. It was not until college that Shayna started traveling and fell in love with climbing mountains.
We cover how they will communicate with other climbers, plus the Sherpas, during their climb. They are also promoting their project, Seeing Beyond: Seven Summits. As they say on their site:
Seeing Beyond: Seven Summits is not just about Scott and Shayna being the first deaf individuals to reach Seven Summits, the highest peaks on each of the world’s seven continents–it is also about two deaf people sharing a dream with their own community, the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.
Memories are Everything
The Podcast on alanarnette.com
Everest 2023/ Interview with Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger, Deaf Climbers
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