Everest 2023: Interview with Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger, Deaf Climbers
Podcast: Scott Lehmann and Shayna Unger, are aiming to be the first American 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.