Don Nguyen (climber)

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Don Nguyen
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CitizenshipUnited States
  • Mountaineer
  • mountain guide
  • co-founder of Climbers of Color

Don Nguyen is an American mountaineer, mountain guide, and co-founder of Climbers of Color. Nguyen was a contestant in 2015 on the Reality TV show Naked and Afraid (TV series) in Namibia.


Nguyen is a first-generation Vietnamese American, born in _Oklahoma_City Little Saigon, who's parents were refugees of the Vietnam War.[1] Nguyen was first introduced to rock climbing and camping in grade school by his older brothers. Nguyen earned a degree in Outdoor Recreational Leadership[2] from Colorado Mountain College.[3] After graduation, Nguyen hiked the Appalachian Trail before becoming a full time guide for International Mountain Guides.[4]


Nguyen has summited: Mt. Whitney, Mt. Rainer, Mt Shasta, The Grand Teton, Gannet Peak, Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Baker, Mt Shuksan, Pico de Orizaba, Iztacciulatl, Denali, and Aconcagua. Nguyen currently guides for Alpine Ascents, International on Denali and Aconcagua.


As the co-founder of Climbers of Color, Nguyen actively works to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the mountaineering community. The organization's primary goal is to grow climbing and mountaineering leaders of color by providing technical training, access to gear and scholarships, and mentorship for persons of color in the mountaineering and climbing community.


  • Naked and Afraid (TV Series), Season 6, Episode 14, "23 Days"


  1. "Don Nguyen - Naked And Afraid Cast | Discovery". Discovery.
  2. "Don Nguyen: Reality TV Star and Rainier Guide".
  3. "Don Nguyen & Climbers of Color Are Closing the Mountaineering Gap — Melanin Base Camp".
  4. "Climbers of Color Brings Diversity to the High Alpine | Outside Online".

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