Help Lonnie get to Denali June 2022 and Everest in 2023!

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"There is life out there and you've got to go live it!
-Lonnie Bedwell

Lonnie, a US Navy veteran, lost his eyesight 20+ years ago. He has since learned to kayak, rock climb and mountaineer. He now wants to accomplish what few have ever done. Climb Denali and Mt Everest - Completely Blind!

Donations are made through the Blinded Veterans Association and are tax deductible


Project Denali Blind!

Support Lonnie Bedwell, a blind adventurer, and his team climb North America’s tallest, most prominent, and most remote mountain in preparation for their epic Mt Everest attempt in the spring of 2023.

The Denali trip is estimated to cost $30,000.

Lonnie and Michael Neal climbed Aconcagua, South America’s tallest mountain, in early 2020. Later that year they climbed the southwest shoulder of Yosemite’s Half Dome. Michael climbed Mt Everest in 2021 and together they intend to summit North America’s tallest mountain as training for their return to Nepal to attempt Everest in the spring of 2023.

How Can You Help?

There are two ways to help Lonnie and his team on Project Denali Blind.


As a US military veteran, Lonnie is on a fixed income and relies on financial support for his challenges. Project Denali Blind is forecast to cost $30,000. All help is appreciated.


Who is Lonnie Bedwell?

Blind Military Veteran. Extreme Adventure Athlete. Motivational Speaker. Author.

Lonnie’s mission is to motivate and inspire others to embrace life with confidence and courage. He accomplishes this by the way he lives his life and sharing his story with others. He’s an advocate for many including the blind and our military veterans, and is living proof that we can define ourselves on our own terms.

Denali Team

Lonnie Bedwell

Blind Military Veteran. Extreme Adventure Athlete. Motivational Speaker. Author. He was critically injured during 1997 in a hunting accident that instantly took his sight. Nevertheless, he raised three daughters as a single father, teaching them all to hunt and fish — and, against all odds, to drive. Lonnie has kayaked some of the most challenging whitewater in the world and is best known for having completed the first blind descent of the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. He climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, summited several of North America’s highest mountains, rock climbs, and more.

Michael Neal

An avid outdoor enthusiast. Michael retired in his early 40’s after selling his businesses. After retirement he went to law school and passed the Oregon bar as a mental challenge. His mountaineering achievements include every major peak in the Pacific Northwest, Mt Whitney, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Ama Dablam and Everest. He has rock climbed El Capitan and other big walls multiple times (often solo). Michael is a devoted husband of 30 years, father of four thriving children, and grandfather of four perfect grandsons.

Bryan Hill

Physical therapist and adventure seeker based in Santa Cruz, CA, Bryan specializes in long distance athletic events. He won the solo division of an 80-mile paddle board race, Crossing for Cystic Fibrosis, in 2019 and the 4-man relay division in 2018. Bryan’s new love for mountaineering began in 2017, and he has since summited Mt. Rainier, Mt. Whitney and Mt. Shasta along the US West Coast as well as Lobuche and Pokalde in the Himalayas. His other hobbies include mountain biking, ski mountaineering, climbing, photography, and surfing or paddle boarding. Trained as a physical therapist and with a natural talent for teaching, Bryan seeks out opportunities to facilitate adventures for athletes.

Erin Johnston

Enjoys horseback riding, canoeing, mountaineering and pilots a 1965 Piper Cherokee 180 single engine airplane. Residing in Northern California, he has summited Mt. Shasta many times, Rainier, Whitney, Russel, Tindall, Williamson, and several other peaks in the Cascades. Internationally, he has topped out on Mount Blanc the tallest mountain in Europe with an attempt on the Matterhorn in Switzerland. Other summits include Iztaccihuatl, and Pico de Orizaba in Mexico (the 3rd tallest in North America), and Cotopaxi and Chimborazo in Ecuador. In the beginning of 2021, Erin, on a solo expedition, successfully reached the top of Amaghino and Aconcagua, the tallest mountain in the America’s and outside of the Himalaya.

Alex Johnson

Lived in New Zealand and the Caribbean before relocating to the west coast where he is now based in Santa Cruz. He is trained as an RN in neuro science critical care and spends his time off seeking challenge and adventure. He hiked 550 miles across Spain, and biked 3,600 miles across North America, helping raise $50k for the Lineberger Cancer Research Center in the process. He has climbed in the Sierra, the Himalaya, the Andes, and the Southern Alps of New Zealand. Alex believes life is best lived outdoors and brings a passion for helping others get outside and experience it.

Kevin Cappello

A father of two beautiful, little daughters who love to join him in adventures and who also sends stuffed animals inside his pack to accompany him for safety and companionship on big mountains. Kevin enjoys aviation, motocross, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and any adventure sport from scuba diving to mountaineering.  He started with the team in 2021 climbing Mt. Shasta in Northern California in early January during a very cold, snow and wind storm as his first taste of mountain climbing.  In 2021 he summited three, 14-thousand foot peaks in California including Mt. Williamson and Mt. Tyndall in the Sierras.  He has also climbs Mt. Lassen in NorCal during the winter and the Middle and North Sisters, Mt. Washington, Three Fingered Jack, and monkey face at smith rock state park in Central Oregon.

Our Donors

The mission of Choosing to See is to build public awareness and create connections between the sighted and visually impaired communities by providing assistance, opportunities and encouragement to the blind while inspiring and educating the sighted.


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From Google Maps Youtube Channel

From Lonnies Youtube Channel

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