red, white, and blue star with initials B V A

Extreme sports athlete and military veteran Lonnie Bedwell, a member of the Blinded Veterans Association (BVA), is perhaps known best for his recognition as the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2015 and the first totally blind person to kayak the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

Lonnie has since shared his adventuresome and can-do spirit with dozens of other blinded veterans on kayaking, climbing, and skiing trips throughout the United States. He is also a best-selling author and a sought-after motivational speaker.

Today, Lonnie flies into Base Camp to begin his ascent to the top of Denali, the highest and most remote mountain peak in North America with a summit elevation of 20,310 feet above sea level. Because Lonnie’s apparel will include a satellite tracker, internet users in the BVA community are cordially invited to follow his Denali climb in real-time (CLICK HERE). The trek is expected to take more than two weeks and up to four weeks.

Lonnie is accompanied by a team of five sighted guides, all part of the nonprofit Sightless Summits initiative. The expedition is serving as a preparatory climb for making mountaineering history in April 2023 with an ascent of Mt. Everest.

The Denali team arrived in Talkeetna, Alaska, yesterday (June 7) to sort, pack, and load gear. Each climber will carry 30 pounds on their back and help to pull a sled weighing an additional 80 pounds.

The full link to follow Lonnie’s location at any given time in the Denali ascent is