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Santa Cruz physical therapist teams with blind veteran to climb Mount Everest

By Josh Copitch

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    SANTA CRUZ, California (KSBW) — A blind veteran is on pace to make history by summiting the tallest mountain in the world.; by his side is a Santa Cruz man who is helping the veteran climb the tallest mountain on every continent.

Bryan Hill, a 37-year-old physical therapist from Santa Cruz, rode a bike 700 miles from the Indian Ocean to the base of Mount Everest, where he waited for the weather to change so he and blind veteran hiker Lonnie Bedwell can summit the mountain.

Hill co-founded Sightless Summits, and organization that hopes to “inspire and serve disabled veterans through project-based adventures.”

Hill and Bedwell plan to summit Everest and then climb nearby Lhotse mountain, the fourth tallest mountain in the world.

“If Lonnie stands on Everest, he will be the fourth blind person to accomplish that task and if he is successful at Everest/Lhotse then he will be the first blind person to do it,” Hill said.

The team has climbed parts of Everest to get acclimated to the climb but currently, they are at Everest Base Camp waiting for a weather window for their summit, which they hope to open in the next week.

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