DUGGER, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – Lonnie Bedwell enjoys the warmth of an 80-plus degree day outside his home in Dugger.

“I’ll take this, yeah, big time,” Lonnie Bedwell laughed.

Lonnie Bedwell climbing Mt. Everest. Photo Courtesy: Bryan Hill

The blind Sullivan County veteran spent more than a month climbing to the top of the world’s tallest peak, Mt. Everest. Temperatures on Everest remain below freezing and often are in negative numbers. Just one of the potentially deadly encounters climbers face.

“Here were these guys carrying this one lady,” Bedwell said. “She didn’t know where she was at. She was limp, incoherent.”

And while Bedwell is an experienced climber, he says there were still times he wanted to turn around, but did not share those thoughts with his climbing team.

“I trained, I trained and I trained, but I didn’t train enough,” Bedwell smiled.

He fell hard once.

“It was like WOW! and told them, I said guys that just scared the living,” Bedwell shakes his head, “out of me.”

He also had an oxygen face mask that did not work properly, but the man who lost his sight many years ago in a hunting accident, persisted.

“Why I do it is to hope to influence people to believe in themselves, their value, their purpose, their worth,” said Bedwell.

Bedwell also said we can all do so much more than what we think we can. He would like to finish what’s known as the seven summits. They are the highest mountains on each of the 7 continents. He’s already completed four of them, including Mt. Everest, and just has three to go.