PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Portland man is hoping to break two world records for the fastest time to summit Mt. Everest and Mt. Lhotse with his best friend, who is a blind U.S. veteran.

“Climbing Everest is a tough accomplishment but climbing the two of them together – Lhotse and Everest—is kind of a thing very few people have done,” Northwest Portland resident Michael Neal said.

Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, standing at 29,031 feet, followed by K2 at 28,251 feet, Kangchenjunga at 28,169 feet and Mt. Lhotse at 27,940 feet.

Neal is flying to Kolkata, India on Tuesday to begin the journey with former Navy Petty Officer Lonnie Bedwell.

“The reason we’re going is to help Lonnie Bedwell who’s our blind veteran — spiritual leader, you might say – of our team and to help him accomplish getting to the summit of both of those mountains,” Neal said. “If we do that, he’ll be the first blind person to accomplish that amazing feat. And for us, it will be just fun to be a part of his process and his journey.”

The two met years ago on a mountain in Argentina, Neal said.

“I heard that there was a blind man climbing a mountain, it’s not a simple mountain to climb, and I thought ‘It’s impossible for a blind man to do this.’ And we became best friends and he and I have done a lot of adventures since then together,” Neal said.

These adventures include rock climbing at Yosemite’s Half Dome, Neal said, adding, “he confided in me that he would like to climb some of the big mountains and so we created this foundation called Sightless Summits and together we just try to go do fun stuff.”

While Neal says he’s done outdoor adventures before, he says adventures with Bedwell have more meaning.

“I’ve been doing outdoor adventures for a while, I call myself a professional ‘goofer-offer,’’ and big mountains, I’ve done a number of them, but doing them with Lonnie has added a sense of meaning and a sense of purpose that makes the mountain much more meaningful,” Neal explained.

In addition to attempting to break the world records, Neal pointed out that Bedwell has also had movies made about him and was named National Geographic’s Adventurer of the Year in 2015.

“He’s just an amazing individual, but what’s most amazing about Lonnie is he spends the bulk of his time helping and assisting directly other blind veterans. And it is, for me, super meaningful to be a small part of his impact in that community,” Neal said.

Now, the two are attempting to break two world records. The first, which Neil says he considers to be “less important,” is the speed record.

Neil says he and Sightless Summits partner Bryan Hill will bike from India to Nepal before hiking with Bedwell to the top of Everest. Neal hopes to set the record for fastest known time from sea level to the summit of Mt. Everest, which Neal says the current record is a month and a half.

The record he cares more about is getting to the top of Everest with Bedwell then climbing Lhotse — hoping to make a difference “by showing other blinded veterans that you can live and a have a good life despite having lost your eyesight.”