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Josh Lewsey's Everest diary: A simple bimble

England rugby star Josh Lewsey is undertaking the ultimate challenge in attempting to summit Mount Everest in aid of Help for Heroes. He'll be writing an exclusive diary during the expedition which you can keep up to date with here at The Independent.

This blog has been somewhat delayed being that a) we haven't had any phone signal b) the hired satellite equipment is simply rubbish and c) we've both been absolutely 'chin strapped' on arrival to camp each day.

To start with, we left BC on Sunday for a "simple bimble" up to intermediate camp at 5700m. Without meaning to sound monotonous, this was unexpectedly tough and bearing in mind that we had already been up to 6000m a little disappointing.

For the rest of this trip, the aim is to do the ABC trip in a oner so to find even just the first bit quite tough after the initially good start makes one doubt your abilities. A thought could be that having spent 5 days getting to base camp and on very meager rations we were a bit lighter than after setting off from BC with the relatively well served provisions. The other is that we're thinking too much, as such you can't worry about something that you don't know about!

One of the most poignant comments on the effects of altitude made by Keith yesterday was in a tea break "I can now see why people just fall asleep higher up and don't wake up". Most worryingly, he was absolutely spot on and everyone agreed.

We then left early for ABC and if one again ignores the 6 hours of graft and unpleasantness of putting one foot in front of the other, then it was in fact quite incredible. For the first time, we got to be

on the same visible slope as her ladyship and though you are reminded that the summit is in fact still over 3000m above you, her upper ridges and famous steps seem almost in touching distance. To that end it seems foreboding to realise that summit day is at the least another whole month away.

Regardless, it's good to be here and as I write this, after having had a relatively rest day today, the

plan is for those that feel strong enough to have a crack at the North Col tomorrow.

It's likely that I'll be in absolute baggage by the time I get up there to 7100m and thus this has been typed on my 02 mobile the night before so hopefully we'll get the signal. This in itself is an amazing feat as uploading a 36 second clip for the big Wasps game on Saturday via the sat phone is taking over 7 hours and cost collectively a horrendous amount of money.

I’m now boring myself so I’ll close with saying that spirits are still high and we chuckle every night as Max O'Meara regales comical stories of how he's going to attempt to stop the all American 13yr old hero from getting from the top and taking his title of being the youngest American from the north side.

Enjoy your beds and the thick air.

For more information and to sponsor Josh's Everest climb visit www.mounteverestclimb2010.com.