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Everest climb challenge for our rugby ace

PUBLISHED: 11:29 20 May 2010 | UPDATED: 10:13 12 August 2010

BAGSHOT, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28:  Josh Lewsey of England poses for a portrait at the Pennyhill Park Hotel on October 28, 2008 in Bagshot, England.  (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

BAGSHOT, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 28: Josh Lewsey of England poses for a portrait at the Pennyhill Park Hotel on October 28, 2008 in Bagshot, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

RUGBY World Cup champ Josh Lewsey is hoping to finally climb Mount Everest after being stranded at the bottom because of bad weather. The 33-year-old, who was born in Bromley, flew out to the Himalayas in March with his friend Maj Keith Reesby in an att

RUGBY World Cup champ Josh Lewsey is hoping to finally climb Mount Everest after being stranded at the bottom because of bad weather.

The 33-year-old, who was born in Bromley, flew out to the Himalayas in March with his friend Maj Keith Reesby in an attempt to tackle the world's highest mountain.

So far the duo have been marred by poor conditions, with winds of up to 100mph which have left them marooned at the base camp.

But a five-day window in the bad weather means the duo may finally be able to make their ascent up the mountain in the next few days.

He said: "I'm relieved as much as anything else that we are now able to set off. There are a few nerves and a bit of trepidation but I'm quite excited now - we are ready to give it a crack."

Speaking about the prospect of the perilous trek, he said: "You don't go into it without contemplating the dangers that exist but climbing high mountains is a dangerous past-time.

"Our leader has told us to prepare to walk past dead bodies high up on the mountain - that's the reality of high-altitude mountaineering."

In his blog about the challenge Lewsey said the group was becoming "increasingly focused" on the challenge ahead.

Mr Lewsey met Lynx helicopter pilot Maj Reesby, who has served three tours in Afghanistan, 10 years ago. Last year the Wasps back was forced to give up on an attempt to scale Aconcagua in the Andes, the highest mountain outside Asia with his friend because of altitude sickness.

He retired from England rugby in 2008 and hung up his boots altogether at the end of the 2009 season, when he took on a position as a management consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

kate.nelson@archant.co.uk

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