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Blitz takes on Everest

Jennifer Phelan - AFL Media  October 31, 2017 10:00 AM

Mark Blicavs at Mt Everest Base Camp. Picture: @itsblitz Instagram - Mark Blicavs,Geelong Cats

Mark Blicavs at Mt Everest Base Camp. Picture: @itsblitz Instagram

WHILE his contemporaries take in European sights or lounge on Balinese beaches, Geelong midfielder Mark Blicavs has used his time off to climb Mt Everest. 

Blicavs, 26, teamed up with three schoolmates to embark on the 16-day trek through the Himalayas to Basecamp in the name of charity and awareness. 

They made it to Basecamp on Monday, having battled "avalanches, altitude sickness, wild yaks and dog attacks", according to Blicavs' Instagram. 

Now, they face a 61km descent; the return journey of one of the more physically demanding challenges on the planet. 

Blicavs and his mates have all been touched by mental health battles through friends or family close to them. 

Their trip aims to raise money for the Kai Eardley Fund; a foundation established in 2016 after the passing of Kai Eardley, who was 20. 

His brother Cam was on Geelong's list in 2012-13.  

"The Kai Eardley Fund do fantastic work educating and supporting youth in relation to mental health in conjunction with the Man Up campaign," Blicavs recently said on the Cats' website. 

"Everest basecamp is 5,545 meters above sea level, and our goal is to raise $1 for every metre we climb.

"Even if people want to donate for just one metre, every contribution is greatly appreciated and supports a cause that many people closely associate with."

The Cats' first-to-four-year players are scheduled to start pre-season training in late November, with the rest of the list to follow on December 4.