By Matt Johns

It has been an extremely difficult 48 hours for the team. The weather presented an opportunity to attempt the summit but then cruelly took it away again. Faced with 65 Km/h winds and freezing conditions close to the top, the group were forced to abandon their first attempt before it became too dangerous. Exhausted, with some of the team suffering from mild frost nip and supplies running low they have now made their way back to Base Camp.

The team will now be resting and anxiously studying the weather in the hope that they will have another opportunity to attempt the summit before they run out of time. It is likely that if a second summit attempt is planned, that only a handful of the party will be able to take part. It is going to be an anxious few hours for the team.

Whether they summit or not, the fact they are all safe and well and are giving it their very best shot, but not taking unnecessary risks, is imperative. That mountain isn't going anywhere. There will be other opportunities. With the tenacity and confidence of the team, it is sometimes easy to forget the magnitude of the challenge they have set themselves; and that it is impossible to guarantee that every attempt will be successful the first time, despite the experience, organisation and determination within the team. We are all hoping that the weather changes and things start going their way.

Communication is still difficult, with the only contact away from Base Camp being their emergency tracker beacon which can also be used to send simple text messages to the Operations Room at Secret Compass (our excellent facilitators). As and when we hear from them we will provide updates.

Stunning photo of the brutally stark Andean landscape at night taken by Paul Harries, the AGS photographer.

Stunning photo of the brutally stark Andean landscape at night taken by Paul Harries, the AGS photographer.

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