Email from Matt Parkes. Received on 3rd October 2011.
The Jagged Globe team are all safely back in Cho Oyu Base Camp, having descended from Camp 2 yesterday. The Sherpas did an amazing job stripping the mountain of all our tents and equipment in one go. Everyone is packing up now and leaving for Chinese Base Camp tomorrow (3 Oct). They should arrive back in Kathmandu all being well on Wednesday 5 October.
Here is a photo from the summit:
Matt Parkes reports on the past few days:
“Early last week the team was in BC and I was looking over weather charts considering two final possibilities for a summit attempt. The charts suggested that there might be a good opening on 3 October, but with the weather changing a lot each day, I was concerned this window would change. My mind was made up and I approached the team over lunch informing them to eat up quickly, as we were going to Camp 1 with the aim of summiting on the 30 September from Camp 2. It was a new window that became apparent from a new weather forecast, but only a few days away. The hope was therefore that it would be more reliable! We all headed up the mountain and spent the night at Camp 1. The following day was a big one with a long climb to Camp 2. On arrival some of the team members were feeling pretty tired. We checked the weather and things were improving for Saturday (1 October), so we decided to rest for one day at Camp 2. We had another issue in that the route was not yet fixed. There were concerns too over avalanche risk from all the snow during the previous storm. However, I was pretty optimistic that the top half of the mountain was in good condition, recieving less snow than lower parts.
Several other teams set off for the summit on 30 September with a view of fixing the route ahead of a summit team. Unfortunately, they found the route finding difficult and the attempt failed. Later that day the route was fixed and we set off for the summit at 01:30 on Saturday morning. The weather was fine and the snow conditions were great. The winds that had followed the storm last week had scoured off the snow, meaning we were climbing in perfect snow conditions and there was no avalanche risk. Myself, Cian and Jerome reached the summit at 08:00, with Brett and Nick arriving at 10:00. We descended to Camp 2 the same day. The summit would not be possible without the hard work from our Sherpa Team – Pema (Sirdar), Pasang, Thundu, Phurbu and Chirring.”
Matt Parkes, Expedition Leader
*N.B the previous despatch said the team were in Camp 3, in fact it was Camp 2