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Magnetic North Pole Camp – Day 5

Blog written by Maria

What do you usually do in the mornings? We – testing our sleeping bodies for resiliency… In our words, morning is the “favourite“ part of the day for participants of the Selection Camp. “We won't be jogging in the mounains today“ – so much sugar in this phrase for us! But… Martin (the person who is responsible for our bodys' health and spirits') wouldn't have been in character if this happy news would be the only one: “We won't be jogging in the mountains today… we will be jogging circles on the hill up the stairs – one just for pleasure, three more – on the clock. One, Two, Three… Go!“

Difficult and hard. Somebody is flying, somebody is jogging, somebody is walking, but nobody is done. Straight ahead, step by step – finish! We did it! Cool! “Congratulations, guys!“ – the same voice – “go up to do exercises!“

Ok, push-ups, sit-ups, stretching… are finished! Cool! We did it! However just as the image of breakfast comes to my mind, I hear Martin say: “Good job! Let's improve your results – three circles more as fast as you can!“ My eyes immediately focused on his face – smiling, but not joking… So, jogging again. In Russia we have a phrase:“If you enjoy sledding downhill, then you must enjoy pulling the sled up as well“ During the rest of the jogging, this was the phrase that kept through my mind….

On the way back to the hotel, I had a funny conversation with Siqi:
− Siqi,look! The sunrise is sooo beautiful!
− Oh! really, but I didn't notice this at the start of the morning…
− Me too…

….There is one belief that if you have learnt to ride a bicycle once, you can't forget how to do it. Today I had an opportunity to check my abilities during the rapeling exercise. The last time I had to rapel down a cliff was 5 years ago, when I was on the sport-tourism team. However my body still remembered the movements as if it was yesterday!

Even if I tried it before it doesn't mean that I didn't find something new. I,ve rapelled down hills, but not on such high mountains as the Swiss Alps. Just imagine: a steep slope right beneath your feet, a raging river below, sparkling mountain peaks in the distance and a blue sky overhead!

We didn't go down to the river, but even half of this distance was great. When you sense your body working, have an open mind, and explore something new, you feel that you are alive. Especially when the team on the ground is waiting for you with congratulations and applause. Yes, together we are ready for any rescue, adventure and future experiences!

Blog written by Brandon

Squeak Squeak

`That can`t possibly be my alarm. Do they do fire drills in Chateux d`Oex? I`m pretty sure I have another 4 hours sleep left in me until I must arise.`

The constant barrage of physical activity must have taken its toll on me because I was gravely mistaken. The time was 6:33 and my roomate Roman was already parading around the room in his underwear frantically getting dressed. I managed to drag my somewhat lethargic vessel out of my bed, and pranced downstairs for another enthralling and testing bout of morning exercise.

This light and leisurely commencement of the day quickly exploded into a familiar lung-bust and thigh-thrust that we have grown accustomed too. Time trials around the church area left everyone feeling rather damaged as we raced each other and ourselves at a pace pushing our maximum for a number of minutes. It is at times like this when I am happy that I listen to musicians like Flo Rida and the Beach Boys because their lyrics played constantly in my head- giving me motivation to continue. Once we were finished, Martin took us through a series of physical strengthening exercises and promptly instructed us to go through the whole regime again…

That was tough.

The day did ease up thereafter as we had a highly informative presentation on camera usage, photography and the infamous `rule-of-thirds´which will help us document our future expeditions in great style. After this, we had a practical session where we were instructed to take photos of our new Wenger knives. The photos were interesting, ranging from the `celebratory-group-picture` to the mysterious `apple-slicing-picture` which will surely attract great interest. The photos can be seen on and will soon be up on the yep website.

In the afternoon we had the scintillating prospect of abseiling down a 50m cliff into the Swiss abyss, smoothly (some of us) making our way to the bottom while being surrounded by some sensational mountain peaks covered in snow. I guess this was the reason I brought my handy disposable camera as the photos were being clicked away faster than a mountain goat in Ethiopia can descend from a stalking predator.

Since then, we have been fed some typically delicious, nay nutritious, food and have been briefed on our glacier adventure tomorrow.

If i continue writing this blog I will miss out on some much-coveted sleeping time, so for now I will lay my heavy head down in bed as I look forward to another tantalizing day tomorrow.

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