Magnetic North Pole Camp – Day 10
I think it has been the first Raid ever where we discovered ourselves with a pet. A big, black, lumbering, idiotic pet. And it wasn’t even cute. It pulled us down when we were going uphill, and dragged us too fast when we were sliding downhill. It wasn’t nice to pat, wasn’t affectionate, wasn’t even remotely exciting. And do you know the best thing about this pet of ours ? It was a tire.
The Pangaea Raid, the ultimate overnight test of strength, endurance and teamwork. All the previous YEPs we’d talked to had given a mysterious chuckle and encouraging words of « It’ll definitely be an experience you won ‘t forget… Good luck ! » when we asked about it. So as you can imagine, as we all gathered in the dining room of Hotel de Ville, bags packed, sufficiently threatened not to lose the equipment, and cheerfully warned about how messed up we would become, we were more than a little apprehensive. Each team was given maps, a compass, a sheet of waypoints and instructed to be on our way ! And so began almost 30 hours of cross country hiking, team building activities and just general cruelty.
Ahead of us was ice climbing, « crossing a crocodile filled river » (the creative way of telling us to get across three walls using just a plank), and a stabilizing ropes course. We also zip-lined, tight rope walked across a gorge, and hiked. And hiked. And hiked. We pushed up two mountains over the two days amid cries of «allé, allé ! Up Up Up !!» from our mountain guide Fred.
The other group faced the nightmare of an extra checkpoint sweetly added because they arrived at our night camp « too early ». During this our team was living our own nightmare as we realised, that with great foresight, we had left behind our most valued piece of equipment : our map. Good job, guys ! Luckily we rallied, and Lulu and Sasi bravely got us a replacement so we could soldier on.
But let’s go back to that tire shall we? Martin, our kind, benevolent and gracious benefactor, gifted us with this 25kg lump of rubber to haul up and down a mountain just when the end was in sight. Tired, exhausted, and slightly delirious, we fashioned our various techniques to transport the best pet we’d ever had to the finish line.
And just like we crossed that final line, the finish line for this Selection Camp is also looming. Ten amazing days are coming to an end, and tomorrow not only will the selected YEPs be announced for the Magnetic North Pole Expedition, but with heavy hearts, we will all say goodbye. We’ve shared some phenomenal experiences, none of which we can justifiably convey to you (partly because of our limited intellect in our tired state, and partly because this is something inexplicable that words can’t express).
So finally, we’d like to thank the entire Mike Horn Team for everything they’ve done for us : educated us, taken care of us, and pushed us to our limits. We hope that one day you will be able to experience even a little of what we’ve gone through. Today is the first day of the rest of your life: EXPLORE, LEARN, ACT !
And to all our favourite people :
Sasi «Yay !!» –jumps around in excitement-
Kim «Fred, Fred, Fred the bread/Minh, Minh, Minh-a-ling»
Lulu «Good job guys ! (and general words of encouragement)»
Minh «I love you Caroline. But I love the food more.»
Ariane «America is NOT a country.»
Natalie «When I was in Nepal/Alaska…»
Rick «Sweet as, bro»
Maria «The Arctic should belong to the Russians»