A While ago the BBC advertised for people to take part in a forthcoming documentary where participants are put through a series of gruelling tests to see whether they would qualify for the SAS. Obviously it takes a certain type of person to a) be able to take part, and b) be willing to take part! Matt Dickinson, a teacher / guide from Sheffield volunteered and has been representing us climbers. Matt, recently returned from a very succesful climbing expedition to South Greenland, has sent us the following email: „I recently took part in a TV program whose idea was to see how civvies could handle SAS selection. Very interesting! Thirty of us started the course which was run by active SAS soldiers. During filming these guys stayed dressed in black overalls with black caps down over the eyes. Unfortunately they had to stay off camera so that their identities were not revealed to terrorists. We were placed in a fenced army camp near Loch Lomond in Scotland, given standard military fatigues and AK47 rifles, which we could not leave out of arms reach, even whilst sleeping. During the first 48 hours we had to complete a sort of orienteering course, 50 miles over high, rough ground, carrying 55 pounds and the weapon. This was hard and about two thirds of the group dropped out. The next day we were briefed about SAS survival techniques and then sent on a giant escape and evasion exercise. We were given sketch maps of open country and a point to get to 7 miles away. We were then sent running, pursued by soldiers, dogs, a mountain rescue team and a helicopter!CAUGHTUnfortunately I was caught early on a road, which was plain bad luck. Anyway here comes the interesting bit: the torture phase! I was blindfolded and bundled into the back of a Land Rover, and after a short journey the door opened and I was forced to lie face down in soaking vegetation for 2 hours, I was quickly frozen to the core. I was then pushed into an abandoned farm building??..TORTUREOf course we were not subject to real torture. However at the time it didn?t seem far off! Those of us who´d been captured were made to adopt various ?stress positions? (a bit like yoga). We were then forced to hold these positions for hours on end. If we moved a muscle, to ease the strain, we were promptly and roughly made to re-assume the posture in a disciplined manner. It wasn?t long before my body became a mass of pain. What?s worse we were continually blindfolded and subjected to constant white noise being emitted from a loud speaker. The treatment is designed to slowly break down the prisoners? defenses. Position 1: Hands on a wall spread wide and above head, straight arms then stand 1.5 meters back from the wall legs spread wide.Position 2:Skiing position, which is stance in between standing and squatting, holding an iron bar out horizontally. Several of us had to hold these monotonous and unpleasant positions for hours. For a while I was in so much pain that I emitted a whining sound. I quickly heard in my ear ?SHAD UP WHINNING YOU FU***ING WIMP?! I was frozen, couldn?t see or hear anything and generally felt pain.I was finally released at 4am after 12 hours of it. If you want to know what happens next, watch the program, I guarantee you will be entertained! (No, the BBC does not employ me)“. ?SAS Are You Tough Enough? 2nd Monday evening in November BBC2 for 6 weeks.Matt
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