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BMC ExamOctober 1, 2005 Saturday

Basic Mountaineering Course (BMC) Exam

The long-drawn process of applying for membership to the UPM is drawing to a close. We just had our exams - written and practical. This is where a lot of the application mortality is evident. To check and balance the integrity of the process, we operated by numbers...not names. Member-friends would have no clue whom they're grading on the written test.

The Members
It would have been easy for the members to play God and manipulate us applicants like marionettes. But despite that tough-love exterior and the frat-like demeanor, I got a sense of their genuine desire to impart what they know without the power-trip...a passing of the baton to the next wave of potential members who'll continue the UPM tradition. I respect that.

The Thinking Test
I know how to belay. That's part and parcel of what I do when rock climbing. I have learned ropemanship now - bow line, figure 8 loop, etc. I've also learned how to cross a river (or when not to cross one). Individually, I could nail it. But the given task was a scenario: I'm a team leader and I need to cross a river to enable the rest of the team to cross. What do I do? I was forced to think and integrate all I knew to make it work. It wasn't easy factoring all the evident and not-so evident variables into a seamless and effective undertaking.

Ending Thoughts
I was learning new things during the exam...on top of what I studied. The members ensured that my faults were addressed and that I came away knowing more than what I knew before. At some point, it wasn't about making the grade anymore. With the learning experience, we all came out a winner.

Nonetheless, it is with sadness that I witness our ranks dwindle to 13 from a robust 60+. From here, 3 more hurdles await us before the mantle of membership is given: a timed 15k run, an interview and the formidable climb on the country's toughest mountain - Mt. Halcon.

--- TheLoneRider

October 1, 2005

Reader Comments:

(5 Oct 2005) Thanks for documenting the exams. This will enable us to look back and reminisce on the exam days that we had. Thanks!! Good luck sa induction!

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