"Point to Point obliterates whatever isn't Point to Point."
Chief Instructor of Joint UKSF SAS and SBS Selection
Over the years various nicknames have been unofficially attached to each march and have stuck to the extent that these names are now what they are known by. Point to Point's somewhat gentle moniker is owed to all the major RV points being located at high points spread out across the eastern side of the Brecon Beacons National Park. What gives this march its unique characteristics are a combination of the location of checkpoints and the order in which they must be visited. Route selection plays a part as it does with most Selection marches, and as always there is a long way around or a more direct route between RV points. However, here Point to Point comes into its own and assumes a legendary status where the famous words of a course Chief Instructor ring compellingly harrowing and true. "Point to Point obliterates whatever isn't Point to Point."
To make each RV and breach the undisclosed final time limit to ultimately pass this march, the volunteer has no option but to take on some of the most shockingly steep and brutal slopes in the entire Beacons range. After negotiating a sequence of murderous inclines, scree strewn gullies and crossing a series of leg sapping boggy plateaus, volunteers will come face to face with the infamous VW (Voluntary Withdrawal) Valley. It is here that so many have chosen to give up and return to the nearest roadside or track and hand in their notice to Directing Staff. And for those who make it over the other side, the grid reference to the next RV is enough to make anyone with weakened spirits crack completely. And still beyond that lies only more suffering if you are to reach the FRV (Final RV).
However, for those with the right temperament there is far more to this otherwise sinister march than suffering. Point to Point follows what is arguably the most spectacular, inspiring and stunningly beautiful route of all the six Test Week marches. It is also for many the most satisfying to complete. A real sense of achievement and well-being is experienced by those taking on the landscape and features that Point to Point has to offer. We believe this comes from the sense that you are climbing rather than walking, such is the demanding nature of the slopes and terrain. It is little wonder that some of the greatest adventure literature has been composed by mountaineers describing the sheer joy of how the mind and body feels to work ones way up a mountain. Leaning into a slope and pushing into the next step can be physically demanding but soul cleansing as the mind is focused intently on nothing but the present moment.
POINT TO POINT LOAD BEARING REQUIREMENTS
45lb Plus food and water
30lb Plus food and water
Mountain Safety clothing and equipment only
Anyone attempting the Point to Point test march must have completed the Fan Dance (summer or winter edition) and the Test March associated Training Day. We welcome independent applications (discounted) from current or former serving members of the armed forces.
ALL FOR WHAT: THE POINT TO POINT FINISHER'S PATCH
Upon passing Selection soldiers are presented only with a modest winged dagger cloth cap badge stitched onto a sandy beret. True to the SAS Regimental ethos, in particular humility, each of the six test marches will have its own uniquely designed cloth patch with it's own equally unique background story.
THE POINT TO POINT SAS TEST MARCH EVENT: A STORY IN PICTURES AND WORDS