Abominable Snowman (Yeti)
Tall and broad shouldered, brown, red or grey fur, ape-like physique, extremely large feet.
Evil-doers that come to their area of the mountain. Prey on sherpas or any unlucky arctic adventurer.
Snowcapped peaks of the Himalayan mountains.
The Yeti has great strength and can travel through the wilderness with stealth. This explains why sitings are very rare. Their thick fur helps them to endure the bitter cold from the Himalayas. They can throw mountain stones with deadly force.
The Yeti is very large so it moves rather slow. It is a flesh and blood creature so it can be killed or injured by anything that can pierce its skin or burn its body.
The mountains of the Himalayan regions of Nepal and Tibet offer some of the most challenging and cold terrain on the planet. Some of these mountains are so remote, forbidding and cold that they are almost inaccessible to humans. It is here that one of the most elusive creatures is said to roam. I’m not talking about Bigfoot, but his arctic cousin the Abominable Snowman or as the Tibetans call him “Yeti”.
What does Yeti mean? Good question! In Tibetan, the name Yeti means magical creature. Which is interesting because sitings have always reported something similar to a human-gorilla type hybrid that stands upright. These animal-like characteristics don’t sound very magical. However the Yeti is regarded as the “Guardian” of the Himalayan mountains by the natives who live in the region. They consider the Yeti a divine being and don’t appreciate those who question it’s existance. In Katmandu, capitol of Nepal, the Yeti legend is everywhere. It is not only a commercial money maker for the tourist industry, but is immersed in their cultural legends and religion.
So now we know how Yeti got it’s name, but where did the name “Abominable Snowman” come from? Well that name was the result of an expedition to Mount Everest in 1921. Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury led this expedition and reported in his journal that when they crossed the “Lhakpa-la” at 21,000 feet, he found footprints that he thought were caused by a large loping grey wolf. The sherpas said the tracks must have been from the “Wild Man of the Snows”. However, the translator incorrectly transcribed it as “metohkangmi”, which loosely translates to “abominable snowman”.
One of the very first reported sitings was in 1832, when climber B.H. Hodgson of Nepal witnessed what he described as a tall beast covered in dark hair walking on two feet. Now the mountains of the Himalayas are some of the highest mountains in the world. It is true that when humans get to these high altitudes, their bodies physically begin to shut down. Well, what about their minds? Is it possible that with little oxygen, the mind tends to create hallucinations? It is possible, however, these sitings multiplied during the turn of the century as more and more adventurers attempted to conquer the mountain.
With so many sitings, which one can you trust to be “reliable”? Well, in 1925 the community determined that the Greek photographer N. A. Tombazi had the first reliable report of a Yeti siting. He was a member of a British geological expedition in the Himalayas. When he saw the creature moving in the distance about a thousand feet away, he described it in this way: “Unquestionably, the figure in outline was exactly like a human being, walking upright and stopping occasionally to uproot or pull at some dwarf rhododendron bushes. It showed up dark against the snow and, as far as I could make out wore no clothes.” Unfortunately the creature disappeared before Tombazi could take a photograph. As the group decended the mountain, Tombazi tried to find the creature where he had first seen it. He never found the creature but instead found its footprints. “They were similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches long by four inches wide at the broadest part of the foot. The marks of five distinct toes and the instep were perfectly clear, but the trace of the heel was indistinct…” The locals said the beast was a “Kanchenjunga demon”, but Tombazi said he did not believe it was a demon. However, he couldn’t figure out exactly what the creature was either.
Most of the people who have had a “Yeti” experience have only found it’s questionable tracks in the snow. The best ever seen where photographed by British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Micheal Ward in 1951. They were found on the southwestern slopes of the Menlung Glacier, a location that is between Tibet and Nepal at an altitude of 20,000 feet. Each print was 13 inches wide and 18 inches long. They were fresh tracks! The two men followed the tracks for a mile before they disappeared in hard ice. Scientists have not been able to link the tracks to any known creature. There are theories that the tracks belong to a languar monkey or red bear. This seems unlikely because those animals move on all fours, not on two legs. What if it were a hoax? Possible, however others have also discovered tracks at these altitudes. Most notably Sir Edmund Hillary and his sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay found giant footprints on the way up to their record ascent to the top of Mount Everest in 1953.
A notable expedition to recover any evidence of the Yeti was organized in 1960 and was led by Sir Edmund Hillary together with Desmond Doig (yes the same Sir Edmund who had made the famous Everest climb in 1953!) It was even sponsored by World Book Encyclopedia. After a ten-month stay and with all the latest technology and camera equipment, the team failed to produce any solid evidence.
After spending more than 30 years in the Himalayas Doig believes the Yeti is actually three animals. The first is “dzu teh”, large shaggy animals that often attack cattle. Diog things this is actually the work of the Tibetan blue bear (one of the most rare bears in the world). The second is “thelma” probably a gibbon that may live as far north as Nepal. The third is “mih teh” the true abominal snowman of legend. This ape is savage, covered in black or red fur and lives at altitudes of up to 20,000 feet. If the Yeti does exist, it’s lair is so remote and dangerous, that it may be a long time before anyone can find him.