Sunday, 10 January 2010

A snow cryptid - The Yeti

A snow cryptid seemed the thing today in view of the big freeze here in the UK so some stuff about the Yeti or abominable snowman.
The Yeti is a large hairy bipedal creature, like a bigfoot, seen mainly in high mountain ranges such as the Himalayas. The Himalayan mountain range straddles the border between India, Nepal, and Tibet. The Range includes the tallest land based mountain in the world, Mount Everest, which is about 29,000 feet high. The high ranges are snow bound most of the year and few people live there.

Here is a selection of reports of encounters and sightings with the Yeti.

In 1925 a Greek photographer, N. A. Tombazi, was working as a member of a British geological expedition in the Himalayas, when a creature was pointed out to him. It was moving in the distance across some lower slopes. "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," said Tombazi, "It showed up dark against the snow and, as far as I could make out wore no clothes." The creature disappeared before a photograph could be taken but as he went through his descent Tombazi found footprints in the snow. "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." There were 15 prints which were 12 inches (30 cms) to two feet (60 cms) distance apart . Tombazi asked the locals about the creature he'd seen and they said it was a demon.

In 1938 another encounter with a Yeti was reported. . Captain d'Auvergue, the curator of the Victoria Memorial in Calcutta, India, was travelling the Himalayas alone when he became snow blind.( This is where the reflection of the snow causes temporary blindness and is the reason people wear snow goggles these days to cut down the glare) As he lay fearing death from exposure he was rescued. He claimed he was found by a nine foot tall ( 3 metres) Yeti and that he/ she /it nursed him back to health. Captain d'Auvergue was then able to descend the mountain and return home.

In 1951 Two British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward found and photographed some tracks in the snow. They were on the south western slopes of the Menlung Glacier, which lies between Tibet and Nepal, at an altitude of 20,000 feet. The footprints were 13 inches( 32.5 cms) wide and 18 inches( 45 cms) long. Shipton and Ward followed the prints for a about a mile before the trail disappeared on hard ice. They have been accused of a hoax but it seems unlikely that anyone would be walking about in those temperatures in their bare feet.

In 1953 Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, on their record ascent to the top of Mount Everest, in 1953, saw giant foot prints on the way up. Hillary however later said he did not believe in the Yeti. .

In 1970, British mountaineer Don Whillans claimed to have witnessed a creature when scaling Annapurna. Whillans was scouting for a campsite when he heard some odd cries which his Sherpa guide said were a Yeti's call. That night, he saw a dark shape moving near his camp. The next day, saw some large human-like footprints in the snow, and later that same day viewed a bipedal, ape-like creature for 20 minutes through binoculars .

In 1984, mountaineer David P. Sheppard of Hoboken, New Jersey, claims to have been followed by a large, furry man over the course of several days while he was on the southern side Everest. No proof has been found and a photograph proved inconclusive.

So Yeti, real or a local legend? Well the thing I see in favour of a Yeti being found is as I have said , is who would be walking about in their bare feet at those altitudes and in those low temperatures? The Sherpas don’t normally go barefoot and wear a sort of sandal. It may be an ape rather than a man like creature but lets hope this news decade brings forth some more expeditions to find the truth.

A site with lots of info:

A site with a Yeti timeline of sightings:

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