The Mysterious Yeti

DSC01192tilakview.JPG

This blog entry about the events of Wednesday, October 13, 2004 was originally posted on October 22, 2004.

DAY 361:  Bigfoot.  The Loch Ness Monster.  In the Himalayas, the legendary creature is the Abominable Snowman, known by many as the yeti.  You probably won’t believe this, but I swear I saw a yeti in Namche Bazar.

My room at the Khumbu Lodge in Namche Bazar was a corner room, giving me a window view of two sides of the valley, although at night it was hard to see clearly with the light reflection inside the room.  The night before, alone in my room, I opened a window and saw something so unexpected I actually said “No way!” out loud (as opposed to thinking it in italics).  What I had seen when opening the window was a yeti.

The window I was holding open with my fingers closed shut whenever I let go and when I opened it again, it was gone. 

Am I seeing things?  Did I really see a yeti?  Or is it the Lariam (anti-malaria) pills kicking in (that I had to start taking 2-3 weeks before going to India)?  Lariam has been known to play mind games.


THE YETI, OR ABOMINABLE SNOWMAN ranks up there with the other great mythical creatures.  The sasquatch.  The leprechaun.  Each of these legends have gone through much speculation as to whether or not they are real or a myth.  I tell you right now it was no myth what I had seen.  I had seen a yeti that night.  I even tried to latch onto it, but it was too far away from me.

In the morning, I checked for the yeti through that same corner window and it was nowhere to be found.  No one would have believed me if I told them, so I left it alone until I could get some evidence.


THE GOAL OF THE DAY was to acclimatize to the higher altitude by doing an acclimatization trek up to and from the fancy Everest View Hotel, about a mile away on the map from Namche Bazar, but about 500 meters higher in elevation.  One with a lot of money could stay there for a view of Everest without ever having to go trekking, using the nearby heliport in Namche. 

It took about two hours to get to the hotel, through the town and up a steep zig-zagging trail overlooking Thamserku (other picture above) on the other side of the valley, followed by a straightforward undulating one.  The weather wasn’t clear at all; in fact a small snow flurry soon turned into a small blizzard.  The sky started to clear up by the time we reached the hotel’s restaurant with a view, giving us hope that we’d see the tallest mountain summit in the world, but the clouds came in again and with it, more snowfalls.  The temperature rose by mid-day, turning the peaceful blizzard into a nasty rainstorm.  Tilak and I head back down to Namche Bazar after a round of hot chocolate and tea.

On the way up to the Everest View Hotel, we stopped at the stupa and Sherpa Culture Museum, inaugurated in 1994 by Sir Edmund Hillary himself.  It was a four-part exhibition, one displaying Sherpa tools, one a Tibetan Buddhist prayer room, one a photo gallery of Sherpa life, and one informational hall immortalizing with pictures on the wall, the dozens of Sherpas who had reached the summits of various Himalayan mountains, including Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepalese woman to reach the summit of Everest in 1993. 

The room also had news clippings on display — one particular one caught my attention, one about the theories of yeti.  There has been speculation over whether or not the yeti is just an old Sherpa’s tale or if its existence lies in a blur of real life and folklore.  Some speculate that the previous yeti sightings were merely the sightings of the yellow snow bear or the Tibetan blue bear.  Some say it was some strange breed of monkey. 

But what I had seen the night before was different.  I had seen something else…


FOR MOST OF THE STORM I stayed in, alone in my room in the Khumbu Lodge, acclimatizing by typing up entries on my computer.  I was still curious of the yeti I’d seen the night before and opened up the small window in the corner.

Oh shit, there it is!  A yeti was staring me in the face, somewhere in the distance.  Excited, my fingers slipped and the window shut.  When I opened it again, it was gone.  Shit!  I looked and looked for it over and over and nothing.  This yeti was elusive.  Was I seeing things again?  Or was it my coming altitude sickness headache playing mind tricks with me?

A couple of hours passed.  I got a total of four entries typed with pictures sorted out for one big upload before I continued the trek to Everest Base Camp in the morning.  I checked the window in the corner one more time.

It was there.  The yeti, and closer than it was before. 

I tried to grab it but apparently it was still too far away from me.  C’mon man, think of all the bragging rights you’d have if only you got a hold of it.  Think of all the digital photos you could send to the world! 

But the yeti got farther away again until I could see it no more. 


EVENING FELL AND WITH IT so did the temperature.  I spent a good $11 USD to upload the four more entries in the satellite internet cafe (where the owner too thought Tilak and I were brothers) and then went browsing through the shops.  One bookstore had a book about the theories of yeti, tracing its roots in folklore and its sightings — but I’m positive the author had not seen what I had. 

At dinner in the lodge I met an Australian on his third trip trekking through Nepal, an older guy who looked like he might have seen everything, but had no mention of a yeti.  Was this just beginner’s luck? 

My altitude headache had grown after my Sherpa soup dinner, so I just went to bed right after.  Exhausted, I was too tired and too much in pain to check one more time if the wireless server named “yeti” was available in the wireless network pop-up window in the corner of my laptop screen again.  Man, if it was, I really would have sent a bunch of digital photos home.






Next entry: Like Warm Apple Pie

Previous entry: A Call For Tourists




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Comments for “The Mysterious Yeti”

  • THE SHOW MUST GO ON…

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/21  at  07:38 PM


  • Ahh, the elusive ******** yeti.  Sometimes, they come in the ********* variety, making capture somewhat difficult.

    [THIS COMMENT BLEEPED FOR CREATIVE REASONS.  HOPE YOU DON’T MIND, TJW!] ert

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/21  at  08:03 PM


  • So everyone knows, those are not four letter words bleeped out!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/21  at  08:22 PM


  • seeing things around 10,000 ft?  hrm, perhaps not a good sign… i must continue reading!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/21  at  09:46 PM


  • sneaking glances at you from afar, i think that yeti has a crush on you… or you look good enough to eat. you should have brought that small bag of yeti food, it would have came in handy either way.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/21  at  11:11 PM


  • i am confused. the elusive yeti is a wifi hotspot???

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/22  at  12:35 AM


  • I loved this entry because it reminds me of camping in N. California as a little kid in the 70s, and my parents would tell me “Bigfoot was seen here!”, trying to scare us.  Alice is right, it does sound like the Yeti has a crush on you!  haha.

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/22  at  01:01 AM


  • yep, I agree. I think the yeti is a wifi hotspot smile

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/22  at  02:49 AM


  • wifi hotspot!!  yes!!!  i love wifi!  (yes, i am a nerd)....

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/22  at  08:09 PM


  • Wowza - again, pics are nice - the buildings in that town are so vibrant!!

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  10/25  at  08:38 AM


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This blog post is one of over 500 travel dispatches from the trip blog, "The Global Trip 2004: Sixteen Months Around The World (Or Until Money Runs Out, Whichever Comes First)," originally hosted by BootsnAll.com. It chronicled a trip around the world from October 2003 to March 2005, which encompassed travel through thirty-seven countries in North America, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. It was this blog that "started it all," where Erik evolved and honed his style of travel blogging — it starts to come into focus around the time he arrives in Africa.

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Like Warm Apple Pie

Previous entry:
A Call For Tourists




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