In 1986 during a solo climb in eastern Tibet, Messner confronted the greatest terror of his career - not a looming rockface or bottomless ice crevasse or murderous blizzard; this terror was alive. Messner saw it repeatedly, disappearing, reappearing, both chilling his marrow and thrilling him with the sudden burning conviction that he has found living proof of a legend. the legend of the yeti.
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Reinhold Messner, the famed Austrian alpinist, has spent much of three decades climbing in the Himalayas--and, as it turns out, looking along the way for evidence of the yeti, the legendary, supposedly humanoid inhabitant of the high mountains. Messner writes of having encountered "an apparition" at the Tibetan headwaters of the Mekong River. Remembering a photograph of a mysteriously shaped footprint that Eric Shipton had taken years earlier, Messner began to collect evidence--tracks, eerie cries and whistles, fleeting glimpses--of the fabled abominable snowman. With that mounting evidence, he writes, "the mountains that I knew so well now seemed smothered in mystery." Of the yeti's existence, the climber has no doubt; his pages are taken up by his quest for plausible answers as to the creature's real identity. He writes of possibilities that many scientists have discounted--for instance, that the yeti may be a kind of ape, or perhaps a long-diverged species of bear--dismissing knee-jerk unbelievers with an impatient wave, and turning in a lively natural history of an unknown being.
With this memoir, Messner is in good literary company--Peter Matthiessen and Slavomir Rawicz, among others, have written of high-mountain encounters with yetis--and in fine form. Readers with an interest in cryptozoology and mountaineering alike will delight in his findings. --Gregory McNameeExcerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Making my way through some ash-colored junipers, I suddenly heard an eerie sound-a histling noise, similar to the warning call mountain goats make. Out of the corner of my eye I saw the outline of a upright figure dart between the trees to the edge of the clearing, where low-growing thickets covered the steep slope...The creature towered menacingly, its face a gray shadow, its body a blck outline. Covered with hair, it stoodupright on two short legs and had powerful arms that hung down almost to its knees. I guessed it to be over seven feel tall. Its body looked much heavier than that of a man of that size, bt it moved with such agility and power toward the edge of the encampment that I was both startled and relieved. -From My Quest for the Yeti
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