Bri­tish ad­ven­turer to lead team to King­dom of Bhutan to in­ves­ti­gate sight­ings of the YETI

AN ex­pe­di­tion led by renowned Bri­tish ad­ven­turer Alas­tair Humphreys is set to an­swer the ques­tion that has vexed ex­plor­ers for cen­turies – does the Yeti ex­ist?

Bhutan Times - - Editorial - By OLIVIA LERCHE

The ad­ven­ture, backed by ŠKODA UK, will see a fleet of Yeti cars drive high into the Bhutan moun­tains to visit ar­eas where sight­ings have been made.

Bhutan is a tiny and re­mote king­dom nestling in the Hi­malayas be­tween In­dia and China.

The Yeti, or Abom­inable Snow­man, has been part of Bhutanese folk­lore since the late 18th Cen­tury.

Thought to be a part­man, part- an­i­mal, the Yeti has been the sub­ject of count­less ex­pe­di­tions over the past 200 years with num­ber of high­pro­file sight­ings that re­main un­ex­plained to this day.

Many lo­cals firmly be­lieve in the Yeti’s ex­is­tence, while ex­perts have sug­gested in re­cent years that the crea­ture could be a present day spec­i­men of the gi­ant ape ‘ Gi­gan­to­p­ithe­cus’ which is thought to be ex­tinct.

The team will work un­der the di­rec­tion of Alas­tair Humphreys and will start their epic jour­ney in Sam­drup Jonkhar in the South East of Bhutan.

They will then travel north for more than 300 miles and up to an al­ti­tude of 3,530 me­tres.

The ex­pe­di­tion route will take the team to the 162,000 acre Sak­teng Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary where the Yeti is thought to re­side. A num­ber of lo­cal ex­perts will act as guides and will show the team where sight­ings have been made in the past.

Alas­tair Humphreys said: “I’m ex­cited to be part of this ex­pe­di­tion with ŠKODA.

“Bhutan’s sur­round­ings are some of the most beau­ti­ful in the world and we’ll seek to un­cover the sto­ries of the Yeti within these com­mu­ni­ties.

“I’m pretty cer­tain nowhere else on earth can claim to have a sanc­tu­ary for an ap­par­ently myth­i­cal crea­ture, and that is a fas­ci­nat­ing ad­ven­ture to be part of.

“Whether the Yeti ex­ists or not may al­ways be a mys­tery, but what is true is the strong be­lief that the peo­ple of Bhutan have in the crea­ture.”

The team will rely on a fleet of ŠKODA Yetis to carry them­selves and equip­ment across some of the most chal­leng­ing roads in the coun­try.

ŠKODA said the Yeti can sur­vive the harsh­est of con­di­tions and is per­fectly at home in the rugged sur­round­ings of the Hi­malayas.

The ve­hi­cles used for the ex­pe­di­tion will be Yeti Out­door mod­els equipped with an op­tional off- road pack­age that adds ad­di­tional pro­tec­tion to the un­der­side of the ve­hi­cle.

All will ben­e­fit from the Yeti’s Out­door stan­dard multi- plate four- wheel drive sys­tem that pro­vides the per­fect bal­ance be­tween on and off- road per­for­mance.

Un­like the Hi­malayan Yeti, the ŠKODA ver­sion is some­what eas­ier to spot in the wild.

Since the start of pro­duc­tion in 2009, more than 580,000 ex­am­ples have been sold world­wide, with de­mand in­creas­ing year on year.

Where is the King­dom of Bhutan? Wil­liam and Kate touch down in Hi­malayan king­dom

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