My Quest for the Yeti: Confronting the Himalayas' Deepest Mystery

Overview

Universally acknowledged as the greatest living mountain climber-the first to reach the top of Mount Everest without the use of oxygen, the first to ascend all of the world's highest peaks-Reinhold Messner is without peer in his knowledge of the Himalayas. He has scaled nearly every peak and descended nearly every valley in this region of towering danger, stark beauty and endless challenge. Yet in 1986, during a solo climb in eastern Tibet, Messner confronted the greatest terror of his career-not a looming ...
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Overview

Universally acknowledged as the greatest living mountain climber-the first to reach the top of Mount Everest without the use of oxygen, the first to ascend all of the world's highest peaks-Reinhold Messner is without peer in his knowledge of the Himalayas. He has scaled nearly every peak and descended nearly every valley in this region of towering danger, stark beauty and endless challenge. Yet 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 blizzaard; this terror was alive. A creature had crossed his path, a creature of such proportions and agility that it defied reason and category. For the next few hours Messner saw it repeatedly, disappearing, reappearing, boht chilling his marrow and thrilling him with the sudden yet burning conviction that he had found living proof of a legend.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The first human to climb Everest without bottled oxygen, and the first to summit the world's 14 highest peaks, Messner is a legend in mountaineering circles. How appropriate, then, that he should take on another legend associated with mountains--the yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman. Messner's quest to uncover the truth behind the legend begins in July 1986, in Tibet, where, at night, deep in that country's eastern wilderness, he encounters something: "the creature towered menacingly, its face a gray shadow, its body a black outline. Covered with hair, it stood upright on two short legs and had powerful arms." On and off for the next 11 years, Messner undertakes expeditions through Tibet and Bhutan in search of that creature. In time, he learns to distinguish between the myth of the yeti ("a collective term for all the monsters of the Himalayas, real or imagined") and the animal on which the myth is based, which he realizes is known throughout the region as the chemo or dremo, and which he concludes is a type of brown bear (Ursus arctus), which he observes several times. That conclusion will disappoint readers looking for evidence of a missing link or humanoid bigfoot, but even so there's plenty of high adventure in the book, as Messner treks across snowy wastelands, gets lost, gets arrested, sleeps in smoky tents and under the stars--and describes both the history of yeti research and the ongoing eradication of Tibetan culture at the hands of Chinese invaders. An engaging blend of travelogue and cryptozoological inquiry, this book will make a great campfire read. (Apr.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
Messner is an accomplished Austrian mountaineer and the author of several books about his experiences. In 1986, while in Tibet, he thought he may have encountered a yeti, also called the abominable snowman. Finding more substance in folklore and mythology than reality, Messner chronicles his further investigations while providing a good overview of the efforts of others over the years at documenting the existence of such a humanlike creature. His account will not satisfy those whose minds are already made up on either side of the issue, and this will not be the last book on the topic. It is, nevertheless, a reasonable account of a subject that generates continuing interest and polarity among public library users. A more thorough investigation of the topic is Daniel Taylor-Ides's Something Hidden Behind the Ranges: A Himalayan Quest (Mercury House, 1995), which provides more convincing background information that such creatures do not exist. Nevertheless, Messner's book is a solid second choice.--Harold M. Otness, Southern Oregon Univ. Lib., Ashland Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
From the Publisher
"Traveling to mountainous regious accessible only to someone prossessing his legendary mountaineering and survival skills, Reinhold Messner's quest for the elusive yeti takes us to that most intriguing and inaccesible of realms—she shadow borderland where myth encounters raw geography." —Caroline Alexander, author of The Endurance

"Messner's command of yeti tales is impressive...Viewed through his seen-it-all-eyes, the influence of Chinese occupation in Tibet is freshly devastating." —The New York Times

"Perhaps most compelling is Messner's love of Tibet, his fears for it under Chinese rule and his concern that rampant deforestation may kill the animal's habitat, even if it cannot kill the myth." —The Los Angeles Times

"An engaging blend of travelogue and cryptozoological inquiry, this book will make a great campfire read." --Publishers Weekly

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312203948
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/22/2000
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.45 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

In addition to his world-famous exploits in the Himalayas—including the first solo ascent of Mount Everest—Reinhold Messner has crossed Anarctica and Greenland on foot. He is the author of more than thirty books, including Everest, The Crystal Horizon, Free Spirit, and, most recently, The Second Death of George Mallory (also available from St. Martin's Press). He lives in a castle in the Italian Alps.

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Read an Excerpt

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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Table of Contents

Note to Reader ix
Map xii
Yeti Research Expeditions xv
1. July 1986: Somewhere in Tibet 1
2. Reunited in Lhasa 19
3. Confusion in Katmandu 33
4. Tales of the Yeti 57
5. Gods and Demons 71
6. Among the Yak Nomads 83
7. Curiosity and Ridicule 91
8. "Glacial Cosmogony" and 107
"Ancestral Legacy"
9. Footprints in the Snow 123
10. White Head and Black Giant 135
11. The Pieces Fit 149
12. Life and Legend 159
Notes 167
Works Mentioned in the Text 169
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