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?
The adventure, which begins early next month, is backed by ŠKODA UK and will see a fleet of Yeti cars drive high into the Bhutan mountains to visit areas where sightings have been made.
The Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, has been part of Bhutanese folklore since the late 18th Century. Thought to be a part-man, part-animal, the Yeti has been the subject of countless expeditions over the past 200 years with number of high-profile 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 ŠKODA team will work under the direction of Alastair Humphreys and will start their epic journey in Samdrup Jonkhar in the South East of Bhutan. The team 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. Like its namesake, 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 ŠKODA’s 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.