Skoda expedition wild about discovering whether Yeti really exists
- Credit: Skoda supplied
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, in the Eastern Himalayas in south Asia, 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 start its epic journey in Samdrup Jonkhar in the south east of Bhutan, 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.
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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.'
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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. The Yeti Outdoor models will be equipped with the optional off-road package that adds additional protection to the underside of the vehicle. All will benefit from the Yeti Outdoor's standard multi-plate four-wheel drive system.
Unlike the Himalayan Yeti, the Škoda version is easier to spot with more than 580,000 sold worldwide since 2009 and demand rising year on year.
You can follow the expedition on Twitter via @ŠKODAUK and @Al_Humphreys