Himalayan News Service
A team of explorers has arrived in the capital with an exciting story of finding footprints of yeti near the base camp of Mount Everest, at Khumbu.“We are happy to say that we have found footprints of yeti. And the snowman is no more a legend for us now,” Joshua Gates, the team leader of the expedition of the American television channel Destination Truth, told the media today.Showing the model of the footprint, collected at the site, he added that some scientific research would continue in the US regarding its authenticity and other phases of exploration for further studies.The team, consisting of 9 Americans and 14 Nepalis, left Kathmandu on 24 November and arrived here today after competing the expedition. After finding the footprints, they chartered a helicopter and directly flew back to the capital.He said that the team found the footprints when it was returning from Khumbu by the confluence of Ghettekhola and Dudhkoshi rivers, near Monju village at a height of 2,850 metres.It was Tul Bahadur Rai, assistant guide of the team, who first spotted the footprint by the riverbank.“It was the night of November 28. I cried in excitement when I saw the footprints. I called all the members and they took photographs and also made a model of the footprint, after they were convinced that it indeed was a footprint,” he told this daily.He also said that one of the prints was around 12 inches long and others were smaller because the ground was not even and the prints were not clear.This is not the first time, footprints of yeti, a species of hairy, humpbacked and dark giant biped ape, were found in Nepal’s Himalayan valleys. In 1925 a Greek photographer, NA Tombazi, claimed that he had spotted an ape-like creature walking in the valley near Mt Everest. Another noted explorer who claimed to have seen yeti was the father of Tenzing Norgay Sherpa, the first person to climb Everest.Similarly, British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward found the yeti footprints in 1951 near the border area.Even Sir Edmund Hillary and his Sherpa guide, Tenzing Norgay, found giant footprints on the way up the top of Mount Everest, in 1953.