Our directory of things of interest

University Directory

YETI: An Abominable History

  • Written by  Jules Stewart
  • Published in Books
YETI YETI
15 Aug
2018
by Graham Hoyland• William Collins • £20 (hardback)

Author and Everest summiteer Graham Hoyland found the inspiration to write this entertaining book on a climbing expedition to Gangar Punsum, the world’s highest unclimbed peak, which rises in Bhutan on the Tibetan border.

After having reached 16,400 feet, Hoyland spotted a set of footprints in the snow, larger than human size. ‘Was some large predator lurking behind one of the huge boulders that were scattered around the Lost Valley?’ he wonders. ‘Could this be the mythical beast that is spoken of all along the Himalaya: the Abominable Snowman, or yeti?’

There is no scientific proof that such a beast exists, despite photos of strange 12-inch-long tracks in the snow taken in 1951 by climbers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward. Hoyland decided to disentangle myth from reality. Eminences such as Sir David Attenborough have given credence to the possible presence of such an undiscovered beast.

"After all, we have only identified some 20 per cent of the estimated ten million living species on our planet"

Reinhold Messner was likewise convinced of the yeti’s existence.

Alas, readers expecting Hoyland to come up with sensational evidence of a 12-foot-tall monster roaming the Himalaya will come away disappointed. The author takes the less dramatic view that the sightings of yetis are of bears, not apes. But as he points out in this delightful romp through the history of yeti-spotting, mythical beasts have always exercised a fascination on the human mind, from Grendel in the Old English poem Beowulf, to fanciful creatures in Alice in Wonderland and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Hoyland explains that even in our day, people are all too often reluctant to allow facts to stand in the way of a more appealing version of reality. The yeti is more to do with the appetite for a good story, often mixed with tribal legend, than finding the truth. This is something which the author, taking it right to the present, rightly states we now call fake news.

Click here to purchase YETI by Graham Hoyland on Amazon

Geographical Week

Get the best of Geographical delivered straight to your inbox every Friday.

LATEST HEADLINES

Subscribe to Geographical!

University of Winchester

EDUCATION PARTNERS

Aberystwyth University University of Greenwich The University of Winchester

TRAVEL PARTNERS

Ponant

Silversea

Travel the Unknown

DOSSIERS

Like longer reads? Try our in-depth dossiers that provide a comprehensive view of each topic

  • The Human Game – Tackling football’s ‘slave trade’
    Few would argue with football’s position as the world’s number one sport. But as Mark Rowe discovers, this global popularity is masking a sinister...
    Essential oil?
    Palm oil is omnipresent in global consumption. But in many circles it is considered the scourge of the natural world, for the deforestation and habita...
    Hung out to dry
    Wetlands are vital storehouses of biodiversity and important bulwarks against the effects of climate change, while also providing livelihoods for mill...
    The true cost of meat
    As one of the world’s biggest methane emitters, the meat industry has a lot more to concern itself with than merely dietary issues ...
    Mexico City: boom town
    Twenty years ago, Mexico City was considered the ultimate urban disaster. But, recent political and economic reforms have transformed it into a hub of...

MORE DOSSIERS

NEVER MISS A STORY - Follow Geographical on Social

Want to stay up to date with breaking Geographical stories? Join the thousands following us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and stay informed about the world.

More articles in REVIEWS...

Books

by John Foot • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Deborah Baker • Chatto & Windus • £25 (hardback)

Books

By Lucy Seigle • Trapexe • £12.99/£6.99 (hardback/eBook)

Books

by Simon Lewis and Mark Maslin • Pelican • £8.99 (paperback)

Books

by Christoph Baumer • IB Tauris • £30 (hardback)

Books

by Charles Lane • River Books • £40 (hardback)

Books

by Graham Hoyland• William Collins • £20 (hardback)

Books

by Dr Lucy Jones• Doubleday Books • £19.99 (hardback)

Books

by Daniel Pinchbeck• Watkins • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Jasper Winn • Profile Books • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Nathan H Lents • Weidenfeld & Nicolson • £16.99…

Films

This hard-hitting marine conservation film – part of the Ocean…

Films

Here are the newest non-fiction offerings to satisfy that craving…

Exhibitions

The Society’s Earth Photo exhibition captures the planet’s natural riches…

Books

by Alanna Mitchell • Oneworld • £16.99 (hardback)

Books

by Christopher J Preston • The MIT Press • £20.95…

Books

by Jamal Mahjoub • Bloomsbury • £25 (hardback)

Books

by Joanna Kafarowski • Dundurn Press • 15.99 (hardback)

Books

by Peter Dauvergne • Polity Books • £9.99 (paperback)

Books

by Mary Beard and David Olusoga • Profile Books •…