Bigfoot Encounters

"Yeti Search in Nepal"
© The Sunday Mail [Brisbane, Oz]

The latest on the Yeti tracks discovered in Nepal October, 2008 is

p1 - Cheating Death - Yeti Hunter to Risk it All Again
p3 - Doctor Puts Life on Line in Quest for Fabled Creature

October 27, 1996 -- An Australian doctor who survived a torturous ordeal on a Himalayan glacier will return to try to find more evidence of the yeti - Nepal's elusive Abominable Snowman.

Hobart psychiatrist Bob Burgess defied long odds to survive a life-threatening cerebral edema (fluid on the brain) as his party returned from inspecting a cave where yetis are reputed to live.

Despite his agonizing ordeal, he and his partner, expedition leader Ken McConnell, already are planning another expedition deep into rugged,
unpopulated areas of Nepal.

Dr Burgess was struck with the illness on a remote 5000m glacier on day 14 of an expedition led by Dr McConnell, an internationally recognized mountaineer who works at Royal Hobart hospital. They had trekked about 120km into the Himalayan ranges in their search for the yeti. On September 29, Dr Burgess suffered rapid onset of fluid on the brain. His partners knew the disease was usually fatal at high altitudes.

Armed with experience of 30 expeditions over 20 years, Dr McConnell vowed to save his mate: "I did not expect him to survive, as most people I have seen with high-altitude cerebral edema have perished."

The team realized Dr Burgess' best chance of survival was an emergency rescue by helicopter. The youngest Sherpa, Pemba, risked his life on a 12-hour unroped scramble over brutal terrain to reach help while the team on the glacier built a helipad.

After an anxious wait, the team saw the helicopter approach - and fly away without landing when the pilot feared he would be unable to take off and did not have the equipment to winch Dr Burgess from the ground. The only remaining option was to treat Dr Burgess with drugs, and hope for the best.

It was a difficult task - fresh in Dr McConnell's mind was another incident three years ago when he had to bury a fellow expeditioner who died from a pulmonary edema. An added danger was their location. Dr McConnell had to break a critical rule of mountaineering by camping in an area vulnerable to rock fall while waiting for the helicopter. "We were terrified. The camp was covered in shattered giant rocks which had fallen from a great height at a great speed," he said.

"On the last night we heard a lot of rocks coming down and stopping at various bottlenecks which was very frightening." In such cases, experience means little. "It doesn't matter if you've climbed Everest 50 times, if you get hit by a rock at 200km/h it doesn't really matter."

But after three days of treatment, Dr Burgess was well enough to begin the painstaking trek down the glacier. "It felt as though I was walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death," he said.

But the ordeal hasn't dampened their tenacity to prove the existence of the yetis. "(At Yalung La) We found a cave in a very remote and inaccessible place next to a waterfall with straw on the floor," Dr McConnell said "There were sticks but no tools or instruments that a human would use. Tundu, one of the team's Sherpas, thought there was a high probability that this was the sort of cave that a Yeti would stay in."

Tundu claimed to have seen Yetis several times, most recently within the past few months. Their other Sherpa, Perba, claimed to have seen a yeti in the past 12 months near Yalung. "It really is hard to doubt the stories of Tundu and Perba. I would trust them. They are not the sorts of people who would give you the answers you would want to hear."

Note: Thanks to Dr. Peter Darben, for this article. ...R.Stansberry

Article Credit, posted to the IVBC vintage 1996 Bob Stansberry
Date: Sun, 27 Oct 1996

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