On September 17, 1977, British mountaineer Pete Boardman and his friend Joe Tasker were camped 17,000 feet up Mount Changabang, Garhwal in the Nepalese Himalayas when they heard a large creature crash about through their campsite.
In the morning they found that their belongings had been scattered, and that their chocolate bars were missing. Quoting from "The Shining Mountain," the mountaineers had several unusual occurrences during their climb.
The first occurrence was discovered by Boardman on September 14, while sorting food and equipment. Something had raided the food, stealing just the contents of a box of Mars candy bars that had been under a plastic sheet and nothing else. There was no candy wrappers were to be seen and because they were camped near a graveled rocky area left from a receding glacier, there were no tracks to investigate.
Boardman reasonably assumed his thief approached and left on the rock. After much discussion, Joe Tasker recalled a likeness to other incidents. References: p. 56, 62 & 159:
"'It's probably a small, nibbling animal,' said Joe, 'like what happened last year at Base Camp after Dunagiri. Every night something raided my food supplies -- it carried off chocolate, Christmas cake, Mintcake -- even my toothbrush! I tried to trap it for five days, but I never even saw it.'"
Boardman's wrote in his account of it: "I had an uncomfortable night and woke about three in the morning. I had been disturbed by the sound of distant rock-falling. My stomach was rumbling and I couldn't get back to sleep. It was cramped inside the tent and I was huddled inside two sleeping bags.
The outside the temperature had plummeted to -20°C. Then I heard a sound that made my flesh creep -- a low growl outside. It lasted about thirty seconds. Then there was some sniffling, a scuttling noise, and I heard one of our pans knocked over. I did not dare move.
After five minutes there were no more sounds and I felt it was safe enough to wake Joe. I nudged him. "'Hey, Joe, there's something outside the tent,' I whispered hoarsely. "He didn't seem too concerned. 'Don't open the door, you'll let the cold in.' I agreed with him. If I opened the door, whatever it was probably so timid that it would have run away at the sound of the zipper opening in the tent. And if it didn't run away, and was not timid, we would probably regret having opened the door in the first place!
However, after another ten minutes my curiosity took control and I peered outside. It was a brilliant moonlit night- the whole glacial was bathed in colorless light. But there was no sign of anything living.
"In the morning the fresh snow of the glacier from the previous afternoon was criss-crossed with tracks. They seemed to come from, and return eventually to, the northern corner of the glacier, beneath Bagini Pass.
One line of tracks paced backwards and forwards from the tent. The tracks seemed to have been made by a four-legged animal -- it was difficult to gauge how big they were, or how many animals were involved, because of the loose powder snow. Bears? Leopards? Yeti? Mars Bar-eaters? We did not know the answer."
One last notation of interest in their book was when they were climbing back down from the heights of the peak on October 17th. They had thrown their extra equipment in bundles down the last stretch of wall to the Rhamani Glacier, only to be disappointed when the bundle popped open partway down. Upon reaching the glacier they started to gather up the scattered equipment. Boardman wrote: "The Mars Bar-eater had covered the glacier with more of its tracks whilst we had been on the mountain, and now we added to them in our search. Our full body harnesses and the tent had disappeared."
The next morning they located the missing harnesses, but not the tent. They assumed it had disappeared down a crevasse, very likely the correct answer. Boardman hinted in semi-jesting tones it was a Yeti, yet was keenly convinced himself that these tracks were that of a four legged creature.
© The Shining Mountain, Peter Boardman, 1982, 1985 Vintage Books
© "Strange and Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century"- Jenny Randles, 1994 Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
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