Many names have been used for the mysterious hairy creatures that inhabit the remote mountain regions of the Himalaya, India, North America and beyond. Abominable snowman, bigfoot, bumble (the name coined by famed explorer/prospector Yukon Cornelius), sasquatch and yeti are just a few. Throughout the years, many claim to have spotted the elusive apeman, some even attesting to face to face encounters.
Yeti Sightings Throughout the Years
Yeti sightings date back thousands of years. The earliest Buddhist monks to wonder far into the mountains of Tibet, told stories of a hairy beast that roams the high mountain passes of the Himalaya, walking upright like a man. In the first century A.D., Pliny the Elder, a Roman naturalist and military commander wrote of a man-like creatures spotted in the mountains of India that would “screech in a frightful manner” and had “bodies covered with hair, their eyes are of a sea-green color, and their teeth like those of the dog”. (Green, Stewart. The Yeti: Legend, Lore, and Climbing Mystery)
The mystery of the abominable snowman reached the Western world as mountaineering expeditions to the peaks of India, Nepal, Tibet and China increased. In 1951, British mountaineers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward collected photos of footprints they believed to belong to the creature described in these legends of old. With them on this expedition was young climber Edmund Hillary, then on his first trip to Everest.
Two years later, Edmund Hillary and team member Tenzing Norgay returned to Everest in what became the first documented summit of the tallest peak in the world (29,035 feet) on May 29, 1953. While traversing the Barun Khola range, Hillary and expedition members claim to not only have found prints from, but to also have spotted a large, furry, apelike creature.
Of all these accounts, perhaps the most famous encounter was that of Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner, who reported to have come face-to-face with what he believes to have been a yeti in 1986. After his first encounter, Messner returned to the Himalayas on numerous missions with the intent on finding the creature that paid him a slopeside visit in ’86. In a book about his search for the yeti, Messner wrote, “…he woke and saw us. He looked at us like a small child who has just met someone for the first time. We stood eye to eye; I could have touched him. Then, he stood up and slowly walked away.”
Yeti Sightings in Western Maine
The Mahoosuc Range is not without its share of yeti folklore. Since the late 1950s, a lone yeti was said to inhabit Old Speck Mountain, just north of Sunday River. Not much was known about the early years of our resident apeman but sightings have risen exponentially within the past few years. In 2009, well-documented encounters with this local yeti were reported and it is common belief that the creature was drawn to Sunday River by our 50th birthday firework celebrations (it was previously unknown that yetis love fireworks).
Eddy is his name and the Enchanted Forest on North Peak is now his home during the winter months. Eddy is a shy but curious yeti who enjoys wandering down from his mountain abode to join in the festivities here at Sunday River.
Where to Find Eddy
After intensive tracking and studies on the habits of Eddy (which has proven to be significantly easier than in the Himalayas), much more is now understood about Maine yeti populations.
Unlike his cousins of the Himalaya who are known for keeping to themselves, Eddy continuously visits Sunday River during the winter season and is not afraid of some human contact. Eddy loves dishing out hugs and high-fives and is significantly more photogenic than most other yetis.
Eddy can now be found at numerous events during the winter season, including Peak Dinners and Black Diamond Event Series. When approaching Eddy in the wild, little to no caution is necessary. Walk right over, snap a pic with the big fur ball and enjoy sharing the mountain with our legendary and not-so-abominable snowman.