Gangkhar Puensum, meaning three mountain siblings, is the tallest mountain in Bhutan with an elevation of 7,570 meters. Since the 80s several attempts have been made to climb this mountain – a part of which lies in Bhutan and the other part in Tibet. None of the attempts have ever been successful.
However in the year 1999, a team of climbers from Japan, after a protracted attempt to get a permit, were able to reach the top of one of the three peaks – Liankang Kangri – from the Chinese side of the mountain. Later, protests from local people in Bhutan made them stop.
So technically, the highest peak has never been climbed by anyone till date. Gangkhar Puensum remains the highest unclimbed mountain. The reason mostly is because obtaining a permit to climb it is almost impossible. It is prohibited by the government of Bhutan.
The prohibition by the government has mostly to do with the lack of rescue services at that place, and due to the local belief which considers the peak sacred – a home to holy spirits.
Gangkhar Puensum is certainly one of the uncharted mysterious places in the world where no one has gone and probably never will.
The search for Yeti, the mythical human-like creature that is assumed to have been living in higher elevations of the Himalayas, has continued for several thousands of years. Back in the days of Alexander the Great, during the 326 BC, when he was in the Indus valley area, he learned from the local people about the Yeti and expressed a desire to see it. The local people failed to bring it to him. Since then, several encounters have been reported and shoddy evidence has been produced, but till date, no one has succeeded in capturing the creature dead, or alive.
Proven Existence of Yeti
An Oxford university Genetics professor, Brian Sykes claims to have found a solid evidence that proves the existence of the Yeti. Moreover, according to him, it is a sub-specie of the brown bear. Specifically, an hybrid of the polar-bear and the brown bear.
After thoroughly studying two of the DNA samples (40 years and 10 years old samples) of hair from a mysterious animal found in Ladakh and Bhutan he said:
I think this bear, which nobody has seen alive… may still be there and may have quite a lot of polar bear in it. It may be some sort of hybrid and if its behavior is different from normal bears, which is what eyewitnesses report, then I think that may well be the source of the mystery and the source of the legend.
Interestingly, the DNA samples were found to be a 100% match with those coming from an ancient Polar bear that walked in Norway about 100,000 years from now. During those times a Polar bear was almost like a brown bear, the brown bear was yet to evolve.
Random Yeti Facts
- Did you know, Yeti is also knows as the “Abominable Snowman” because the Tibetian word “Metoh-Kangmi” was mis-translated by a famous journalist as “dirty men in snow”.
- There is a wildlife sanctuary in Bhutan that goes by the name Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary which is dedicated to preserving the Yeti.
- During the 1950s, the Nepal government issued formal Yeti-hunting-licenses which costed a massive $650 per Yeti. Otherwise, Yeti brings in a lot of business in Nepal. There are braded hotels and airlines named after the Yeti.(more at NatGeo)
- Even in the virtual world, Yeti is a pretty popular creature. Games often like to include it as an easter egg. GTA San Andreas players claim that the Yeti can be found on the rocky faces of the Mount Chiliad at daytime. They say it is hard to see because it blends in with the mountain due to its color. GTA V players have encountered a similar beast, the BigFoot.