We don't expect them to find much, but it should be an exciting trip.
Just after Halloween, the folks at Skoda UK will send an expedition in search of the mythical Yeti. The 15-member team will use a fleet of Skoda Yetis on the hunt for the Abominable Snowman. There are still no photos or videos definitively proving the creature’s existence, and we don’t have high hopes of this adventure changing that. However, the crew should have a fun time on their trip through Bhutan next month.
Alastair Humphreys, a former National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, will lead the journey. Part of the expedition will go through Bhutan’s Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary, and local guides will help the team look for the Yeti. People have reported seeing the beast there in the past. “I’m pretty certain nowhere else on earth can claim to have a sanctuary for an apparently mythical creature, and that is a fascinating adventure to be part of,” Humphreys said about the trip.
The adventurers will use a fleet of Yetis in the Outdoor trim with all-wheel drive. The vehicles will also have the optional engine guard and underbody protectors. The extra armor should be a big help if the road gets rough or if the Abominable Snowman stages a sneak attack from below.
If the crew really wants to get off the beaten path on its search for the cryptozoological creature, the members should ask Skoda to build a few more examples of the Yeti Xtreme concept (above). The one-off had muscular fender flares and a height-adjustable suspension. Power came from Volkswagen Group’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 148 horsepower (110 kilowatts) and 184 pound-feet (250 Newton-meters) of torque. A six-speed DSG sent the output to the front and rear axles.
Skoda last seriously updated the Yeti with a refresh for the 2014 model year. The model gained things like a revised grille, Bi-Xenon headlights with LED running lights, an a tweaked taillight design. Spy shots already show a new generation under development that would possibly borrow a lot from the VW Tiguan.
MYTH OR REALITY? GROUNDBREAKING ŠKODA UK EXPEDITION GOES IN SEARCH OF THE YETI
Expedition led by former National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Alastair Humphreys
Team to use fleet of ŠKODA Yetis for challenging roads of Bhutan
Search to include exploration of the Satkeng Wildlife Sanctuary
15-strong team hope to unearth new evidence of the Yeti’s existence
Milton Keynes, 6 October 2016: An expedition led by renowned British adventurer Alastair Humphreys is set to answer the question that has vexed explorers for centuries – does the Yeti exist? The adventure, which begins early next month, is backed by ŠKODA UK and will see a fleet of Yeti cars drive high into the Bhutan mountains to visit areas where sightings have been made.
The Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, has been part of Bhutanese folklore since the late 18th Century. Thought to be a part-man, part-animal, the Yeti has been the subject of countless expeditions over the past 200 years with number of high-profile sightings that remain unexplained to this day. Many locals firmly believe in the Yeti’s existence, while experts have suggested in recent years that the creature could be a present day specimen of the giant ape ‘Gigantopithecus’ which is thought to be extinct.
The ŠKODA team will work under the direction of Alastair Humphreys and will start their epic journey in Samdrup Jonkhar in the South East of Bhutan. The team will then travel north for more than 300 miles and up to an altitude of 3,530 metres.
The expedition route will take the team to the 162,000 acre Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary where the Yeti is thought to reside. A number of local experts will act as guides and will show the team where sightings have been made in the past.
Alastair Humphreys said: “I’m excited to be part of this expedition with ŠKODA. Bhutan’s surroundings are some of the most beautiful in the world and we’ll seek to uncover the stories of the Yeti within these communities. I’m pretty certain nowhere else on earth can claim to have a sanctuary for an apparently mythical creature, and that is a fascinating adventure to be part of.
“Whether the Yeti exists or not may always be a mystery, but what is true is the strong belief that the people of Bhutan have in the creature.”
The team will rely on a fleet of ŠKODA Yetis to carry themselves and equipment across some of the most challenging roads in the country. Like its namesake, the Yeti can survive the harshest of conditions and is perfectly at home in the rugged surroundings of the Himalayas.
The vehicles used for the expedition will be Yeti Outdoor models equipped with ŠKODA’s optional off-road package that adds additional protection to the underside of the vehicle. All will benefit from the Yeti’s Outdoor standard multi-plate four-wheel drive system that provides the perfect balance between on and off-road performance.
Unlike the Himalayan Yeti, the ŠKODA version is somewhat easier to spot in the wild. Since the start of production in 2009, more than 580,000 examples have been sold worldwide, with demand increasing year on year.
Adventure enthusiasts can follow Alastair and ŠKODA’s expedition on Twitter via @ŠKODAUK and@Al_Humphreys.