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The Legend:
 On September 17, 1977, British mountaineer Pete Boardman and his friend Joe Tasker were camped 17,000 feet up Mount Changabang, Garhwal Himilayas (on the western edge of Nepal), 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.

In Their Own Words
 According to Boardman's book about his and Tasker's climb of Changabang in 1977, The Shining Mountain [1985 Vintage Books], there were several unusual occurences during the adventure. The first of these 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. There was no debris (wrappers) left behind; and because they were camped near a moraine and there were no prints, Boardman reasonably assumed his thief approached and left on the rock. When Boardman told Tasker about the theft, Tasker recalled a similiar occurence [Pg. 56]:

 "'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.'"

 The next experience is the one refered to in the legend above; it happened in the night hours between the 16th and 17th of September, 1977. Boardman's account of it [Pg. 62]:

 "I had an uncomfortable night and woke about three in the morning. I had been disturbed by the sound of distant rockfall. 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. 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 was probably so timid that it would have run away at the sound of the zip. 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 cirque was bathed in colourless 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 the 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."

 The last occurence took place as 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 observed that they weren't the first ones there [Pg.159]:

 "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.

Variations & Theories
 The only place I've run into this story, other than Peter Boardman's book, is Jenny Randles' Strange & Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century. She states of Mr. Boardman, "...with whom I went to school and so can attest to his integrity." It does not seem unreasonable to point out that she may be a bit biased as to the veracity of this account. There is nothing in the narrative as she gives it that would necessarily show that the "Mars Bar-eater" was not a bear. Boardman himself only suggests a Yeti as a passing joke, and clearly states that the prints appear to belong to something four-legged.


you smile because iam different,i laugh because your all the same

Jun/14/2008, 1:11 pm Link to this post Send Email to MaTTsWoRld   Send PM to MaTTsWoRld Blog

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