Yeti

Garmisch-Partenkirchen was one of the first alpine towns I visited after moving to Germany from Birmingham, England 30 years ago. The area has remained one of my favourite destinations for alpine hiking, offering ascents of several thousand meters beginning almost directly at the hotel door or camp site. There really is no need to jump into a car or public transport to reach the head of any of the many hiking trails.

It had been a long, tough, but very enjoyable ascent to the base of the Alpspitze. I chose to descend via the Partnachklamm, an impressive, deep and narrow gorge sliced through the limestone rock by millions of years of perpetual erosion by the Partnach stream.

Haystacks near Partnachklamm, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany.

Haystacks near Partnachklamm, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany.

The gorge opens up into I wider wooded valley. Suddenly I saw them. Threatening, dark, mysterious. Four ghostly, yeti-like figures. I froze in my tracks, and they appeared to do the same. We stared at each other, none daring to make a move. I shivered, not sure if the cold and damp was starting to drain my body heat, or whether it was fright that started to overwhelm me.

I gathered my courage, ready to run, but running was not necessary. I guess they were more frightened than I was. I shuffled past them, slowly, silent, ready to draw on my last energy reserves. Fight or flight. Neither were necessary. The alpine Yetis are passive creatures. I made a couple of photographs.