Snow joke! Hillary falls for fake yeti

18th January 2008 at 00:00
The death of Sir Edmund Hillary has turned up an amusing story of how he came to found one of Nepal's first Himalayan schools.

The explorer, owner of the most famous quiff since Elvis and certainly the best-travelled, set up the Khumjung School in the foothills of Everest after villagers promised they would give him the scalp of a mythical yeti. Sir Edmund had become intrigued by tales of the big hairy creature (picture Bill Oddie, but scarier) on previous expeditions and was sucked in hook, line and sinker, promising to build the school in return for the Sherpa villagers' unusual hunting trophy.

But, predictably enough, the yeti scalp turned out to be a fake.

By that time, however, Sir Edmund had already committed money to the school, which went on to become the most sought-after among parents in the region.

"Awe, wonder, humility, pride, exaltation", were the feelings the Kiwi reportedly felt upon conquering the world's mightiest summits. But it's good to know that, like all backpackers, he too wasn't immune to getting ripped off by the locals.

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