Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 16th, 2009
What a noble and wise face? What could he be thinking?
“How are my brothers & sisters in Siberia doing?”
The snowboarding capital of Siberia may soon be acknowledged to be Sheregesh, not so much for the snow but because of the tourist spillover fame, thanks to Yeti. (The alliteration of “Sheregesh Snowman” may win out in the end, but for now, the Russian media is sticking with “Yeti” and “Bigfoot” references. The misspelling “Sheregesch” is showing up too. But it seems to really be “Sheregesh” and for now, thus the “Sheregesh Yeti.”)
Before, if you were not a Siberian, say the travelogues, you would have probably had only one reason to go to Sheregesh – the local snow, which is unique. Starting from the beginning of November until the beginning of March, at least three feet (one meter) of high quality snow cover the snowboarding areas. The local powder is dry and fast and is considered to be the best snow in Russia. However, the snowboarders who decide to go to Sheregesh have to survive an 8-hour long ride from Moscow to Sheregesh, the famous Siberian frost, and the lack of après-ski (which to Europeans and Americans means the “after-skiing” activities of going out, having drinks, dancing, and generally socializing). But that’s in for a big change, again, thanks to the local Yetis.
Sheregesh is a former remote miners’ settlement in Siberia, near Novokuznetsk (the Kuzbass mines). About twenty years ago the ski resort was built at the nearby Zelenaya mountain. With the growing popularity of skiing and snowboarding in Russia, the town itself transformed gradually. It now is rapidly expanding with new cafes and hotels, catering for more and more tourists each year. The resort itself is developing quickly with new lifts being built every new season.
Sheregesh is the only place in Russia where one can find a lot of snow as early as November, which is why it attracts so many snowboarders from all over the country. The Russian snowboard team trains in this region, as well.
Now, a cryptozoological lightning rod has been added to the picture. You’ve been introduced here to the Roadside Yeti produced from fiberglass in America (seen below). Now there’s a Yeti sculpture afoot in Sheregesh.
Ranchita, California: The Ranchita Yeti
Russian sculptors have erected a monument to Yeti in Kuzbass, Western Siberia. The sculpture of a so-called “Bigfoot” or “Yeti” is presently standing at the entrance of the little Kuzbass village of Sheregesh. It is made of one massive old-growth cedar tree trunk, according to the Russian Life website, says MosNews.
The sculptors, inspirited by locals’ stories about the Yetis, have brought a touch of humor to the sculpture, as well. The seven and a half feet (two and a half meter) tall Yeti is holding a snowboard under his arm.
“Our Yeti looks like King Kong. He is shaggy and massive like the famous gorilla. But I’m sure that locals will not be scared of him, because our Yeti is very kind. He is our Giant Sportsman,” sculptor Andrei Lubchenko said.
As you know from reading Cryptomundo, recently, a scientific expedition set out to the mountains of Siberia to explore recent accounts of Bigfoot sightings. The expedition has so far been fruitless, mostly due to bad weather, and its organizers say they will return this summer.
“Our expedition visited Azasskaya Cave. Unfortunately, we did not find any direct evidence of a Bigfoot’s presence there. People are simply pouring in there now. If there had been any footprints there originally, they were destroyed,” hominologist and Yeti specialist Igor Burtsev said.
The sculpture correctly shows the coloring of the Siberian Yeti as brown, despite the mythical notion that Yetis are white. Still, there is something traditional-looking about the Roadside Yeti, isn’t there?
Another American Roadside Yeti, which use to sell for $4500 apiece on eBay three years ago, and now go for $6500 each, even with the worldwide recession on tap.
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Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.