The Snow Leopard
by Matthiessen, Peter
pub. by Bantam, NY. 1979 (the edition I had in hand was the 1981 Bantam Windstone edition - - (The book was originally published by Viking-Penguin in Aug. 1978)       Bantam ed. isbn 0-553-20651-6 - - Two Maps at the begining of the book - - Acknowledgments p. 333 - 334 - - Notes p. 335 - 341 - - Index p. 343-350 - - 350 p. total
This is the story of an expedition in late 1973 into western Nepal led by George Schaller and Peter Matthiessen. Schaller is described as the best field zooligist of the time. He was studying the Blue Sheep (locally called bharal) of that area which exhibited traits of both the genus of sheep (Ovis) as well as the genus of goats (Capra). In essence he was attempting to determine if the Blue Sheep were predominently one or the other (or perhaps some sort of link in evolution.)
Matthiessen was invited along. He was looking for the very rare and illusive Snow Leopard.
The book is divided into a Prologue, then sections Westward p.7 Sept 28 - P.69 Oct 9 - - Northward p.71 Oct 10 - p.185 Oct 31 At Chrystal Mountain in the region of Dolpo p.191 Nov 1- p.266 Nov 17 The Way Home p.267 Nov 18 - p.332 Dec. 1 - Acknnowledgements.

Matthiessen gives his book a prologue and a few pages at the end which gives a satisfying end.
Most of the book reads like a travel diary. Each day has its own section of a few pages. Most days describe the events of the day and often reflections on other thoughts which may or may not be directly related to the expedition. this expedition is just a few months after the death of his wife (cancer with some lengthy hospital time). Every now and then psychological trauma from that enters the narrative. He also goes into lengthy explainations about his Buddhism and the religious experience(s) along the way. He also describes their findings with the Blue Sheep and Snow Leopard.

All in all, a very intersting book. As late 2016 George Schaller is still alive and working with in zoology. Peter Matthiessen died in April 5, 2014. - - I highly recommend reading the wikipedia article on him.
I recommend this book as a good read.
~ 2016-11-20 ~

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