The cover shows the Abominable Snowman on the streets of Pasadena having ripped out a lamp post.
As the book opens, the reader is introduced to two siblings, Jordan Blake and Nicole Blake. Both of them are sweltering away in the Pasadena, California heat. Jordan is a prankster and he shows this, by replacing his photographer father's latest film roll of bears with a roll of film featuring teddy bears. Nicole helpfully establishes herself as a Know-It-All. The reader is introduced to a handful of neighborhood children. There is Lauren Sax, who lives next door. There are the horrible Miller Twins, Kyle and Kara, two thirteen-year-old children with red hair. Jordan's father gets a notice that he is wanted in Alaska to take photographs of a mysterious creature. The reason is that locals have been spotting: the Abominable Snowman! And since he can't get a babysitter, he is taking his two children with him! Jordan and Nicole are very excited about this, because they have never seen snow and now they finally will.
The family arrives in Alaska and sure enough, there is a lot of snow in Alaska. They meet their sledsman, Arthur. But Arthur is a gruff fellow and he is very angry that the father brought his children with him. To Arthur, the threat of the Abominable Snowman is very real. Arthur tells the family several horror stories about various people and animals, who were slaughtered by the creature.
Arthur introduces the family to his sled dogs. He names all of them including Lars, who is Nicole's favorite. He and the father also go over the inventory of items the dogs are dragging, such as a large empty cooler and emergency supplies with enough food to last several days.
The group begins their trek through the snowy wilderness towards a scientific outpost. On the way to a musher's cabin, which will serve as a rest stop midway, Jordan falls in a hidden 20-feet deep crevice. He is swiftly rescued, but Arthur, the guide, is very upset about this. Arthur again tells the father that the group should head back, that the threat is very real, and that the children should not be exposed to the danger.
The group makes it to the cabin and they unload their sleeping bags and so forth inside. Jordan's father chastises him for trying to leave the cabin without his emergency supply backpack and stresses that he should never leave the cabin without it.
The next morning, everyone awakes to find giant footprints outside the cabin. The Abominable Snowman! Arthur insists that the group should head back to town. Jordan starts laughing and reveals that he made the footprints, while everyone was asleep. The group heads out towards the outpost. They see a herd of wild elk running in formation towards the outpost, then suddenly stopping in unison and heading back. Arthur sees this as a sign that the Abominable Snowman is close and insists that the group head back. When the father declines, Arthur takes the dogs and heads back to the cabin anyways. The family follows him back to the cabin. They all sort of mill around a bit. Jordan sees a frozen stream and tells his father about it. He tells Jordan and Nicole to stay put, while he heads out to photograph ice. The dogs start to stir around and bark, so Arthur goes out to comfort them. The two children get tired of hanging around the cabin and decide to head out to make a snowman. When they exit, they see Arthur stealing the sled and all the dogs [but not Lars for some reason]. They try to stop him, but he simply heads back towards town without even looking back. The two children chase him for a while, but when they stop, they realize they have no idea where they are.
A blizzard forms out of nowhere and stops the children from following their tracks back to the cabin. Then they fall into another giant hole in the ground. The two try to get out of the hole by screaming, which starts an avalanche and fills in the hole. This forces the children into a cave that was connected to the hole into which they fell. The two children see a light at the end of the cave. They go to investigate. They stumble into a small lair within the cave. The snow from the avalanche fills in the passageway, trapping them inside the lair. In the corner of the lair: the Abominable Snowman, frozen in a giant block of ice. The giant ice block breaks open, exposing a very alive Abominable Snowman, a big ape like creature with long sharp claws and scary carnivorous teeth. The Abominable Snowman walks over to Nicole, grabs her by the backpack, slices open her backpack, and eats the trail mix inside. The Snowman then turns to Jordan, who quickly removes the trail mix from his own backpack and feeds it to the angry creature. This turns out to be the only food inside the emergency backpack. The creature swipes up the two children and carries them under his arm, as he climbs up the cave wall and up into the outside. Once outside, the creature hears Lars barking and drops the children on the ground, as he scampers away. The children can see the cabin and they run towards it. Once inside, they hear sounds outside the cabin and figure the monster has followed them. They hide behind the stove and the figure enters the cabin: it is their father!
The father has no idea what has just happened. The children fill him in on Arthur abandoning them, then on the Abominable Snowman. He is very excited upon hearing this and insists that the children should show him the lair of the horrible snow creature. He drags them into the cave, ignoring Jordan's argument that there is a murdering monster inside. The family discovers the Abominable Snowman encased in another solid block of ice. Jordan's father has a brilliant idea. He can't just take photographs of the creature, when he can just take it back to California with him. He takes the empty cooler he had been carrying around for no reason and the giant creature fits perfectly into the trunk. The father enlists the help of Lars the dog to drag the trunk out of the cave.
The children sneak four snowballs from the cave into the cooler, thinking it would be fun to throw snowballs at the neighborhood children, when they get back to California. When the family makes it back to the cabin, they discover that Arthur has taken the emergency radio. Then they find it in the father’s sleeping bag. The children, their father, and Lars return to California.
Back in sunny California, the two children are sun tanning in the backyard. They tell their friend Lauren Sax that they have had plenty of cold weather! The father exits his darkroom, where the trunk with the creature is being stored. He has turned the air conditioning up in the darkroom to keep the ice block frozen. The father warns the children not to mess with the trunk. But when he heads to town, the children go mess with the trunk. They want to show Lauren their creature and once they open the trunk, he is still frozen in the ice block. The children take out a snowball and walk back into the backyard.
Nicole throws a snowball at Lauren, but he misses. When the snowball hits a palm tree, it is suddenly covered in snow. The snow falls onto the ground, causing the ground to suddenly be covered in snow, as far as the children can see. This is a pretty amazing thing, but Lauren seems pretty non-plussed about the occurrence. She nonchalantly picks up some of the snow and throws it at Nicole. Nicole is turned into a solid ice statue. Lauren and Jordan take her into the kitchen and set her in front of an open oven to defrost her.
When the oven does not work, they drag her to a furnace shed in the back yard. The furnace does not defrost her. Then Jordan remembers how warm the Abominable Snowman was, when he was carrying them. He runs into the kitchen and gets a bag of trail mix. The two carry Nicole into the darkroom. Jordan opens the trunk and waves the trail mix in front of the block of ice, until the creature smashes through the ice. The creature eats the trail mix and then sees Nicole. He picks her up and hugs her, until she melts back to normal.
The Abominable Snowman then escapes out of the darkroom, runs up to the snow-covered tree, and wraps himself around it, transferring all the snow to his body. Next he rolls around on the snow-covered ground, until all the snow is gone. The creature looks up at the sun and screams. Then he runs away into the California wilderness. The three children decide to bury the remaining snowballs somewhere safe so that no harm will come from them. They drop them in a garbage sack and bury them in an abandoned lot. When their father arrives home, the children explain what happened. At first, their father is disappointed. But he tells them that he still has the pictures of the creature, which will still be worth money. When he goes to develop the photographs, there's only snow. No pictures of the Abominable Snowman survived.
Jordan and Nicole notice the Miller twins yelling in the abandoned lot. To their horror, the Miller twins found and dug up the sack of snowballs. Jordan and Nicole try to stop them, but to no avail. One of the Miller children throws a snowball right at the other, as the book concludes.
The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena was first reprinted in September 2013. It received a second reprint in April 2015 as the twentieth book in the Classic Goosebumps series, and as a tie-in to the Goosebumps film.
The book was adapted into a Goosebumps Graphix story in September 2006. as the third and last story in Creepy Creatures. It was illustrated by Scott Morse. Morse changed the names of "Jordan Blake" and "Nicole Blake" to "Luis Garcia" and "Ana Garcia".
The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena is one of the few books in the original series to not receive a television adaptation for the Goosebumps TV series.
The Abominable Snowman appears as an antagonist in the Goosebumps film, and the manuscript of the book is seen on Stine's bookshelf. The original cover of the book is also featured in the end credits animation.
Cover art gallery
- Jordan and Nicole's father was mentioned by name in the book: Garrison Blake.
- In the Monster Survival Guide, their last name was misspelled, it was Black instead of Blake.