Dyatlov Pass - The Two Why's and Answers for Both


Teodora Hadjiyska, co-author of the book, “1079–The Overwhelming Force of Dyatlov Pass,” said in 2018 on her dyatlovpass.com forum,

“That’s the problem with this case. Unless 12 jurors agree on something and even then it’s arbitrary. In Russia, the decision is made by judges, not jurors. We will never agree on anything. I am not saying it because I think I’m right and you are wrong, but because I don’t even know what ‘solving the case’ means anymore.”

My copy of Teddy’s book.

Photo of Teodora beside Dyatlov memorial, dyatlovpass dot com

Teddy, as she’s generally known, seems to have grown weary of the case, and who can blame her? Treks to Russia to interview the players, delving into archives, crafting a book, giving interviews herself, and baby-sitting forum dwellers… it’s enough to make anyone exhausted and jaded and lost in the miasma that is the Dyatlov Pass incident, when nine cross-country skiers lost their lives in a quest to reach Russia’s highest tourism honor in 1959.

And yet, the interest never wanes for us armchair travelers…

The questions that linger in that frosty February air for Teddy and for any pilgrims to Dyatlov Pass are;

Why did all nine hikers flee their tent?

Why do we still care?

What drives us, literally or figuratively, to make the days-long journey into this barren, frostbitten land of hurricane-force winds and driving snow?

Could it be the same impetus which drives people to obsess about the JFK assassination or the Manson Family murders? Do we have a visceral, psychological need to turn back time?

As we gaze out the sniper’s window at the Dealey Plaza, Dallas, 6th floor School Book Depository building onto Elm Street, do we shout down to President Kennedy, “Jack, duck! Tell Greer to gun the engine and get the hell out of Nut Country!

Or as we take a drive up Los Angeles’ Benedict Canyon, and look at the gates of the estate once addressed 10050 Cielo Drive, do we cup our hands, and holler, “Sharon, close and lock your screened-in dining-room window, and call the cops, now!

If it is that same emotional drive, then it must be what has us figuratively grabbing at Igor Dyatlov’s coat sleeve, and begging the group leader, “Igor, for God’s sakes, get the hell away from Kholat Syakhl and return to the safety at the Auspiya River to camp for the night. You can’t succeed if you don’t live!

But something tells me there’s more to our collective obsession about what I’ll coin as the Dyatlov Nine.

A great deal more.

Unlike the JFK or Tate-LaBianca deaths, normal people — those of us who were young once and felt invincible and did daring things in our university days — cannot liken our lives to great political leaders or beautiful movie stars, but we can readily picture ourselves taking on a quest through the great white north, cross-country skiing with friends along alpine vistas and amid pristine white swirling snow, feeling the biting nip on our red noses and cheeks, as we attempt to conquer nature, and our own primordial fears. There but for the grace of God go all of us who have ever thirsted for such adventure.

The photos of those faceless skiers fighting the driving snow become our faces, and we own their fate. And none of us, then or now, want to die a Dyatlov Pass death. And so, in fighting for answers for the two Why’s, we save ourselves by finding solutions that ended them.

One of the final photos of the hikers, taken February 1, 1959

When we view the horrific photos of their corpses, we see not their expressions frozen in time and disturbingly deformed, but our own. Their final moments of horror and hell on earth become our final moments. It is we who lie alone on that barren, windswept tundra, and no amount of crying for our parents will save us like no amount of crying saved them.

We know we are about to die.

We must do it in pain. And we must do it alone.

And for all of us — no matter our country, our politics or our culture — we know there can be no more pitiful end to such vibrant lives.

Our visceral need to reverse their course to Otorten, to save these poor souls, is simply a way of saving all of us who remain. Our need to eradicate this risk becomes all-consuming, and the only realistic control we have in this event is to solve the mystery, to give ourselves an out, a way to never end up walking in their footsteps. For each day that the Dyatlov mystery lives, and their ends are cemented in the unexplained, we are tortured along with them, asking ourselves, could such an end breathe for us, too? Such unanswered questions are often too much to bear. You either X out all the Dyatlov websites, shelve the books, turn off the videos, and push the event to the back of your mind, or you dig in, and you fight on, for a final solution that even Teddy has discovered may not completely arrest your disquieting thoughts.   

What I know for sure — and there’s very little to know for sure in this case — is that none of the players in this incident did anything wrong.

I’ll repeat that. No one in this horrid tale did anything wrong.

That point is often missed in this discussion. The fateful end of the Dyatlov Nine was a perfect storm of,

a)      what Mother Nature can do to you if you chose to dance in her backyard, and,

b)      what living under a secretive, blame-obsessed, and punishing autocracy can do to its citizens.

The USSR in the mid-20th century was a cloistered world, and its citizens well knew that if you accidentally made a mistake as a government worker, and you wanted to stay out of a Siberian gulag and not be tortured or killed, you covered up that accident and you stayed forever mum. In 1959 Russia, no good came from a “comrade” admitting fault and subjecting his co-workers and his family to unthinkable blame-game consequences.

Back then, the USSR was the world’s second most powerful country, eagerly vying for first place over the United States. Under Stalin, and even under Khrushchev’s Thaw and the mounting pressures of the Cold War, the country had to project an air of steadfast superiority in all things. Perfection of its ways and its people had to be the norm, whether vying for a Level III tourist rank in the taiga or working in the industrial heartland.

There was no political will or patience for human mistakes. If university hikers accidentally got in the way of geologists searching for uranium in the Northern Urals, and deaths were the result, that error in judgement could never be publicly admitted, else you ended up in an Ivdel gulag never to see the light of day again while your family, without a bread winner, could become homeless and starve. It was never that a Russian citizen didn’t want to be a responsible worker. To screw up on the job didn’t merely blacken your work record; it could become a matter of life and death. That oppressive kind of life was a constant juggle between civic responsibility and self-preservation. And therein lay the birth of the cover up and secrecy mentality — a deadly combination. So, when citizens needed help, those doors to help could quietly shut. The collective always superseded the individual.

In that diseased societal mix, the Dyatlov Pass Incident was surely to happen sooner or later.

Today in Russia, with the Iron Curtain more like a flimsy veil that with technology allows the world to peer over that veil, it is doubtful a similar fate would ever befall another trekking group. Word would leak out and the world would react, and social, political will would force autocrats like Putin to eventually do the right thing… or that’s what I hope would be the case, *cough* Navalny *cough*.  

Knowing this political backstory allows me to see more clearly the realistic possibilities of what actually occurred on the night of February 1, 1959. Of all the scenarios proffered in these last 62 years — and at last count the theories number as high as 75 — Igor Pavlov and Teddy Hadjiyska’s assertion outlined in their book, 1079, is the only one that fits. It’s the only realistic explanation of why all nine hikers freely chose to flee that tent despite threat of hypothermic death.

It’s rather ironic that countless online investigators entertain the weird and wonderful as the catalyst for this event but are quite mum on Teddy’s result. Her theory explains both the physical actions, natural occurrences and motivations of all the players during the days leading up and after that fateful night. Innocent actions on the part of both the hikers and the nearby geologists had them inadvertently cross paths that sparked an unforeseen, singular, and destructive force that cost nine hikers their lives, and would have cost some geologist lives too, were it not for their quick thinking. The Dyatlov Pass Incident is a simple happenstance event where no action was intended to be diabolical.

·         Even if Igor had submitted a copy of his trek route to the UPI hiking club, doubtful the club would have thought to notify the government’s geologist miners.

·         Even if the miners knew Igor’s route traversed their own, doubtful they would have admitted said to the UPI hiking club.

·         Even if the miners wanted to move out of the area to let Igor’s group safely trek, doubtful the government would have authorized that move.

And it would have been a frosty Friday in the USSR before the government would publicize when or where they were exploring for uranium, as that, you can be assured, was classified as a state secret. Thanks to a lack of transparency, the left hand never knew what the right was up to. To my thinking, it was a miracle such a deadly confluence of events hadn’t happened well before the Dyatlov trek.

Secrets and lies, secrets and lies. The death knell of any society.


An aside: In my research for this article — reading transcripts, documents, articles, books, watching documentaries, and listening to interviews — Teddy’s theory is not talked about online at all, her own dyatlovpass dot com website and forum being the exception. Everything from a Yeti attack, to gun-wielding escapees, to mind-crazed winds are theories batted to and fro by wholly uninformed podcasters and You Tubers, who I gather more espouse content quantity over quality, eagerly spewing great heaps of misinformation, so much so I end up blushing from embarrassment for them. I won’t even dignify the Discovery Channel’s so-called documentary film on this incident with a lengthy dissection, other than to say that I’ve “discovered” said channel obviously now lives to spew shock & awe, freak-show tripe. In a word: disgusting. If any Russians today listen to and/or watch these shows, they must think the West is rife with ignorance, and who could blame them? A little more research due diligence over reverence for the almighty advertisement dollar could go a long way to clearing up the muddied waters in this case.


A serious investigator has to be skeptical about all assumed facts in any case. So, it’s utterly shocking to me how armchair sleuths calmly accept that the tent was erected where it was found. Why obsessively rip apart the minutia factoids but never question the obvious? Igor Pavlov was smart enough to realize this, and Teddy saw the light, too. For me, the moment I heard Teddy being interviewed about their results on a Vancouver radio station, the lightbulb inside my head blinked on, and stayed on. It was the same ah-ha moment I had in the Maura Murray missing case when sleuths kept assuming Butch Atwood told the truth about Maura’s last known moments.

Following red herring clues down bottomless rabbit holes while ignoring evidence right in front of your face seems to be the hallmark error of amateur sleuths. It’s the difference between letting the evidence guide the investigation instead of the investigation guiding the evidence.

In the Dyatlov Pass Incident, all one needs to ask is,

If in 1959 Russian officials favored cover-up over transparency and subsequent punishment for worker error, why assume all the facts as originally presented are correct?

Yes, it’s true. Igor Dyatlov did indeed want to push the envelope as per their achievements on the trek, but why would he elevate the risk before the group had even succeeded in reaching Mt. Otorten? If Igor wanted to document greater feats like tenting in riskier locales, why not do so after the main goal was achieved? To go to such extremes could risk the loss of their Level III tourism status and forever tarnish their sporting reputations. I cannot believe any of the nine would have voted for that by agreeing to camp on that exposed slope. 

As the day of February 1, 1959 wore on, Igor and the others skied through worsening weather, with wind gusts reaching Category 1 hurricane speeds on the slope near summit 1079. Only the day before, the group was forced to patch countless holes in the aged and weather-beaten tent. They knew the tent had seen better days. And knowing that, why would they risk their only means of shelter, and survival, to such battering winds when,

a) a treeline was within sight?

b) you’ve got another 10kms to even reach the half way point of your trek?

Igor may have been a driven soul, but I don’t think he was stupid. He had surely read UPI’s most popular trekking tourism book, “On the Road of Trial” where it clearly states that to camp on bare rock is dangerous and near impossible.  

Fact No. 1, the only fact you need to know:

The Dyatlov tent was never pitched on that barren slope. The authors of 1079 are absolutely correct.

The tent was pitched a mile down from the slope, in the tree line, at or near the large cedar tree. The group probably decided that was the only safe thing to do after they fought to complete the dig of the labaz (returning supplies cache). They realized the difference in protection between the tree line and the barren landscape. The risk to the tent’s further destruction in those fierce winds, and thereby risking their own survival, would have made the decision obvious as to where to pitch the tent. Without one word of debate, I suspect, all nine trekkers turned their skies downward towards protection.

Once settled on a space inside the tree line, the nine would have got right to work, divvying up the camp site chores. My imagined scenario:

·         Igor, Kolevatov, and Sasha erect the tent.

·         Zina and Doroshenko assemble the stove, as according to their made up newsletter, The Evening Otorten No. 1, those two held the assembly record.

·         Lyuda, Tibo and Georgiy gathered firewood for a camp fire and the tent stove, with Georgiy climbing the cedar to chop off some thicker, dry cedar limbs. We know somebody climbed and cut, as bark held skin remnants and limbs are seen cut.

·         Rustik starts the camp fire, but try as he might, the wind gusts keep putting out the fire before it has a chance to build a decent amount of embers, so after an hour or two of fighting, the group decides to let the fire go out, forgoing a hot meal in favor of cold plate leftovers of salo — slices of cured pork belly fat — and crackers inside the tent. The carafe of water and cocoa Lyuda prepared sat abandoned near the camp fire, mixed but cold and untouched, that in the sub-zero temps would soon freeze.

·         Per Igor’s orders, boots are lined up in the corner of the tent and packs and coats blanket the floor.

·         All nine lay side by side in various positions on either side of the tent stove, the tent and the stove heat the only two barriers between life and death for that group on that night.

·         Sometime between 7:30 and 8:30pm on February 1st, “the event” occurred that would test their survival in the dead of night. Sunset was at 4:58pm and twilight was at 5:52pm. I base the event time on the watches recovered from the site. Author, Donnie Eichar of Dead Mountain puts the event at 9pm (Ch. 28 book, Dead Mountain). See my detail list (below) on the watch evidence cited on dyatlovpass dot com.

The Event > a massive and completely rock-hard frozen tree limb breaks free and crashes down onto the nine hikers as they lay inside the tent.

This is the only unexpected, instantaneous, rational, reasonable, and natural happening that could,

·         cause severe physical injury and/or immediate threat of death,

·         force the hikers out of the tent in various stages of undress,

·         in -30 C degree temps and hurricane-force winds,

·         in the dead of a moonless night.

The event itself was natural. The ensuing cover up and extreme theories propagated thereafter have been anything but.

I don’t need to be told twice about how rock-solid trees become when frozen. I accidentally skidded into a trunk while downhill skiing one year, and even though I was able to slow my speed enough to only body check the trunk with my right upper leg, I was left with a 3-foot long black and bloodied bruise for months. I venture to say that a frozen tree is as lethal as smashing into concrete, and one that falls from a great height onto prone bodies would produce lethal results.

Although I do not to pretend to present here the detailed and thoroughly comprehensive thesis put forth by the authors of 1079, this is my gist of that event which ultimately led to the deaths of the Dyatlov Nine:

What started this whole disaster ball rolling was geologist miners conducting an airborne survey in the southern reaches of Mount Otorten to detect magnetic anomalies in the search for uranium deposits. The geologists looked for ground rich in chlopinite, a pitch black mineral containing uranium. In 1950s Russia, to conduct such surveys, geologist used 5kg antimagnetic, anti-tank blasts which explode in mid-air, often just above tree top level, burning the tops of trees (pgs. 276/77, book 1079).

February 1, 1959 was a Sunday, and such work was often done on the weekends. Sappers, as those geologist miners were called, who worked under the direction of Shapovalov, had past, repeated negligent deaths from such blasting (pgs. 287/89, book 1079). Neither group — the Dyatlov Nine nor the sappers — knew the other group was in that area. The reverberations for such blast mining could very well have dislodged or dislocated weakened, rotting or dead tree limbs. Igor and Teddy believe, as I do, that as the trekkers reclined in the tent, a large limb broke free, severely damaging and trapping the tent and the items therein, causing varying degrees of injuries in all nine hikers.

Doroshenko and Krivonischenko died first because of stove burns and fatal cranial injuries. They were probably unconscious, very near death, when dragged out of the tent by the others, and in the body shock and frigid cold, their systems began to quickly fail. In shock and grief, but unable to move the tree limb to grab their coats or boots, the survivors were forced to remove the dead men’s’ clothing to have a chance at survival themselves. I could envision Igor being the pragmatic one, ordering the clothing removal. Everyone would have been in a state of shock and hysteria, and crying.

I believe Igor kept his head that night, and made a plan. Zina, Rustik and he would head together up the slope to reach the labaz, the supply cache, in the hopes of retrieving an emergency medicine box they had stored there (pg. 127, book 1079). Or, they were headed toward the summit to erect some sort of mayday sign, as Kolevatov had seen planes flying overhead on the previous days. But in the swirling wind and snow, all three wandered off course and became separated, and in the frigid temps and body shock, they soon succumbed to the elements, and collapsed in the snow at varying degrees of distance up the slope.

I suspect the labaz was actually buried where the rescuers later found the tent. As they had brought cardboard on the trip — what hikers used for a buried and not tree-hung labaz — it was obvious Igor had always planned to bury the cache (pgs. 309, 318, book 1079). All the geologists had to do to re-stage the scene was swap out the labaz for the tent. That explains the calm, unhurried snow tracks along the slope and the oddly placed and undisturbed items in and around the slope-pitched tent. The downed tree limb they merely chopped up and removed. And as for any extra boot prints, the re-stagers could have brushed them away and let the winds and the snow take care of the rest in the 21 days they had from the time of re-staging to the slope tent discovery.

One of the four last survivors — Lyuda is my guess, as she may have been the one to melt the snow for the cocoa or walk down to the creek to break a hole to fetch water — knew that the ravine was more sheltered from the wind, so when Igor, Zina and Rustik didn’t return, the final four headed in that direction and managed to construct a den of pine boughs and pieces of clothing, but something took them away from that den. I doubt we will ever know what caused that departure, but it may have been Lyuda’s worsening condition, as the medical examiner stated in the autopsy report that she probably only had 20 minutes to live due to a cracked rib penetrating her heart. Tibo, Sasha and Kolevatov maybe knew the only hope to save Lyuda was to return to the tree line camp site and retrieve their skis and attempt to ski out and seek help. But when those three didn’t return to the den, Lyuda attempted to find them, and she headed in the same direction. The three men, first, then Lyuda, accidentally fell through a snow-covered patch over the 24-foot deep ravine, and all four were buried alive under hundreds of pounds of snow. Such hidden dangers were known by the locals to exist. Between their previous injuries, the cold and no breathable air, all four quickly succumbed. I believe the reason Lyuda’s body was askew from the three men was because she fell separately, after the men, but with many of their actions that night, I doubt we will ever know for sure.

I also don’t believe we will ever know who of the nine was the last to die. Although it logically looks like it should have been one of the ravine four, my spidey sense whispers it was Zina. I can’t say definitely why I think this is, and of course I have no proof. But that thought haunts me to this day. Maybe it’s my feeling that of all nine, Zina was like a mother figure in the group, a supreme fighter and defender of all whom she loved. That mother bear personality comes across in her words and deeds, and in the photographs. I think her big heart is what touched the children at the District 41 School where the group agreed to give a talk in exchange for shelter. After all, it was Zina who crawled the farthest up the slope. I believe that in her fight to reach the labaz she was only thinking of the medical kit to save her friends’ lives, so, thankfully, I don’t believe she realized she was the last to die. I think Zina thought Igor and Rustik were right behind her as she bent her knee for that final time, and collapsed unconscious in the snow. If that was her end, and it was quick, there is God’s grace in that end. I refuse to think otherwise, for that lovely soul I would have given anything to befriend.

It’s our need to pray for a quick release from their terror and pain that us gripping so tightly to this tale. None of us want to walk their walk, be blinded by that stormy black night, feel the numbness creeping into our limbs, and be the last to die, leaving all we’ve ever known and all we’ve ever loved. We need to make sense out of Mother Nature’s nonsensical, so that it may never happen again.

Sadly, I think Igor Dyatlov died more out of guilt than from the cold. Igor had a big heart and a pride and passion to do things just right, so any mishap under his leadership he would carry on his shoulders, and he would blame himself. Igor collapsed, losing all physical ability to walk on, and looking skyward, his arm hugging the tiny birch bough, he may have whispered, God, why? Why us? Why now? What did I do wrong? And maybe as he took his final breath, and his mind faded to black, God gave him the answers, and he rested still. Igor, it was not your fault. You were a great guy and a fantastic leader. You did everything right. And we who remain salute you and wish you everlasting peace. Your countrymen and group members love you to this day.

The grizzly ends of the bodies of Lyuda, Tibo, Kolevatov and Sasha, beyond their severe injuries from the fallen tree limb, were merely due to natural body decomposition, animal predation and microorganism decay. There is nothing sinister in the missing eyes or tongue. Soft tissues will always decay or be eaten first. Those four were buried in melting snow and rushing water until May 5th. That’s three months and four days after the event. To not see such body decay after that amount of time, with flesh exposed to the elements, is unthinkable.

Simply said, there is no other-worldly or sinister “there” there in any of these nine deaths. The sooner people see this, the better for the Dyatlov Nine resting souls.

The excellent tree limb fall and injury comparison diagram on page 339 of the book, 1079, shows how the group could have been lying in the tent when a limb collapsed onto their bodies. On page 341, a forensic department head agreed that the injuries correspond to this scenario. The four with the most severe wounds could have been laying closest to the heaviest part of the tree limb.

Experts stated that the hikers would have been unconscious or dead within 30 minutes with the -30 C degree (-40 wind chill) temperature, where hypothermia/frostbite would set in from 5 to 10 minutes (pg. 342, book 1079). And as soon as the adrenaline wore off, the pain and cold would have been severely felt, body shock gravely affecting their internal organ function. By that estimation, that would make all nine hikers dead well before the waning crescent moon rise at 3 a.m. (Ch. 28 Dead Mountain). At 9:30 a.m., helicopter pilots reported, “… strange objects had been spotted from a flight over the Main Ural Ridge south of Mount Otorten. They looked like human bodies.” (pgs. 279/80, 342, book 1079)

It’s my belief officials spotted the dead Dyatlov Nine well before the group was considered missing and well before the official search ever began. That might explain certain documents that have been uncovered and were dated February 6th.

Photo dyatlovpass dot com


B. J. Thompson’s Dyatlov Pass Incident Details

As the online world has to one degree or another made errors in presenting the details in this case, below, in alphabetical order, are some of the more crucial points, with attributions provided where possible.

·         Alcohol–Many online commenters state the hikers had been drinking. Autopsy tests showed NO alcohol found in their systems (dyatlovpass dot com–autopsy reports). The medicinal amount of vodka found in the tent was drunk by the rescuers on the night of February 26th after they found the tent. “We shared [the vodka] out between us—there were 11 of us, including the guides,” Sharavin recalled. “We were about to drink it when one guy turned to me and said, ‘Best not drink to their health, but to their eternal peace.’” (BBC News’s Lucy Ash interview of Mikhail Sharavin, 2019)

·         Avalanche–slope angle from top to tent = 16 degrees, far under the needed 25-30 degrees for an avalanche angle (Ch. 24 Dead Mountain). Skis used as tent poles on the slope stood completely straight, as did the ice axe, and yet we are to believe there was a snow slab that buried the hikers in the tent. There was no snow tear line up the slope as evidence of a rupture, and no gathering of snow and/or a debris field below the tent. Items inside the tent, like a row of boots, a carafe of frozen water and cocoa, and laid out food of salo and crackers were sitting upright and undisturbed. Impossible after an avalanche.

·         “Blood” in Lyuda’s Stomach–The stomach contains up to 100 cm3 of dark brown mucosal mass.” Often misquoted as coagulated blood. The cause of death is stated as hemorrhage into right atrium of the heart, multiple fractured ribs and internal bleeding.” The dark brown mass in the stomach is not recorded as blood and therefore was not a result of her missing tongue. (Autopsy report of Dubinina–dyatlovpass dot com)

·         Boots/Socks Not Worn-my guess is that the grouped footwear was trapped under the heaviest part of the fallen tree limb, so they were unable to retrieve those items.

·         Carafe of Cocoa–where did the water come from if not from melted snow over a fire or scooped from the ravine creek? They wouldn’t have used all their hiking water for a drink they’d never touch. Nobody in the group would have made the cocoa drink if they couldn’t heat it on their disassembled stove or their non-existent slope camp fire. Proof, yet again, that the campsite was in the tree line.

·         Carbon Monoxide Poisoning–the stove was found not assembled in the slope tent; therefore no ability for CO poisoning. When the stove was assembled, exhaust pipe used every time. There had been no problem reported with Igor’s stove on the previous nights. The many holes in the tent and the fierce winds would have had any CO accumulation seep out of the tent.

·         Cedar Climb-I believe one of the hikers climbed to gather more firewood or branches for ground protection/warmth, possibly wanting to make a lean-to to provide shelter from the cold when the tree fall ruined the tent. All evidence of said would have been removed by re-stagers of the scene. No one climbed the cedar to see the slope, as the winds and nightfall would have made viewing anything past a few feet impossible.

·         Darkened Skin of Dyatlov Nine–UV rays from sunlight and/or cloud cover, 0% humidity, and elevation contributed to the darkened look, the skin being partially mummified. (Ch. 26, Dead Mountain)

·         Fight/Confrontation–No lacerations consistent with a fight between the hikers or outsiders. No ground blood splatter. No footprints seen anywhere in that area that displayed a skirmish of any kind. No recorded evidence of any severe hiker discord. No motivation for any outsider to attack hikers.

·         Government-wide Cover-up–In the 60 years before the ‘90s Glasnost, no one in the government ever tried to destroy the investigation file. If the Russian authorities wanted the hikers dead and the file gone, they would have disappeared long before any search began. No bodies would have ever been discovered.

·         Hurricane at the Pass - on the night of February 1, winds were 25-35 meters/second, recorded at Ivdel meteorological station. 35 meter/sec = 78.3 mph, which equals a Category 1 hurricane between 74-95 mph. Yet another reason why it would have been physically impossible to pitch that 80 square foot tent on that slope (pg. 333, book 1079 and online wind speed calculator). Also, a tent riddled with so many holes, group mended or not, would have ripped apart in the force. Igor’s clothing would have been whipped down the slope and not found next to the tent, as well as the Made in China flashlight found sitting on top of the tent with snow below seen below it.

·         Ice Ax Comparison Photos–No proof that both photos were taken at the same site. Hiker (bottom) photo could be of the labaz (cache) dig/prep. Ice ax could have always been placed in the same position whenever they prepped a site, as Igor’s group was very methodical in their work. The ice ax placement could also be proof that the tent recovery site was the original labaz site. (photo comparisons from Theories–dyatlovpass dot com)

Photos dyatlovpass dot com

 ·       Infrasound/Karman Vortex Street–summit’s dome shape/hurricane-force winds could create said (Boot Rock is too jagged a shape), but not affect all nine hikers to the same degree, to flee their only shelter without at least their boots, nor would it cause the severe injuries. Experienced hikers would have studied the phenomena and would have known how to react. No need to cut the tent to escape. Also, no signs of vomit on snow from vertigo/inner ear disturbances. Rescuers who stayed up at the Pass for close to 3 months never reported any such sound/wind affects.

·         Katabatic Winds–Made in China flashlight wouldn’t have remained lying on top of the tent if such fierce downdraft winds had occurred. Proof that Igor, Zina, and Rustik would have never attempted to climb back up the slope against those winds.

·         Krivonischenko Knife (Den)-Krivonischenko’s knife was found close to the bodies, it was used to cut off branches of young fir trees.” Confusion between what was found, merely the knife sheaf or the knife. If knife ended up missing, it was probably taken by one of the re-stagers or rescuers. Times were tough in ’59, and if the knife was considered valuable, it could have been swiped. (The Den–dyatlovpass dot com)

·         Mansi Mountain Names–Mt. Otorten = Mountain of Swirling Winds, not Don’t Go There (media hype), Kholat Syakhl = Barren Mountain, not Dead Mountain.

·         Mansi Tribe as Murderers–Historically, a peaceful people, and no recorded history of the group ever attacking outsiders. By 1959, Mansi members said they rarely ventured to sacred sites to pray, and Kholat Syakhl, aka Height 1079, had never been a sacred site.

·         Missing Hikers Eyes, Lips, and Tongue of Lyuda, Sasha and Tibo-as previously mentioned, soft tissue erosion in melting snow/rushing water by microorganisms, animal predation and environmental factors after 3 months of exposure.

·         Mystery Photos - Krivonischenko Frame 34–at Teddy’s dyatlovpass dot com forum, she states, “technological shot made in the photo lab before the film was taken out of the camera.” Zolotaryov Photos–“Damaged film from the camera found on Zolotaryov's body.” (dyatlovpass dot com) Damage occurred while camera was submerged in melting snow/creek water.  

·         Radiated Clothing–only 3 pieces of clothing were affected, belonging to Kolevatov and Georgiy (Lyuda wore Georgiy’s sweater after he died). Kolevatov worked at the Institute of Special metals, NII-9, in the extraction of metallic plutonium (pg. 32, book 1079). Georgiy worked at the combine industrial plant No.817, aka Mayak, that in 1957 suffered the world’s 3rd worst nuclear disaster. The decay measurements had to be 50 to 100x greater to be dangerous. (pg. 266, book 1079 and Ch. 26 Dead Mountain)

·         Ravine Fall Explaining Severe Injuries–at the time of their deaths, the snow level would have been far deeper than the 15 or so feet the rescuers found on May 5th when the bodies of Lyuda, Sasha, Kolevatov and Tibo were discovered. There’s every chance that when the four tumbled into the 24-foot deep ravine, the stream’s jagged rocks and stones were not exposed as they were in May, and they simply fell onto snow and died of their tree limb injuries and asphyxiation, never sustaining any falling injuries. I disagree with Eichar on this rock ravine injury scenario. (Ch. 26 Dead Mountain)

·         Snow Tracks–these were not the tracks of the Dyatlov Nine. These were likely the calm, measured sapper/military re-staging tracks made when they swapped the tent and labaz sites (possibly why a military boot strap was found near the camp fire/cedar tree site), proving why no running/fleeing tracks were seen. “’Six pairs of footprints [were going] from the tent to the ravine; to the left from them, in about 20 meters, there were two more pairs of footprints.’ In fact, those were not the eight pairs of footprints going down the slope, but the tracks of an ascent and descent of four people.” The odd shapes of some of the tracks were caused by wind erosion, drifting, and melting snow. Contrary to what’s been inferred, no tracks showed bare foot or sock impressions. (pgs. 311, 319-20, book Dead Mountain)

·         Tent Locale–The most popular UPI trekker book in 1959 was the 1958 published, “On the Road of Trial.” It clearly states that to camp on bare rock is dangerous and near impossible. There’s no doubt Igor read this book and knew better. (pgs. 272/3, 303-5, book 1079)

·         Tent Cut on One Side-my guess is the fallen tree limb blocked the other sides, and it was only the one side with which they were able to cut and break free.

·         Tent Stove–where the tent was found on the slope, the stove was placed in the middle of the tent, slip covered, the pipes sitting inside, unassembled. Why? Because on the slope, there were no lateral ridgepoles on which to affix the pipe. So why place the stove in the tent at all? There is no way, at those temperatures and wind chill, that Igor would not have assembled the stove. Proof again that the tent was never erected on the slope. (pgs. 310/11, book 1079)

·         UFO’s/Aliens–Never happened. Nothing to see here, folks, move right along.

·         Urination Snow Stain–How do we know it was from one of the hikers and not from someone after the fact — geologists/military re-staging the scene? And even if stain was hiker made, it could have been done when they buried their labaz on the slope, and not the tent. No proof tent was erected there.

·         Watches–“Dyatlov was found with a Zvezda on his left hand showing 5:31.” “Thibeaux-Brignolle was found wearing two wrist watches on his left hand, a Pobeda showing 9:38 or 8:38 and the Zportivnye showing 9:15 or 8:15.” Frozen watch tests at that temperature freeze from 8 to 25 minutes due to lubricant/ condensation freezing, stopping the mechanism. (Watches In The Dyatlov Group, dyatlovpass dot com) This says to me that the event occurred earlier than 9pm.

·         Weapons Testing/Fire Orbs–Eyewitnesses only report said on February 17/18 and March 31st, not on February 1/2. The only documented rocket tests were 1,200 miles away. There is no direct causal link between said and the hikers’ injuries/deaths. (Ch. 17, book 1079)

·         Yeti/Predator Attack–no animal paw prints, no bite marks, no blood splatter, no tearing of limbs or clawing lacerations, and no fur or hair tufts found on the snow.

·         “Yeti” Photo Comparison–the photo before the “Yeti” photo is of Tibo in the same coat and hood. They were fooling around and snapshots of Tibo were taken. The hikers even allude to the joke in at least one diary entry and in their made up Evening Otorten No. 1 newsletter. The “Yeti” image is blurry because the Zorkiy camera lens accidentally focused on the foreground tree instead of Tibo in the background. 

Photos dyatlovpass dot com

 Yuri Yudin Leaving–he suffered from rheumatism, sciatic nerve, back and knee pain, which undoubtedly was exacerbated by that final truck bed trip to the District 41 logging camp, as the truck had no hydraulic shocks to cushion the ride over the rutted roadway. It would have been by sheer force of will that he managed to ski out the 15 kms back to Vizhay. Pain was the only reason he abandoned the hike.

·         Zinc-lined Coffins–merely a bio-hazard deterrent. I don’t blame the helicopter pilot for insisting, as at that point in the recovery, no one knew the group’s cause of death.


It must have been difficult for Georgiy to abandon his cherished mandolin in the labaz on the morning of February 1. He and the others knew that from that point on, the fun and games would have to be stilled for the serious trek ahead. They, of course, had no doubts they would succeed. They were very skilled and experienced, heavily prepared and supplied. They skied off into the powder grey distance, assured of their fate.

That’s what makes their ends so difficult to accept. We need for them to succeed. This is not about countries or politics or even about sporting badges or reputations. It’s about young people the world over relating to this group, knowing in our hearts we all could have been such good friends, and done the very same. Through our tireless examination of the facts, each one of us has fallen in love with Igor, Zina, Georgiy, Kolevatov, Lyuda, Tibo, Rustik, Doroshenko, Sasha, and Yuri Yudin, too.

Maybe that’s what Sasha meant when he said the whole world would know about their trek. We do, indeed, Sasha, but our awe for the group isn’t about your quest. It’s always been about falling in love with you wonderful souls, thanks to your diaries and letters and your fantastic photographs. You made us love you.

In my mind, as I figuratively retrace their ski tracks, smell the clear alpine air and let it fill my lungs, I glance up and watch the snow fall from the pine boughs and let the crystal flakes prick at my rosy cheeks, Mingled among the whistling winds, I hear the warm strains of Georgiy’s mandolin playing a tune from the movie, Symphonie in Gold, and nine voices gleefully sing along. I hear laughing and shouts of glee and the clapping of happy hands, and Georgiy takes a bow, blushes and laughs, too. In this land of snow and ice, I feel no cold, for thanks to the Dyatlov Nine, the Auspiya river valley all the way up Dyatlov Pass holds an ethereal and everlasting warmth, the unforgiving landscape having been graced with their presence. The biting cold and the driving winds may remain, but where fear once reigned, only love grows now. In our universal caring, we have all figuratively reignited their campfire flame, and in so doing all nine hikers look up at us, and smile. They are no longer alone on Dyatlov Pass. We all live there now.

Blow Snow, a poem by B. J. Thompson

Blow snow, blow, snow blow,

The wind, a fearsome growl,

A crack,

A fall,

The trunk maims us all,

And no one hears us howl.


Blow snow, blow, snow blow,

Our breath, it’s all but done,

Our movement, no limbs,

Our eyesight grows dim,

Our hopes and dreams are none.


Blow snow, blow, snow blow,

The driving crystals are near,

Our zeal for this quest,

Oh, Lord, we failed the test,

In fetching, wrenching posits, we fear.


Blow snow, blow, snow blow,

Our corpse rescue is nigh,

Yet dead, we can’t speak,

No more can we twig,

To the ghastly ends, we did spy.


Blow mighty winds, do blow,

Across this frozen land,

Where we once stood,

And we gave but good,

Yet unto God, we gave our hand.


Blow mighty winds, ever blow,

Over 60 long years, they still growl,

Frozen tears, no more shed,

Frozen fear, no more dread,

For our hurt, The Lord has swallowed.


Blow death’s breath, do go,

For our love has conquered our pyre,

Our hikers’ hearts,

They sing as larks,

Your remembrance, our everlasting fire.