Dyatlov Pass Incident

Small Group Photo

From left, Lyudmila Dubinina, Rustem Slobodin, Alexander Zolotaryov and Zina Kolmogorova posing in early 1959

  • Igor Dyatlov (Игорь Дятлов), 23
  • Zinaida Kolmogorova (Зинаида Колмогорова), 22
  • Lyudmila Dubinina (Людмила Дубинина), 21
  • Alexander Kolevatov (Александр Колеватов), 25
  • Rustem Slobodin (Рустем Слободин), 23
  • Georgyi Krivonischenko (Георгий Кривонищенко), 24
  • Yuri Doroshenko (Юрий Дорошенко), 21
  • Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel (Николай Тибо-Бриньоль), 24
  • Alexander Zolotarev (Александр Золотарев), 37
  • Yuri Yudin (Юрий Юдин)

Those are the names of the members of the 1958-1959 Ural Polytechnical Institute Ski Team. On January 25, 1959, this group of ten Ski-Hikers would embark on a journey whose tragic end would forever remain a mystery. Only one of them, Yuri Yudin, would survive the trip due to an earlier illness.

If you haven’t heard of the Dyatlov Pass Incident before, the story is quite compelling. While modern forensics has been able to piece together some of the strangeness surrounding the incident, the details behind what happened on that cold, winter night in February 1959 still remain a mystery. The unanswered question is “Why would nine experienced cross-country ski-hikers quickly rip through their tent to run out into extremely frigid winter temperatures of −18°C (−1°F) at the risk of their own deaths?”

Much of the following information pertaining to the sequence of events has been reconstructed from the diaries and photographs taken by the ski-hikers. (My information has been chronicled from articles that have referenced these documents– see Sources at the end of the article.)

Yuri Yudin hugging Lyudmila Dublinina

Yuri Yudin hugging Lyudmila Dubinina as he prepares to leave the group due to illness, as Igor Dyatlov looks on

January 25, 1959, The group arrived by train at Ivdel (Ивдель), a city in the northern province of Sverdlovsk, Oblast. In the morning, they would travel by truck to Vizhay (Вижай), the last populated area this far to the north, where they would embark on the ski-hiking portion of the trip. Their carefully planned trip was to last no more than sixteen days. As soon as they returned to Vizhay (by February 12th), Igor Dyatlov was to telegraph the Ural Polytechnical Institute of their safe return.

The group begins the ski-hiking portion of the trip towards “Gora Otorten”. They make it through the first day without any issues. On the morning of January 28, 1959, team member Yuri Yudin falls ill and decides to head back to Vizhay (Вижай). He arrives safely while the rest of the group continues their journey. Two days later, the group of nine ski-hikers arrives at the end of the highland zone, a relatively low altitude area with thick shrubs. This is where they had planned on breaking away from the river. They spend the rest of the day preparing for the steep inclines to come the following day. Little did the group know, the following days would be the last they would ever see.

The distance to their next and final campsite would be approximately 2.5 miles away, through steep, forested terrain that would be thick with snow. At approximately 4pm, the group would set up their final camp on the exposed slope of Kholat-Syakhl, which translates to “Mountain of the Dead”. Their last meal would be at approximately 6pm-7pm. Following dinner, the group would turn in for the night.

Setting up Camp

Skiers setting up camp at about 5. p.m. on Feb. 2, 1959. Photo taken from a roll of film found at the camp

At some point, probably around midnight, all hell would break loose and the entire group of ski-hikers, many of them scantily clad, would tear through their tent and run pell-mell down the snowy slopes to their eventual deaths.

It would be twenty (20) days before anyone went looking for the members of the ski-group. Though they had missed their scheduled check-in date of February 12, it was common for such trips to result in delays, but by February 20, relatives of the ski-hikers insisted something was wrong.

Rescuers would work through the next five days with no luck. On February 25, the pilot of an airplane which was part of the search party spots the first sign of the group. The following day, February 26, the abandoned camp site is discovered. Snowy footsteps lead down the mountainous slopes toward a wooded area. They stretch for about 500 meters (~1,700 feet) before being buried in snow. Searchers continued to follow the direction of the footsteps and discover the remains of a fire and the bodies of Krivonischenko and Doroshenko, which are buried under snow beneath a large pine tree. They have no shoes on and are only wearing undergarments. The tree showed traces of human tissue and was missing branches up to a height of about 5 meters (16 feet) suggesting to rescuers that the group had climbed the tree and broke off branches to obtain firewood. Without gloves, their hands would have been rough and raw from these efforts.

Team leader Igor Dyatlov’s body is discovered 300 meters (~1,000 feet) from the fire. His body was found face up with his head pointed towards the tent. One hand was shielding his head and the other held a small birch tree branch.

Discovery of Tent

A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on Feb. 26, 1959. The tent had been cut open from inside, and most of the skiers had fled in socks or barefoot.

180 meters (~600 feet) from Dyatlov’s body, lay the remains of Rustem Slobodin. Although Slobodin’s skull had a 17 centimeter (~6.5 inch) fracture, his cause of death was hypothermia. He died face down in the snow, his body pointing towards the tent. Zinaida Kolmogorova’s body was discovered in the snow 150 meters (~500 feet) nearer to the tent. The snow was speckled with blood from an unknown source.

The first group of hikers, which were not buried very deeply in the snow, were found to have an unusually abnormal orange hue to their skin.

The second group of ski-hikers aren’t discovered until early May (May 4, 1959). The bodies of Lyudmila Dubinina, Alexander Zolotarev, Alexander Kolevatov and Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel were discovered, buried under 4 meters (13 feet) of snow, in a ravine located 23 meters (75 feet) from the large pine tree where it appears the whole group had tried to start a fire. The skull of Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel had been severely crushed. Dubinina had sustained a fracture of her rib cage which likely sped up her death by puncturing her heart. She would have only survived for 15-20 minutes after sustaining this injury. Her body was found to be missing a tongue and soft tissues of the mouth. She was also wearing Krivonischenko’s wool pants as shoes. Alexander Zolotarev also had broken ribs and was found wearing Dubinina’s faux-fur coat and hat. The clothing on the bodies of Dubinina and Zolotarev showed trace amounts of radiation.

Why would nine experienced ski-hikers leave their tent, scantily clad, in sub-freezing temperatures? How did they sustain their injuries? WHAT HAPPENED? These and many more questions keep the events at Dyatlov Pass a mystery, but forensic science has been able to answer some of those strange questions.

Why did the skin on the first five bodies look like a bad spray-on tan?
The first five bodies were found almost three weeks after the incident occurred. They were laying, relatively unburied in the snow and had been exposed to the sun for that long. The sun reflecting off the snow would have also helped account for the unnatural tan. The other bodies, which were buried under 4 meters (17 feet) of snow showed no signs of tanning.

What happened to Dubinina’s tongue? Why was it missing?
Dubinina was found in the second group in the ravine. Her body had been exposed to the elements for approximately three months and was probably discovered by scavenging animals. It is possible that the soft tissues in her mouth were devoured by one of these animals. The other possibility is her soft tissues had degraded though the activity of micro flora and fauna.

What caused the crushing damage to the ski-hikers who were found in the ravine?
The most obvious answer to this question would be the ravine itself. With weather conditions of low visibility and freezing temperatures, which had already begun to freeze the ski-hikers, it’s not surprising that they stumbled into a ravine. The fall would have been far enough to result in the fractured ribs and crushed skull.

“The slope of a ravine had a range of heights from 3 up to 5 m (10m or 17 ft) in the general area where the skiers were found. It had an incline or angle of approximately 30 to 40 degrees. The opposite slope of the ravine was flat. The width of the ravine was approximately 40 metres or 130 ft. It is quite possible that the injuries recorded could have been sustained by a “sudden” fall – especially given the fact that these people would have been tired and have had limited visibility.”

Quote from: http://www.aquiziam.com/dyatlov_pass_answers.html

What caused the fracture in Slobodin’s skull?
It’s been suggested that the fractured skull of Slobodin may have been caused from a fall from the pine tree which had been stripped of the lower branches 5 meters (16 feet) above ground level. A branch falling from the tree may have also knocked him in the head.

How did the trace radiation get on the clothing of Dubinina and Zolotarev?
Forensics has determined that the radiation originated from Dubinina’s clothing and was transferred to Zolotarev when he wore her coat and hat. So how did the trace radiation get on Dubinina’s clothing? The most logical postulation out there is that the radiation was from the mantles in a camping lantern, which Dubinina probably changed when they set up camp that night. The mantles, little fabric bags that act as a wick, contain thorium which emits alpha particle radiation. The mantles are fragile and it wouldn’t be difficult for them to crush into dust, which would then cling to an object such as a coat. They were invented in 1891, and typically used in many countries until they were phased out in 1990’s.

Why would someone run out into the cold without being properly clothed?
The most logical explanation for the lack of clothing on several members of the ski-team can be explained by exposure to the elements (hypothermia) and Paradoxical Undressing. When hypothermia sets in, the body draws heat into its core through vasoconstriction of your peripheral circulation– muscles in your limbs tighten, constricting blood vessels which causes less blood flow to your arms and legs and more in your torso. When the muscles constricting blood flow to the extremities tire, they begin to fatigue and relax, causing a warm rush of blood to flood from the warmer torso to the cooler arms and legs. This gives the impression of heat as the extremities begin to feel overly warm and the victim begins to remove clothing, causing their core temperature to fall even faster. It is not uncommon for hypothermia victims to resist warm clothing and blankets from rescuers who are trying to warm their bodies. Unfortunately, there have been no survivors of paradoxical undressing who saved themselves. In all cases, someone else had to intervene. One example would be a mountain climber from the 1996 Mt. Everest disaster who, suffering from hypoxia, removed his oxygen tank, stripped to his undergarments and nearly walked off the side of the mountain.

What happened that night?
As clear as forensics can tell, all the members of the ski team left the tent and ran down the snowy mountainous slopes to the big pine tree, where they regrouped. Knowing they needed to warm themselves, they started a fire under the large pine tree, which they stripped for firewood. Speculation about the cause of injuries and what happened after regrouping under the tree varies from account to account from this point on, though the sequence of deaths remains the same. In my version, when it becomes clear that the group needs supplies from the tent to survive, Slobodin climbs the tall cedar tree to get bearings on the location of the tent. While climbing the tree, he incurs a head injury from a branch, possibly from a fall from the tree. Three of the ski-hikers (Igor Dyatlov, Rustem Slobodin and Zinaida Kolmogorova) attempt to return to the tent to retrieve the supplies. They all eventually die from hypothermia. Back at the tree, two members of the group die from exposure and their clothes are divided between the remaining four ski-hikers. The remaining group of four decides to attempt to find better cover from the cold and wander deeper into the forest, where they fall into the ravine. Nicolas Thibeaux-Brignollel hits his head on a hard object, possibly a rock, and dies from his head wound. Lyudmila Dubinina breaks several ribs and where she eventually bleeds to death. Alexander Zolotarev expires shortly after Dubinina, taking her clothing in an attempt to warm himself. Alexander Kolevatov, alone, dies from hypothermia.

Why was the tent ripped from the inside-out?
Clearly the group was trying to get out of the tent quickly. Perhaps one of the members of the group, suffering from Hypothermia, became insensible and ran out of the tent causing the others to chase after him. Whatever the answer to this question one thing is certain, they were all in a big hurry to get out of the tent… and THAT is the real mystery– why would nine experienced skiers leave their tent in such a hurry only to find themselves in sub-zero temperatures with little to no clothing?

While there are still some people who cry conspiracy over this tragedy– some even adding strange things to the story like missing documents, unnatural grey hair or mysterious lights– the facts seem to point towards something more natural that caused the deaths of ten experienced cross-country skiers on a cold February night in the Ural Mountains. This “mystery” is on Cracked.com’s list of “6 Famous Unsolved Mysteries (With Really Obvious Solutions)“. I agree that the story of how they died is insanely obvious. What I’d love to know is WHY they died– what would cause them to leave their tent in such a hurry?

(Pending Addition) There’s a new theory out there in a book called “” by XX which gives a plausible reason for the skiers to leave their tent so quickly, and in great duress.(/pending addition)

I guess we’ll never know…

Sources:
* “Mysterious Deaths of 9 Skiers Still Unresolved”, The St. Petersburg Times, February 19, 2008 (Issue #1349).
By Svetlana Osadchuk

* http://www.aquiziam.com/dyatlov_pass_answers.html
* http://www.cracked.com/article_16671_6-famous-unsolved-mysteries-with-really-obvious-solutions.html
* http://skeptoid.com/episode.php?id=4108&comments=all
* http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/paradoxical-undressing

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15 thoughts on “Dyatlov Pass Incident

  1. umm… didnt they pre maturely age and there is a similar legend umong the manci people in the same aerea about how 9 people were seeking refuge from the great flood and they all died pretty much the same way but thank you so so so so so much you have helped me on my speech for com.app.lol and i love your explination.

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    • I have heard rumors that they prematurely have aged; And there are also rumors about lights in the sky… but as far as I know, those are just rumors. The aquiziam site, in the sources, states that “The report of the judicial Doctor (Coroner) actually records that the hair of the victims was all of natural colour.” Since that site has actually worked with the Russians to promote a better understanding of the event– I went with what they said on the aging, and that is that they all looked the right age (albeit slightly weathered from being outside for weeks/months).

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  2. Esta dificil a ciencia cierta que es lo que en realidad, le paso a dichos esquiadores, pero yo siempre me inclino a pensar, que ellos no estaban ni en la hora, ni en el sitio equivocado, ellos ivan a investigar las luces que ya con anterioridad alguien las habia visto, esto se sabe por las anotaciones de Igor (pajaro carpintero)dytlov, lider del grupo tenia en su diario. insisto, no creo en la teoria de extraterrestres,hombresitos verdes, ni en yetis ni grisis, tampoco en la avalancha de nieve ligera, pues la montaña no tiene las condiciones para ello, que si es cierto, que salieron apresurados del campamento pero fue mas por curiosidad que otra cosa, no creo tampoco en la teoria de que el infernal frio causo que se despojaran de la ropa, se contabilizaron ocho pisadas o entre ocho pisadas, pero hay mas,los grupos que llegaron primero a la escena del crimen, borraron muchas evidencias, por la sen cilla razon de que no sabina que estaban ante un caso de muertes inesplicables, con el paso del tiempo se ha sabido una ves que se han desclasificado documentos oficiales, que las investigaciones del caso, segun Yuri Yudin, se iniciaron entre el 6 y 14 de febrero, cuando oficialmente, el campamento fue descubiertomucho tiempo despues el 26 de febrero, la cronologia de lasmuertes ayuda mucho, pues murieron de 6 a 8 hrs despues de su ultimo alimento,el reloc de Igor Dyatlov tenia las 5:31,si es posible que alguine que estaba fuera de la tienda, los alerto y a salir disparados fuera de las tiendas como estaban, para ver, correr tras de ellas pero sin lograr su objetivo, luego, no encontraron el camino de regreso, hasta la mañana pues la noche los sorprendio, no salieron aterrados, dado que por la mañana buscaron el campamento, si no, para que regresar, Zinaida kolmogorova fue la que mas adelanto al grupo de tres en su camino al campamento de regreso, junto con Igor(pajaro carpintero)Dyatlov y otro quien tenia una fx de craneo, pues fue quien se subio al pino y se fracturo el craneo, distribuidos en una distancia entre 30 400 y 600 metros cada uno. los primeros que mujrieron fueron los que estaban casi desnudos, bajo el pino, que algunos lo mencionan como cedro o cedral, nombre clave dado por los militares, al area donde inclusive encendieron una fogata, que al parecer resulto infructuoda, el resto del grupo incluida Ludmila Dubinina, a quien incluso, le faltaba la lengua y tenia las costillas rotas. todo fue causado por un experimento militar fallido puesto que desde un principio manipularon las escena para que se le echara la culpa a los extraterrestres, como es las huellas que desaparecen 500 metros despues del campamento. ademas hay objetos numerosos que no pertenecian al grupo y Maria Ivanova contabilizo once cuerpos, dos desaparecidos misteriorsamente tambien, asi como el diario completo del grupo, no individual, asi como algunas hojas de los diarios y de los documentos que se desclasificaron. espero que se sepa la verdad, pues las teorias que se manejan, son todavia mas aterradoras que la propia verdad, si es que alguna ves se sepa.

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    • Lo siento no hay hablo mucho espanol, pero me gustan tus preguntas.

      … between what little spanish I know and Google Translate, I was able to read your comment.

      Several of your comments have been addressed in detail at the aquizam website– specifically, the snowfall burying the bodies, but not footprints which were located further uphill. This is a direct result of snow and wind dynamics. ( The explanation can be found here: http://www.aquiziam.com/dyatlov_pass_answers.html — They do note that much of the apparent “bizarreness” surrounding this mystery is actually misinformation or exaggeration.)

      I really don’t buy into the military experiment theory because, while it is possible there were undocumented experiments in the area, the data concerning the reactivity of the bodies seems to rule this out as a logical explanation. Though, arguably, you could say that the military exercises caused the ski-hikers to quickly evacuate their tents– one would have to check the military flight records for the area at the time; but as far as has been examined by others seeking information, there were no military records indicating that there was any testing of experimental aircraft in the area at the time. This doesn’t mean there weren’t any undocumented experiments… but it does rule out a general influence of the military on the situation.

      I encourage you to check out that aquizam website. It is very thorough when it comes to picking fact from fiction with respect to the Dyatlov Pass Incident. =)

      Gracias por tus comentarios.

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  3. Gracias, buscare el link, para documentar,mas lo de la avalancha de nieve ligera, como algunos,sugieren, sin embargo por las escasas fotos del campamento que se tienen, no veo que fuera zona de avalanchas, no estan dadas las condiciones, inclusive en las noticias de ayer se vio una avalancha que sepulto casas. respecto a los militares, desde un principio, se interesaron en bloquear toda la información o desinformar, como tu acertadamente comentas, ahora, existe un rollo completo de la camara, que desaparecio, junto con el diario general de Kolevatov diario del grupo, y por supuesto, el rollo de la propia camara. Yuri Yudin, menciona lo del trozo de tele de tipo miliatar, unos vidrios o cristales, ademas de dos pares de esquis uno completo y otro roto, que no pertenecen al grupo de excursionistas, ademas dentro de los documentos desclasificados en 1990, vio que la la investigación llevada a cabo por ellos inicio desde el dia 6 al 14 de febrero, cuando los familiares se alertaron el dia 20 del mismo mes, y para el dia 26 se finca el descubrimiento del campamento por Mikail Sharavin, y los dos primeros cuerpos casi desnudos debajo del pino, con lar ramas rotas y cerca una fogata. Ademas en el año 2008, fueron a revisar nuevamente otro grupo en el area y descubrieron restos de metales y Yuri Yudin en sus manos tiene algo que parece una camara de llanta de bicicleta, pero que para algunos es parte de los experimentos con explosivos “especiales” que fueron los que provocaron las muertes de los ultimos cuatro, yo siempre comento de una IMPLOSION, los fisicos o ingenieros saben de lo que digo, ademas de los nueve cadaveres, solo siete estan enterrados en el monumento, dos fueron enterrados aparte por ordenes del gobierno, especificamente de los militares, te voy a dar los nombres Alexander Zolotaryov, de 37 años, este miembro del equipo, es uno de los mas enigmaticos, pues es descendientes de cosacos, aparecio con varias medallas despues de la segunda guerra mundial, pues sirvio en el ejercito rojo,ademas le gustaba que le llamaran Sasha, nunca se caso a pesar de su edad,no tuvo hijos, ademas de contar con numerosos tatuajes que escondia en su ropa (baya usted a saber), y hay mas, trabajo en el instituto secreto del ministerio, tambien en el instituto de materias organicas, en la producción de materiales para el crecimiento de la industria nuclear, toda una fichita el tipo, y otro Yuri Krivonischenco participo en un lugar llamado Chelyabinsk-yo, una instalación secreta en un expérimento que se hizo conocido como accidente Kushtum koy en donde existio una fuga radiactiva, creo ese es el otro que esta enterrado aparte, en fin esquiadores con antecedente de que trabajaron en algo relacionado con energia nuclear, incluso a ellos les echan la culpa de las ropas impregnadas con radiactividad, esto es real. Algo mas todos se extrañaron del despliegue de helicopteros y aviones, que proporciono el gobierno para ayudar en las tareas de la busquedad y de plano, cerraron por tres años el paso al lugar, bueno, solo a los demas, ellos continuaroin teniendo acceso, que mas falta. Estoy de acuerdo con tigo en relacion, que muchos de los que opinamos, exageramos o de que es tanto lo que se dice, que termina por desvirtuar los veraderos echos, sin embargo ahi estan los resultados de las autopsias, documentos, apenas desclasificados, y documentos de los propios miliares que apoyan lo que yo comento.
    hay por ahi, alguien que si se la jalo, con una sesión espiritista que culpa a los extraterestres el fundador de la dianetica, pero cada quien con su decir.saludos.

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  4. I’d just like to correct a small a detail repeated in your story. Often you say, “tents”, plural. But there weren’t plural tents, just the one very large one. My family camped in the Rockies when I was young and that’s what we had – only the one tent. One tent, for all. I wouldn’t nit-pick, because it’s probably just a typo, but it gives your story an entirely misleading understanding of that night. Those young enough to not be familiar with the one-tent style camping might be envisioning each camper in his/her own tent. Quite a different scenario than all in one tent, where panic could spread faster.

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    • Thanks for your correction. I’ve been meaning to update this article anyway with some additional information about a new theory I’ve only recently heard pertaining to what caused the ski-hikers to leave their singular tent. I’ll go back through and make the tent correction when I add the new information. Please be patient with me as I’ve a few other things on my plate I need to take care of first.

      I appreciate the comment, and I thank you for helping me make this article more complete.

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  5. Guess whose birthdays start as of tomorrow,
    (Jan 11)

    Slobodin, Jan 11, 1936
    Kolmogorov, Jan 12, 1937
    Dyatlov, Jan 13, 1936
    Doroshenko, Jan 29, 1938

    Dubinina, May 12, 1938
    Thibeaux-Brignoles, June 5, 1935
    Yudin, July 19, 1937 (died April 27, 2013)

    Two with birthdays on Nov 16:
    Kolevatov, Nov 16, 1934
    Krivonischenko, Nov 16, 1934

    But, for Semyon Zolotaryov, his birthday was
    February 9, 1921.
    It was his 38th birthday. He died on his birthday, long before the sun had even come up, long before there was even time to wish him Happy Birthday.

    Don’t forget to light a candle!

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    • Wow! I love this type of detailed information. I might add the information to the article as well. Thank you for sharing!

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      • Jadewick, thanks for the thank-you! Like everyone else, I too am collecting information and trying to put things together. Please feel free to share. Thanks again!

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    • Hello, ME Johnson,
      How are you?
      Very interesting these information that you post, because is uncommon a group with these birthday data. It seems that they were chosen to climb the mountain based in their birthdays.
      Very strange. I think that they could be in a mission. Urals are very rich in topaz, gold, platinum, silver, and others.

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  6. Jadewick, I’m hoping you can answer a question for me. I have run across several sites that have a picture of Rustem Slobodin “modeling” the remnants of a burned coat. Do you know anything about why or how the coat was burned? Did any of the hikers mention it in their journals? I believe this photo is from one of the hikers’ cameras, taken while they were on the trail.

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    • Just started a new job this week (things have been crazy), and I’m borrowing a copy of “Dead Mountain: The Untold True story of The Dyatlov Pass Incident” by Donnie Eichar. I know the book has many photos from the cameras. Give me a day or two (from my post) to get back to you. I should have a definitive answer for you then. =)

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    • I apologize for not getting back to you sooner– my new job requires me to commute 150 miles (until we move), and I commuted without the book last week. Here is what I learned about the photograph.

      There is a photo in “Dead Mountain: The Untold True story of The Dyatlov Pass Incident” of Rustem “Rustik” Slobodin on page 173. He is standing with his feet shoulder-width apart. Both his hands are on his hips (sorta how Peter-Pan stands). The left shoulder of his jacket is a little charred, but he has a defiant look on his face. (Apparently he was fairly well off and could afford a new jacket.) The book captions the photo with a timeline of January 31, 1959 as a possible evening the jacket was burned. The photo was taken the morning of February 1, 1959. The book also says there is a second image (that makes two) with Slobodin wearing his burned jacket.

      Also in the aforementioned book, there is mention of an entry in Kolya’s diary from January 30th, in which “the portable stove that divided the tent was ‘blazing.'” It continues that Kolya and Zina were furthest from the stove. Georgyi Krivonischenko and Alex Kolevatov were persuaded to sleep beside the stove. The book quotes the journal:

      [Georgy] lay for about two minutes, then he could not stand it anymore and retreated to the far end of the tent cursing terribly and blaming us for treachery. After that, we stayed awake for a long time, arguing about something, but finally it went still.

      Based on that, I would assume that they had issues with the stove and that, Slobodin eventually ended up sleeping beside the “blazing” stove, and that the stove caught his jacket on fire the day after his journal entry– as it seems the ski-hikers tended to write in their journals in the morning. It also seems like no one really wanted to sleep beside the stove for fear of burning. I imagine the photos of the burned coat were sort of a running joke.

      Further reading shows that the skiers had a good sense of humor. They created a mock newspaper “The Evening Otorten” dated February 1, Issue 1– among the articles in the “paper” was one editorial about keeping nine hikers warm with one stove and one blanket and an announcement for “Love and Hiking” a daily seminar by “Dr.” Kolya and Lyuda his “Candidate of Science”. The stove jokes continued with an article on Doroshenko and Kolmogorova setting a world record for stove assembly.

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  7. Jadewik,

    I hope you new job and move are going well. Thank you so much for giving up the time to research my question. I have purchased and read Mr. Eichar’s book, DEAD MOUNTAIN, THE UNTOLD TRUE STORY OF THE DYATLOV PASS INCIDENT. I am familiar with most of what you said in your explanation, and what is explained in the book, but have apparently missed some things – it’s hard to glean the information you are looking for when the author’s ego turns this tragic story into a personal travelogue of his research trip to Russia.

    There are also some important points in his book that I believe he got wrong – like who brought the mandolin along and played it for everyone … was it Georgy (Krivonischenko) or Rustem (Slobodin? (I believe it was Rustem, not Georg Eichar states.) Mr. Eichar also believes the tent was cut in the back, but it’s clearly evident by looking at the tent reconstruction photos during the investigation that the cuts were on the side.

    I have also purchased and read Keith McClosky’s book, MOUNTAIN OF THE DEAD, THE DYATLOV PASS INCIDENT, which is an unbiased account of the trip and theories about what happened. Mr. McClosky also went to Russia to research this event. This book is well worth the purchase and read. Unfortunately, it didn’t have any information on the burned coat, but it does include the comment in the hikers’ journal about problems with the stove being too hot, no one wanting to sleep by it, and Georgy throwing a fit when he was elected to sleep by it.

    What you said reply makes perfect sense, although it was badly burned, and ripped. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding the two pictures of Rustem posing with the burned coat (free). In one shot, he’s looking at the camera. In the other shot, he has a slightly annoyed look on his face and his eyes are looking toward something/someone off camera. When you zoom in, you can see how badly damaged the coat is.

    Thanks again Jakewik, for taking the time to find my answers when you have been so understandably busy.

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