Dyatlov Pass Incident

Dyatlov Pass Incident
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Date: February 2, 1959

Location: Dyatlov Pass, Northern Ural Mountains, Russia

Members of the group:

Igor Alekseyevich Dyatlov January 13, 1936 23 Male Hypothermia - Leader of group

Yuri Nikolayevich Doroshenko January 29, 1938 21 Male Hypothermia

Lyudmila Alexandrovna Dubinina May 12, 1938 20 Female Severe chest trauma, eyes & tongue missing

Yuri (Georgiy) Alexeyevich Krivonischenko February 7, 1935 23 Male Hypothermia

Alexander Sergeyevich Kolevatov November 16, 1934 24 Male Hypothermia

Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova January 12, 1937 22 Female Hypothermia

Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin January 11, 1936 23 Male Hypothermia

Nikolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux-Brignolles July 5, 1935 23 Male Fatal skull injury

Semyon (Alexander) Alekseevich Zolotaryov February 2, 1921 38 Male Severe chest trauma, eyes missing

Yuri Yefimovich Yudin July 19, 1937 21 Male Left expedition on January 28 due to illness, died April 27, 2013 at the age of 75.

The group started off as 10, one got sick, leaving the 9 experienced cross country skiers who hurriedly left their tent on a Urals slope in the middle of the night, casting aside skis, food and their warm coats.

Clad in their sleepwear, the young people dashed headlong down a snowy slope toward a thick forest, where they stood no chance of surviving bitter temperatures of around -30°C.

Baffled investigators said the group died as a result of “a compelling unknown force” and then abruptly closed the case and filed it as top secret. The mountain pass where the accident occurred has been named Dyatlov Pass after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov.

The mysterious circumstances of the hikers deaths have inspired much speculation. Investigations of the deaths suggest that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot in heavy snow; while the corpses show no signs of struggle, one victim had a fractured skull, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. The victims clothing contained high levels of radiation. Soviet investigators determined only that a compelling unknown force had caused the deaths, barring entry to the area for years thereafter. The causes of the accident remain unclear.

It had been agreed beforehand that Dyatlov would send a telegraph to their sports club as soon as the group returned to Vizhai. It was expected that this would happen no later than February 12, but when this date had passed and no messages had been received, there was no reaction, delays of a few days were common in such expeditions. Only after the relatives of the travelers demanded a rescue operation did the head of the institute send the first rescue groups, consisting of volunteer students and teachers, on February 20. Later, the army and police forces became involved, with planes and helicopters being ordered to join the rescue operation.

On February 26, the searchers found the abandoned camp on Kholat Syakhl. The tent was badly damaged. A chain of footsteps could be followed, leading down towards the edge of nearby woods, on the opposite side of the pass, 1 mile north -east, but after 1650' they were covered with snow. At the forest edge, under a large old pine, the searchers found the remains of a fire, along with the first two dead bodies, those of Krivonischenko & Doroshenko, shoeless, & dressed only in underwear. Between the pine and the camp the searchers found 3 more corpses, Dyatlov, Kolmogorova & Slobodin, who seemed to have died in poses suggesting that they were attempting to return to the camp. They were found separately at distances of 985', 1575' & 2067' from the pine tree. Searching for the remaining 4 travelers took more than two months. They were finally found on May 4, under 13' of snow, in a valley further into the wood from the pine tree.

An examination of the four bodies which were found in May changed the picture. Three of them had fatal injuries, the body of Thibeaux Brignollel had major skull damage, and both Dubunina & Zolotarev had major chest fractures. The force required to cause such damage would have been extremely high, with one expert comparing it to the force of a car crash. Notably, the bodies had no external wounds, as if they were caused by a high level of pressure. A woman was found to be missing her tongue. There had initially been some speculation that the native Mansi people may have attacked & murdered the group, for encroaching upon their lands. The Mansi tribe, which they use for ritual sacrifice, apparently, does not like to share the mountain with outsiders, and when the Dyatlov group allegedly robbed their sacrificial cave of its various items, hunted them down in the night and killed them.

This theory, however, is more word of mouth than anything else.

But investigation indicated that the nature of their deaths did not support this theory, only the hikers footprints were visible, and showed no sign of any struggle.

There was evidence that the team was forced to leave during the night, as they were sleeping. The dead were dressed only partially, and certainly inadequate for the conditions. Some of them had only one shoe, while others had no shoes or just socks. Some were found wrapped in bits of torn clothes which seemed to be cut from those who were already dead.

Journalists reporting on the available parts of the inquest files claim that:

Six of the group died of hypothermia, 3 of fatal injuries.

There were no indications of other people nearby, apart from the nine in the group on Kholat Syakhl, nor anyone in the surrounding areas.

The tent had been ripped open from within.

Some of the victims showed signs of premature aging

All had died 6 to 8 hours after their last meal.

Evidence from the camp showed that all group members, including those who were found injured, left the camp of their own accord, on foot.

After the funerals, relatives of the deceased claimed that the skin of the victims had a strange orange tan.

One doctor investigating the case suggested that the fatal injuries of three bodies could not have been caused by another human being, owing to the extreme force to which they had been subjected. Forensic radiation tests had shown high levels of radioactive contamination on the clothes of some victims.

The final verdict was that they all died because of an unknown compelling force. The inquest closed officially in May 1959, due to the absence of a guilty party. The files were sent to a secret archive, and the photocopies of the case became available only in the 1990s, with some parts missing, or blacked-out.

Some researchers point out the following facts which were missed, perhaps ignored, by officials:

A former investigating officer said, in a private interview, that his dosimeter had shown a high radiation level on Kholat Syakhl, and that this was the reason for the radiation found on the bodies. However, the source of the contamination was not found.

Another group of hikers, some 30 miles south of the accident, reported that they saw strange orange spheres in the night sky to the north, likely the direction of in Kholat Syakh l on the same date as the accident happened. Similar spheres were observed in Ivdel and adjacent areas continually during the period of February to March 1959, by various independent witnesses.

Some reconstructions of the victims behavior suggest that they were blinded. The rescue team had seen that the victims broke thick, green pine branches for the fire, even though there was good dry brushwood around.

Some reports suggested that scrap metal was located in the area, leading to speculation that the military had utilized the area secretly and might beengaged in a cover up.

According to ancient Mansi legend, the Mountain of the Dead, where the nine hikers' mutilated bodies were found, was named after a similar incident in which nine Mansi men were also found dead while seeking salvation from a flood during ancient times.

In the years of investigating this tragedy one thing is clear, the mystery of what happened in the Dyatlov Pass is not kept by people as much as by documents.

It all starts with a telegram

On February 26, 1959 the older sister of one of the missing hikers Alexander, Rima Kolevatova, sent a telegram to Nikita Khrushchev himself.

Dear Nikita Sergeyevich (Khrushchev),

On February 9, a date set beforehand, a group of hikers from the Polytechnic Institute of Sverdlovsk did not return from their hike in the northern Urals. The search began late, after 10 whole days had passed. Regional organizations have not taken any effective actions yet. We ask for your help for the urgent search for our children. Every hour counts now.

Curiously, worried about the disappearance of hikers, Rima Kolevatova deliberately colors the circumstances and names an incorrect date for the supposed return of group. Here’s what she told the investigator in the interrogation of April 14, 1959:

The group had to return in Sverdlovsk on February 14 or 15 . On February 12 they had to send a telegram from Vijay, the final destination on their route, with a message that they arrived there.

Kolevatova’s telegram arrived in the Kremlin on February 27. Itis possible that it was the signal that stirred things up with the authorities, since a secret document follows the telegram.

The report:

Alpinists from Moscow fly to the North Urals together with investigators. They were sent by the Union of sports societies and other organizations of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, RSFSR. Their task was to assess how the search was going and to find out what had happened to the hikers.

On March 23, 1959 they wrote a report to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, CPSU.

Here are some of the most interesting quotes:

On February 1, the group builds a shelter, leaves most of their supplies and head for the pass around 3:00 p.m.. At nightfall, between 5:00 p.m.or 6:00 p.m., the group stopped and pitched a tent over the pass’s plateau, on the slope of mountain 1079.

If we consider that pitching the tent in these conditions took not less than an hour, it can be assumed that the people entered the tent around 7:00 p.m. or 8:00 p.m.

The logs show that the weather these days had gradually deteriorated, the wind was hard and the temperature dropped to -25°C.

It is unknown as to what kind of logs gave the Moscow hikers such details of time and temperature. There is no such information in the notorious diaries of Kolmogorov, Dubinin and the general log of the group. It is believed to be another hint that not all available evidence was presented in the in the official file.

Exiting the tent happened very quickly, without allowing a single minute delay. Hence the reason which forced the hikers to leave the tent may have been only fear of immediate death.

Notice that the Moscow people did not indicate what drove the group out of the tent. They did not know that. But to others, the superiors, everything was clear by May 1959, as evidenced by the next secret document.

The answer to the telegram:

On May 30, 1959 Deputy Head of Department for administrative and commercial-financial authorities of the CC of the CPSU of the RSFSR Drozdov wrote a report to the higher authorities, perhaps to Khrushchev himself, about what happened to Dyatlov’s group.

The death occurred as a result of a natural disaster. The immediate cause of death was a hurricane.

If the hikers were indeed killed by a hurricane, why were the documents classified? Why at the height of the investigation when they discovered the latest, most traumatized bodies, the case was urgently closed with misty wording of force of nature?

Why they informed the relatives that their children died as a result of an accident, but did not explain what this accident was? There are many questions on this case are, but none of them are answered to this day. 60 years later, as of 2019.

A day to day diary of the trip:

On January 23, 1959

The area through which the hike route passed was not sufficiently studied. There are no detailed public maps of this area.

Igor Dyatlov appeals for help from a familiar geologist and pilot. The geologist helps Dyatlov develop an optimal route. The sports club did not even have a map of the area where Dyatlov led his group. It turned out that Dyatlov did not agree with anyone about the exact route of the group.

A route book was left without a route and a map showing the route of the group. Dyatlov group discussed various options for the route and Igor to send the final version for approval, but he did not.

At about 9:00 p.m., the Dyatlov Group consisting of 10 hikers, took train #43 from Sverdlovsk to the city of Serov.

Entry By: Lyuda Dubinina

It’s the last day of preparations and everything has been quite hectic. From 11:00 a.m. I was scampering between stores buying different bits and pieces. And I was silly enough to buy five metres, 5 yards, of cambric, closely woven white linen, which cost 200 rubles. I was packing in such a rush and of course I’ve forgotten at home my sweater. Everyone was busy with something, and we had so many things to do.

Just before our departure, those who wanted to say goodbye came to meet us. We were really short of time, but arrived at the railway station with seconds to spare.

Then we had to say goodbye to everyone.

Before leaving we sang a few songs, but in the cart Blinov group joined and we continue singing together. Among all the most notable is Krotov's bass.

This time there were a lot of very new songs that we were writing down with the help of an instructor A Zolotaryov, who came with us on the trek. At first nobody wanted this Zolotaryov, for he is a stranger, but then we all agreed, because you can't refuse.

Thus, as we were ten, and remained ten, for Slavka was not released by the faculty bureau.

Entry By: Group

We're on the road again. We are now sitting in room 531, or rather of course not sitting but frantically shoving into backpacks oatmeal, cans, canned meat. The head of provision distribution, zavhoz, is overseeing that everybody gets everything.

Where are my felt boots? Y. K., Yuri Krivonischenko, Can we play mandolin on the train? Of course!

We forgot the salt! 3kg.

Igor! Where are you? Where is Doroshenko? Why didn't he take 20 packs?

Give me 15 kopeks, cents, to call.

The scales, where are the scales?

It doesn't fit, damn it.

Who has the knife?

Yuri take this to the station.

Slav Halizov just got here.

Hello, hello! Can I get 15 kopeks?

Lyuda is counting the money, lots of money.

The room is an artistic mess.

And here we are on the train. We sang all the songs that we know, learned new ones, everyone goes to sleep at 3:00 a.m..

I wonder what awaits us in this trip? What will we encounter?

The boys solemnly swore not to smoke the entire trip.I wonder how much will power they have to get by without cigarettes?

Everybody is falling asleep, and behind the window Ural taiga is spreading in all directions.

Entry By: Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova

January 24, 1959

In the city of Serov from 7:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m.

The train station, the incident, the detention of Yuri Krivonischenko, the 41st school, the story of hiking to schoolchildren of 1st and 2nd grade.

By train to Ivdel.

Incident in a train with a drunk passenger.*

On the train from Serov to Ivdel, a drunk passenger came to the group, stating that they had stolen a bottle of vodka from him and demanded to return it. He was simply ignored, although the physically fit hikers could have easily confronted him. The drunken passenger insisted on his rights and initiated a scandal. As a result, the conductor had to take the loaded citizen causing the disturbance to the police at the station.

This incident is interesting not only for what was noted in the diaries, but also for the record that Dyatlov himself made when preparing list of provisions for the trek. Yuri Yudin could not get alcohol and Igor made a record, vodka, Indian tea (illegible) matches. If for some reason the hikers did not buy vodka, then it is possible that one of them could actually have stolen from the drunk passenger. This is just a speculation.

7.00 a.m.

We arrived in Serov. We traveled with Blinov group.They have things for hunting and other accessories. At the station we were met with hell of a hospitality. They didn't allow us into the building. The policeman stares at us suspiciously. There is no crime or vandalism in the city, as it suppose to be in times of communism. And then Yuri Krivo started a song, the cops grabbed him and took him away.

At the attention of citizen Krivonischenko, sergeant explained that the rules of §3 prohibited all activity that would disturb the peace of passengers. It is perhaps the only train station where the songs are forbidden, so we stayed without singing.

Finally everything is settled by end fo the day. We are leaving Serov to Ivdel at 6:30 p.m. We were welcomed warmly in the school near the railway station. The steward, she is also a janitor, bolied some water, and helped us with everything we needed for the preparation for the trek.

We have the whole day free. We want to go to the city, to visit the nature museum or take a trip to a factory, but too much time is passed in distribution of equipment and cleaning it.

12:00 noon.

In the interval between 1st and 2nd shifts in school we organized meeting with pupils. The room crammed with so many curious children. Zolotoryov: Kids, I will tell you now, Hiking is, enables you to... Everyone is still, quiet, engaged. Z. Kolmogorova: Tra- ta- ta- ta, what's your name, you went where, owesome, you have been camping, she went on and on. Questions didn't end. We had to explain and show to every kid everything, from torches to tents. It took us 2 hours, and kids didn't want to let us go. They sang songs to each other. The whole school saw us at the station.

Everything ended as expected, when we were leaving, the kids yelled and cried, asking Zina to stay with them. They promised to behave and study well. In the train cart a young drunk accused us of stealing his booze from his pocket. For the second time this day the cops were involved. Discussion about love provoked by Z. Kolmogorova. Songs, reassessment, Dubinina under the seats, garlic with bread and no water, and we arrived in Ivdel around Midnight. Large waiting room. Total freedom of action. We took shifts to watch over our stuff all night long. Bus to Vizhay leaves early in the morning. Yudin Entry By: Unknown diary, could be Zolotoryov's

Last night, about 9:00 p.m. we boarded the train #43. At last. There is 10 of us. Slavik Bienko didn't come, they didn't let him. We are going with Blinov group. Fun. Songs. Around 8:00 a.m. we arrived in Serov. We were not allowed to stay on the train station, the train to Ivdel is at 6:30 p.m.. We are looking for a room. We are trying to get into the club, to the right of the dining room of the station, and school, but fail. Finally he finds school number 41, about 200 meters from the train station), where we were very well received. Entry By: Lyudmila Dubinina

Went to bed We arrived in Serov very early. We were not allowed in the station with the backpacks. We settled nearby the station. The boys cross the overseer, that's me, with accusations of stinginess and greed. Alas, the canteen at this point is a great luxury for us. There was one small incident, Yurka K. was taken by the police charging him with deception. Our hero decided to walk around the station handing a cap for change after singing a song. Yuri had to be rescued. Then we managed to move to the elementary school together with Blinov group. After lunch we began to prepare the equipment. Decided to read & talk to the children in 1st and 2nd grades about hiking. They liked our stories and things very much, and they became very attached to us. Time flew by till 6:00 p.m. in the company of our new young friends. The children bonded so much, especially to Zina, that they parted with tears. In the train we all sang songs accompanied with a mandolin and just like that. Then out of the blue a young alcoholic came to the boys and accused them of stealing a bottle of vodka. He demanded her return and promised to punch them in the teeth. In the end, he did not prove or get anything and got lost. Yurka came and sang with us for a while and left. We sang and sang, and no one even noticed how we started to discuss love issues, talking about kisses in particular. We talked all kinds of nonsense, of course; everyone was interested, everyone wanted to speak out, eventually trying to out shout each other and prove their own opinion. Sasha Kolevatov was the best in our debates. Probably he expressed not only his own thoughts but, anyway, he obviously won. We arrived at night in Ivdel and bunked at the station. We settled in the corner, spreading the tent, and laid down to sleep at once. I stayed watch. I used the time to sew overshoes and copy songs. Yurkina Olva from time to time shouted probably from boredom and hunger. I lasted till 3:00 a.m. At that time I lay down, only Borya continue to sew something for a long time, but he finally retired. Zhenya, Yevgeny Zinoviev, often picks on me, sometimes he even says offensive things. He seem to consider me foolish. It's my fault that I like to add fuel to the fire, damn me. Entry By: Zinaida Kolmogorova

Here we are on a trek again. Now in Serov. The entire evening yesturday till 3:00 a.m. we sang songs. With us is Senior. instructor of the Kaurov sport base Alexander Zolotaryov. He knows a lot of songs, it's just happy somehow that we are learning new songs. Especially some the Zumba and others.

Today I feel little sad. But it's nothing. We are on duty with Rustik. We went and talked to the school children, then they all saw us off, even burst into tears, didn't want to let us go. Entry By: Zina Kolmogorova

The letter is written on Jan 24th 1959 in city of Serov and sent on Jan 26 from Vizhay Entry By: Zina Kolmogorova

Hello, my dear mom, dad, Tom, Galya and Lusya! Greetings to you from Zina. Well, I'm away from you again, now we are in Serov. We have a transfer here and I am writing to you. Well, how is life? Anything new? We are going camping, a group of 10 people. The group is good. At the plant, everything is ok, they let me go. I have all the clothes I need, so do not worry about me. How do you live? Write to me in Vizhay, I am looking forward to it. Has the cow calved yet? I love milk. How's mom work? How is the dad's health? Moms? How are Galya and Lusya doing at school? Entry By: Zina Kolmogorova

Lusya, try not to have Cs this semester. And Galya turn Ds in sports to Cs. Spend more time on the skis and you need to run more. See you soon and goodbye. Big kisses to you all Your Zina. Write to me, I am looking forward to it. Ok?

January 25, 1959

In the small hours of January 25 Dyatlov group arrives in Ivdel located 340 km North of their starting point.

Leaving early in the morning in bus Gas-51 with Blinov group. 2:00 p.m. Vizhay.

Stayed at a guest house.

Parting with Blinov group, watch movie Symphonie in Gold

Entry By: Group

January 25, 1959

We got up at half past five, quickly gathered and left for the city of Ivdel with the first bus.

After an hour of waiting, we managed to grab a bus, such as GAZ-51.

The 25 seater bus was forced to accommodate a full 25 plus 20 backpacks packed to capacity and as many pairs of skis.

We were full up to the ceiling.

First layer passengers sat on the seats, on a pile of skis, on backpacks.

Second layer passengers sat on the backs of the seats, finding a place for legs on the shoulders of comrades.

It was not so tight, however, as not to sing, so we did it almost all the way to Vizhay.

The trip was not uneventful.

The bus made a small detour away from the highway, in the village of Shipichnoe, and we were given the chance to step out, which we did with pleasure.

Four of the most agile went far ahead to the settlement of Talitsa to see the power station.

Suddenly they heard: The bus.

We rush out the door, but, alas, it was too late. The bus passed by and we were forced to chance after it as fast as we can, hoping fate would be merciful and, perhaps, we would catch up with it, I am part of the agile four.

However, the first hundred meters clearly demonstrated the advantages of a fifty horse power engine.

Our heels flashed far behind the bus, and the gap widened.

The prospect to walk about thirty kilometers on the highway with no breakfast and lunch already seemed quite real, when suddenly, I mentioned that fate is merciful.

The mercy came in the form of a girl going to Vizhay that hailed the bus and stopped the object of our persecution. A minute later we were already safely sitting on the second floor of the seats and traveling to Vizhay.

We arrived in Vizhay about 2:00 p.m.

It turned out that we can continue our automobile journey in the next morning.

Warmly said goodbye to Blinov's group, who went further, to the west of Vizhay in the deep forest area.

After dinner, which was held in a warm friendly atmosphere, we moved to the hotel, which was the usual hut with three windows.

We went to the cinema, leaving home Doroshenko and Kolevatov.

We watched the Symphonie in Gold, came back in musical mood.

Now we are busy getting ready the equipment.

Tonight, according to the local commandant, we will leave on.


Entry By: Zinaida Kolmogorova

January 25, 1959

Arrived in Ivdel at midnight, spent the night at the train station pitching a tent on the floor.

Yes, we have already been spotted 2 times by the police.

Once Yuri Kriv was taken to the police station. He wanted to raise money for candy. It was funny.

Then on the train Serov-Ivdel reached Ivdel, spent the night at the station, in the morning got on a bus, drove to a hotel in Ivdel.

Then we took the bus and drove off. We are 20 people, backpacks and skis. Had to pile up on 3 levels, but we sang songs all the way.

Arrived in Vizhay. First we stopped at the same club where we were 2 years ago. Then we were taken to the hotel.

The whole evening there was a discussion about love about friendship, about dances and other things, etc.

I talked a lot about things which are completely unfamiliar to me and I scarcely do, but I tried, sincerely. But this is all nonsense.

But again the words of Volt come to mind. How well did he say it. We went to see Symphonie in Gold so powerful. So great.

Entry By: Lyudmila Dubinina

January 25, 1959

We woke up, without really to have slept much.

I told Rustic that I won't wash up due to lack of conditions. He agreed.

The bus came right away, we climbed quickly. Had to travel on 3 levels.

Kolka Tibo, Nikolai Thibeaux-Brignolles, had to push his body to the ceiling,

Olva first stood in (illegible word) position, but soon she couldn't stand it anymore and got down on her knees.

We sang again, of course. I totally lost my voice.

Zhenka was bickering again. He goes on and on. Things stated to make sense, it wasn't really I knew, but it is now clearer and better.

But despite this, Yurka is still a good natured person, at least, judging by his behavior.

I'm still true to myself.

Zhenka & Zina sang: If your eyes hadn't been blue..

When we arrived at ? turn the bus went to a village and had to return for us in an hour.

We continue on foot. It was so nice to walk along the road in such good weather. We went a little nuts and roll in the snow.

During our walk incident - a car coming from the forest got stuck in the opposite direction. Our guys rushed to the rescue.

Finally they pulled it out in half.

Then our bus came up and we hopped on it.

The discussion now was about happiness.

Basically our guys were the most active. They tried to give a definition of happiness, but everyone had it its own way.

Arrived in Vizhay at 42.

Blinov group is going further to settlement 41, and we stay to spend the night.

We had a tearful goodbye with Blinov group.

The mood sank. At parting, we sang with Zina and Zhenya: If you eyes hadn't been blue ...

In general I am very very sad.

We are extremely lucky. The Symphonie in Gold was showing.

We left all our things and packs at the hotel and went to the club.

The image was a bit fuzzy, but it didn’t overshadow the pleasure at all.

Yurka Krivo, sitting next to me, was smacking his lips and oohing with delight. This is real happiness, so difficult to describe with words.

The music is just fabulous. The mood after the movie greatly improved.

Igor Dyatlov was unrecognizable. He tried to dance, and even started singing: O Jackie Joe

We are on duty with Yuri today.

We decided to cook noodles on the stove. But it was very difficult to heat the stove with such raw firewood, so it took a lot of time.

Finally we began to eat. During the meal, a discussion arose about the rights of boys and girls to freedom, etc.

In my opinion, such discussions lead nowhere. But we are doing it anyway, to vent the soul.

We went to bed late. Had to lay down in beds by two, only Yurka Krivo and Sasha slept on the floor between the beds.

January 26 1959

Dyatlov group travels in the back of the truck in poor condition from Vizhay 1:10 p.m. to 41st logging site 4:30 p.m.

This is possibly the ride that makes Yudin sick.

Vizhay, wake up 9:00 p.m. the dining room, Zina Kolmogorova sends the letter home, Igor Dyatlov sends home a postcard.

At 1:10 p.m. the group leaves Vizhay in truck Gaz-63 with no brakes and shock absorbers. They ride in the open back of the truck, covered by a tent.

The hikers were exposed on this trip and Yudin fell ill.

At 4:30 p.m. they arrive in the village 41st forest area.

In the evening they see movies: On his own, Est takoy paren & Symphonie in Gold, again.

Entry By: Group

January 26 1959

We slept in so called hotel. Two people per bed. Sasha K., Alexander Kolevatov, & Krivo, Yuri Krivonischenko, slept on the floor between beds.

Woke up at 9:00 a.m.. Everyone sleep well despite the fact we did not completely close the small window and room got a bit cold.

Outside temperature is -17°C.

We did not boil water in the morning, wood was damp.

In the evening it took us 6 hours to boil the water. Had breakfast in the dining room, goulash and tea.

When they handed us the lukewarm tea, Gosya, Igor, Dyatlov said with a smile: If the tea is cold, then go out and drink it on the street, it will be hot. Original thought.

We negotiated to go to Settlement 41 by a truck.

We started at 1:10 p.m., and arrived at 4:30 p.m. Wefroze pretty good at the back of GAZ-63.

While traveling we sang songs, discussed various topics like love, friendship, cancer illness and cures.

In Settlement 41 we were greeted warmly, they gave us a separate room in the hostel. We talked a lot with the local workers.

I remembered particularly the red bearded man. The Beard, that's what his friends call him.

Ognev is an old friend, he is described in Lyuda Dubinina's private diary.

Lunch was served, we ate and now we are resting. Some of the group is watching a movie in the adjacent room. The rest of the group is rummaging through their backpacks. Rustik, Rustem Slobodin, is playing his mandolin, while talking with Kolya, Nick Thibault.

I am going to do some adjustment to the equipment.

Entry By: Krivonischenko

January 26 1959

I can't, although I tried.

Nick Thibeaux

Entry By: Zina Kolmogorova

January 26 1959

We slept in beds. We got up late, very late.

Rustik and I are on duty.

We went into the dining room. And then we waited for the car and drove off.

Today the road is not so beautiful, there is less snow.

We are driving off road now. Drove for a long time.

I, as always, was approached by some countryman.

We arrived at the 41st settlement. Workers are simply working here, not prisoners, but recruits. There are many smart ones.

We were accommodated in the small room of the driver.

Today is the last day of civilization.

Rustic plays the mandolin very well, I really enjoy listening to him.

Today I wore Yuri's mittens, but how I did not want to! I was told that is not good not to accept them, so I took them. We talk. Not much.

Entry By: Luydmila Dubinina

January 26 1959

In the morning Sashka jumped up from the cold and said that he had a cold night.

Zina and I slept perfectly.

Went to the dining room then began to gather.

We go by car.

Tried to sing, talked about abstract topics and in general nobody was warm. The surroundings were uninteresting at the beginning, a scorched forest.

In general, we had to go to 2nd North, but it was getting dark and we decided to stop at the 41st. At 4.30 p.m. we were met very hospitably.

They stayed in the barrack, where the guys live.

In general, here are all civilians, there are no women at all, except two. The guys are all young, as Igor noticed, there are even cute and generally interesting.

Especially memorable among all is Ognev with a red beard and the nickname of his Beard.

In general, very rarely there are such people in such a hole.

A true romantic, a geologist and generally developed. Many of the guys play the guitar.

We watched three movies right away: On his own, Est takoy paren & Sympnonie in gold, again.

And again this music Co First in (illegible word) were divided into two groups one watched the movies, the other wrote diaries, and Rustik and Kolya reasoned a little about everything, about work, etc. I like these guys.

A big difference between them, graduated from the institute Rustik, Ko, Yura and us. All the same, their judgments are more mature and smarter than ours. My God,

I do not even talk about mine

After the cinema, everyone was very tired and wanted to sleep. We lay down with Zina on a spring bed. It's a dream come true. And the guys are all on the floor.

Mood is bad and probably will be for two more days. Evil as hell.

Entry By: Yuri Yudin

January 26 1959

We arrived by truck with no brakes, broken shock absorbers, etc.,

Only in the taiga you can ride on any car, in the village 41 quarter.

Ognev, Nick? since 1931. Long beard. He knows the whole of the Northern Urals. I was a participant of many geological expeditions. Quite knowledgeable on many issues. He graduated from the Ufimskiy Technical College.

In the truck that city we came, we brought 3 movies: On his own by Gorki, Est takoy paren & Sympnonie in gold, In people, by Gorky , Is there such a guy? and the Golden Symphony.

In people, under the usual circumstances, in the city, I would have never gone to see this movie. It seems nothing of interest in it for me, waste of time.

Here you start watching, and from the very first frames you feel that the movie is new for you, you see it with different eyes than before and many new thoughts are rushing one after another under the impression of what's on the screen.

Grandma plays excellently. Above all, full penetration into the role. Wealth, depth, importance of thoughts, content, and all this follows by itself, without any imposition, himself as in a life without words and simple ??? a person and there is another recently released picture. Paren, est takoy paren - there is such a guy, the characters here, the artists portraying, are represented only by what they say at the moment and is not clear where and how did they originated, what they say and what they do.

It seems like they, the characters, are created to say only these particular words, and there is nothing else for them to say, and to do. Roles like that are not clear, maybe.

I find the screenplay weak and superficial, bad stage director, bad artists and in short, it seems there are not living people on the screen full of thoughts, capable of creating stories themselves, but some automatic machines tuned to a special program, and that's why there is no performance in the whole movie. They could have said in advance what the movie is about, and how will it end. The whole movie in 5 minutes. Symphonie in gold, austr. About ballet on ice. The ballet itself is a good show. Good skating rinks, skill, technical performance, but feelings, thoughts in dances, none. Maybe since music to me is only an income. It seems to me that way? The light music in places is excellent, it can't be better, but in general I couldn't feel the Person, his soul. Maybe that's why everybody that saw the movie was saying: It feels so good, nothing is missing, they say like life itself.

We are warmly welcomed here. they ride all kind of They gave us the only horse available here to take our backpacks tomorrow to 2nd Northern for free wood site about 200 - 150 km? from such a northern town as Ivdel. There is no radio, no newspapers. They still can't check the lottery and I promised to send back the newspaper immediately from Sverdlovsk. They live in a dormitory. No order whatsoever, but people are everywhere. Read everything that they can get their hands on and do they sing, Quietly, from the heart. The songs are old, long forgotten or never heard. Here they are, It's so good.

Why don't we sing such good, already forgotten songs. And in general, we don't sing about he soul in places where there are some outsiders, it's not singing, not soulful, loud.

We must fight for the culture of choral singing. Voices and change the repertoire. So that there were no empty screaming song trinkets. Loggers are working poorly, work and life conditions are bad. Are they paying poorly? Strike. Everything is possible, but there is no good intelligent leadership. Master, once he studied and did not finish the Moscow Forestry Institute. The workers are very different. Recruits after the army, after serving time, to earn some money and stayed, or for free. Many don't last, they quit They work.

The majority has primary school or no education at all. But there are widely erudite and even If you meet them in the city, you would never have thought that this person all his time in the taiga.

Uncle Slava. Funny, somehow people do not think how this or that name will sound after uncle or grandpa, What a funny grandpa.

Until 1953, they threw in jail everybody that they could catch, innocent, then they figured it out and cleaned up, everybody was given rushed amnesty.

I think Yudin is referring to the fact Slava in Russian means Glory.

Entry By: Igor Dyatlov last post card.

January 26 1959

Around 2:00 p.m. the group arrived in Vizhay. Dyatlov, as the leader of the trek, went to the local post office to send a telegram about their arrival at the checkpoint of the route.

After checking in with AltaMater and the Sverdlovsk Political Bureau of extreme sports Igor asked the operator for a postal card form. He sent to his father Aleksei Alekseevich.

Dyatlov in Pervouralsk his last message written on the back of a postal card. Rufa, Ruffina Alekseevna, is Igor's sister, a pupil in school No.12 in Pervouralsk.

Igor Dyatlov last postcard front

Where: Sverdlovsk Region city of Pervouralsk, Sotsgorod

Sadovaya, 13.

To: A. A. Dyatlov

Sender's address: Vizhay Dyatlov

Igor Dyatlov last postcard back

Hello everyone.

January 26 1959

We leave on the route, we arrived well.

On February 12-15 I will visit Sverdlovsk. I probably will not go home, so let Rufa bring linen to our room for a trip to Penza.

From there I will return on March 5-7.

Greetings, Igor.

January 27, 1959

Dyatlov group was leaving 41st district and Ognev The Beard, the hospitality, the warm bread, wrote Mansi words in their notebooks, and at 4:00 p.m. uncle Slava and his horse sled took the backpacks while the hikers were following on skis along Lozva river, cross Ushma river and to the 2nd Northern.

The head of the site Ryazhnev promised to help the hikers to reach the abandoned geological site 2nd Northern by finding means of transportation. Hikers mounted backpacks on the sled with a horse, got on skis and reached 2nd Northern which consisted from 24 houses, only one of which was suitable to spend the night. The sled belonged to uncle Slava, convicted in Lithuania in 1949 for 10 years and released to the settlement in 1956.

In 41st district Yudin's condition worsened. He had inflamed back nerve, sciatica. To continue an expedition from third category of complexity was impossible without becaming a burden, so Yudin decided to return. They discussed the matter and decided that Yudin will go to 2nd Northern and there will make the final decision. If his pain subsides, he can continue with the group, if his condition worsens, he will take the drilling samples from 2nd Northern and return to Sverdlovsk.

Entry By: Zina Kolmogorova diary

January 27, 1959

Today is the first day of our journey. The backpack is not much but somewhat heavy. Yes, Yura Yudin is leaving us today. His sciatic nerves inflamed again and he is leaving. Such a pity. We distributed his load in our backpacks. It turns out that on the last day we see some kind of civilization,stove, people, etc. Today we arranged out backpacks to go on horseback and we are waiting them to be ready, and we will go skiing. Everyone is singing, the workers living in barracks, did not go to work, they sing. We sit and write songs. Many workers are very talented, intelligent people. Especially the beard, his beard is ginger, ginger, and his eyes are also ginger, and brown. The guys sing well. And Rustic plays the mandolin very well. Today was the last day me and Lyuda slept in beds. Tonight we are going to be in a tent, apparently. Now we are in the 41st quarter, today our goal is to reach the 2nd Nortern. They say, there is a hut there, but no one lives in it. Hurry to the road, to the skis ... How about we go? I'm lately somehow very deeply affected by music, guitar, mandolin and other. Yesterday saw 3 movies here:

In people, There Is Such A Guy, and again Symphonie In Gold. I want to see Symphonie In Gold even more times.

Entry By: Rudik Ivan Ivanovich

January 27, 1959

The whole day went, in front of the horse, behind the horse on the river Lozva. They often flew to ice, cleaned skis. They came already in the dark for a long time looking for a hut with windows and doors. 2nd North is an abandoned village, nobody lives here at all, and what beautiful places.

It's just Chusovaya. The stones on the banks are some cliffs, limestone, white. Today we go a few km along the Lozva River, and then we pass to the Auspiya river.


The arrow from Today is drawn down to Auspiya River and to the following date:

February 28, 1958.

Entry By: Lyuda Dubinina

January 27, 1959

Temperature is 5°C. Warm, skis are useless. We are getting ready since the morning. Today is the first day of the route. Now we sit and wait for the horse to carry the backpacks, and we go on skis.

Fortune smiles at us. Yuri Yudin got sick, something with a nerve of his leg, in general he radiculitis and he is going home. So, there are nine of us in the future. At the moment we are sitting and singing songs. Guys play the guitar, Rustic plays along with the mandolin. Catches your heart.

This is the last place of civilization, and it is rare that we met people like that. Overall I love the guitar and I adore all musical people. And the guys in general are all good, they dance, they are musical. We talked with Ognev. He knows a lot and is interesting with him, now he talks about where we are going and more like this. This, in my opinion, is the most interesting object here on the site. He has such a long red beard, although he is only 27 years, he looks older. And then there is Valya, who plays the guitar well (many play) and about whom I jokingly said that I like him. Now most of the guys sit here and sing songs to the guitar, on the occasion that they do not work today. It seems this is the last time we heard so many good new songs. But we hope that Rustik will live up to the challenge. We learn some Mansi words from the guys.

Entry By: Group

January 27, 1959

The weather’s really good. The wind is at our backs, and the lads made a deal with the locals for a horse to drive us to Second North settlement.

But it will be about 24 km from the 41st Settlement. We helped Uncle Slava unload hay from a carriage and waited for the horse, it went to get more hay and wood. We waited until 4:00 p.m.

The boys started copying some songs. One man sang beautifully. We heard a number of illegal prison songs, Article 58 counter-revolutionary crimes.

Before that we bought four loaves of bread. Soft warm bread. We ate 2 loaves.

Horse is slow. What a pleasure to go without backpacks.

We covered 8 km in 2 hours. River Ushma.

It's getting dark. The horse is causing the delay. Yuri Yudin is still with us. He suddenly fell ill and he can't continue with the trek. He wants to gather few minerals for the University and return.

Second North is an abandoned geological site consisting of 20 to 25 houses. Only one is suitable for living.

In complete darkness we found a village and the house. We started a fire with wood boards. Smoke came form the stove. Several people hurt their hands on old nails. Everything is well.

Then the horse came. We were talking and joking till 3:00 a.m.

Entry By: Doroshenko

January 27, 1959

We spent the night in the hut of the 2nd Northern settlement.

There so much, many houses, warehouses, premises, forgot old vehicles, machine tools. Everything was abandoned since 1952.

Here worked geological expedition what they could take out, the rest was exhausted and thrown.

The houses are all destroyed, there is only one with a stove and glass on the windows. The place is picturesque. Lozva river is wide. Lots of lime rocks.

Uncle Slava says that in the summer you can cross the river, many warm, hot springs. Sagebrush and water is not entirely frozen and there are places under the snow where water is not frozen, after which we need to brake the ice from the skis.

Village Vizhay, camp (???) you can buy products. Apothecary, artist Herzen ?. German, wife is German.

Idyll in the family. On the walls, relief paintings with filigree decoration, very masterfully, unusually finely executed. Thousands of Chests, a view of Lozva in the summer and the same in the winter, more jewelry boxes, paintings, everywhere. Big ones. In the pharmacy, wax from red rose, fluorescent compound, Kremlin, from test tubes with fluorine, compositions, glowing.

Built in wrist watch Pobeda. It works fine.

An unusually polite gentle, kind person. Wife, German, very affable, hospitable. They really care about the medicine.

For children, the best medicines are taken care of. They beg me to send them penicillin in tablets from Ivdel, he has very little, for children, it is difficult to get good medication.

Boring, all tired of the lecture and something.

After all, it's so good from time to time to introduce a new thought, a new direction in the conversation especially.

Entry By: Yuri Yudin

January 28, 1959

Dyatlov group sets off from 2nd Northern settlement on their last journey.

Entry By: Group

January 28, 1959

We were awaken by the rumbling voices of Yurka Kri & Sasha Kolevatov. Weather so far is smiling at us. It's only -8°C outside.

After breakfast, some of the guys lead by Yuri Yudin, our well known geologist, went to look for local minerals. They didn't find anything except pyrite and quartz veins in the rock. Took them long time to wax their skis and adjust the mounting.

Yuri Yudin goes back home today. It is a pity, of course, that he leaves us. Especially for me & Zina, but nothing can be done about it.

Started at 11:45 a.m. We go up the river Lozva. We take turns to head the group for about 10 minutes. Snow cover is significantly less than last year. We have to stop and scrape the wet, melting snow from the bottom of the skis. Yurka Kri is behind and makes sketches of the route.

The bank of the river near Second North, especially the right bank, are limestone cliffs that rise high at places. Overall the terrain becomes flatter, entirely covered by forest.

We stop to rest at 5:30 p.m. on river Lozva.

Today we spend our first night in the tent. The guys are busy with the stove, sewing curtains out of sheets. With somethings completed and others not, we sit at dinner. After dinner we sit for long time around the campfire and sing heartfelt songs. Zina even tries to learn to play mandolin under guidance of our musician Rustik, Rustem Slobodin. Then we resume our discussions, mostly about love.

Someone comes up with an idea that we need a special notebook for ideas that we might come up with. Conspiring, we started going into the tent two people at a time. The suspended stove radiates heat and divides the tent in two sections. The further section is occupied by me & Zina. Nobody wants to sleep by the stove.

We agree that Yurka Kri, Krivonischenko, will sleep there. On the other side sleeps the person on duty, Sasha Kolevatov. Yurka couldn't stand the heat and after laying down for 1 or 2 minutes he got up and moved to the second section cursing and accusing us of treason.

After that they still argued about something for a long time, but at the end all was quiet.

Entry By: Lyuda Dubinina, this entry is not signed, but can't be anybody else but Dubinina.

January 28, 1959

Yuri Yudin departs from a 2nd Northern settlement. Another depressing abandoned place on vast stretches of Siberia. Some of the houses,izba in Russian, are abandoned and began to fall apart.

Entry By: Zina Kolmogorova

January 28, 1959

Uncle Slava is leaving today on his horse, and Yura Yudin is leaving too. He took a few samples. I saw this type for the first after the drilling. There is a lot of chalcopyrite and pyrite.

Last night the boys made stupid jokes.

In my opinion, if we don't pay attention to them, maybe they will be less rude. And so far, nothing.

It's time to go out, but they are still digging and digging. I do not understand what's taking so long.

The first 30 minutes are over. Of course, the backpack is somewhat heavy. But it's possible to go. The first day is always difficult.

Left forward, Sasha Kolevatov tested his device, then quit.

Second halt.

It was much easier to go yesterday without backpacks.

Snow, snow, snow, snow on the banks frozen river snow snow.

Boundary stone.

Lunch was an hour at 4:00 p.m.

After lunch we did just one more hike and stopped to rest.

I mended the tent. We lay down to sleep. Igor was rude the whole evening, I just couldn't recognize him. I had to sleep on the wood near the stove.

Entry By: Lyudmila Dubinina

January 28, 1959

Woke up at 8:00 a.m. to someone's talk. It turns out to be Yuri Krie & Sasha Kolya. The weather is as warm as yesterday, -8°C

After breakfast, some of the guys Yura Yudin, Kolya & Yura Doroshenko went for the rocks in the core storage, where they decided to collect minerals for the collection. Nothing but pyrite, and there were no quartz veins in the rock.

Gathered for a long time, prepared rations, greased the skis then.

January 28, 1959

Group pitched their tent at 5:30 p.m. on January 28, 1959 - 10 km from their starting point in 2nd Northern and 7 km to Auspiya river.

January 30, 1959

Dyatlov group starts at 8:30-9:30 along Auspiya river, Mansi signs, 2:00 p.m. lunch break, 5:00 p.m. stop for overnight.

Entry By: Group Diary

January 30, 1959 - Diary is written in the cold on the go.

Today is a third cold night on the bank of Auspiya river. We are getting used to it. The stove does a great job. Some of us, Thibeaux & Krivonischenko, think we need to build steam heat in the ten.

The curtains in the tent are quite justified. We get up at 8:30 a.m. After breakfast we walk along the Auspiya river, but the ice again doesn't allow us to move forward.

We went on the bank on a sledge deer trail. In the middle of the road the saw Mansi shed. Yes, Mansi, Mansi, Mansi. This word comes up more and more often in our conversations. Mansi are people of the North. Small Hanti-Mansijskiy nation located in Salehard with 8,000 population. Very interesting and unique people that inhabit the North Polar Urals, close to the Tyumen region. They have a written language, and leave characteristic signs on forest trees.

January 30, 1959

Weather: temperature in the morning -17°C

day - 13°C

night - 26°C

The wind is strong, southwest, snow begins to fall, heavy clouds, drop in temperature. The temperature is normal for Northern Urals.

This is a story about the forest. Mansi signs tell about animals they saw, resting stops and other things. It is particularly interesting to solve its meaning for the hikers, as well as historians.

Deer trail turns into trodden path, and then ends. To go without a trail is very hard, snow is 4' deep. The forest gradually thins and trees get smaller.

Lots of dwarf birches and pines. You can feel the altitude. It is impossible to walk on the river. It is not completely frozen, there is ice and water under the snow.

We have to go back on the bank of the river.

The day is over and we have to find a place for bivouac. That's the stop for the night. Strong west wind. It blows the snows off the cedar and pine trees, creating the impression of a snow fall.

As usual we quickly start a fire and pitch the tent on fir branches. We are warmed by the fire and go to sleep.

Entry By: Unknown

January 30, 1959

In the morning it was 17°C now it is getting colder.

Volunteers, S. Kolevatov & K. Tibo are repeating their duties as a punishment for slowing the group yesterday, took a long time to start a fire. In the evening it was decided that we will leave the tent exactly 8 minutes after waking up. Therefore, all have been awake and waiting for the command.

But it is useless. Around 9:30 a.m. in the morning we began the passive preparation. Nick T. is joking about something in the morning. Everyone is reluctant to get up. And the weather.

In contrast to the rest of the warm days, today is a sunny cold day. The sun appears playful.

Today, as yesterday were are following the path of Mansi. Sometimes Mansi writings appear on trees. In general, all sorts of obscure mysterious characters. There is slogan for our campaign:

In a country of mysterious signs.

If we knew these letters, it would be possible, without any doubt, to go down the path, confident that it would lead us to the right place. Here the trail takes us to the shores of the river. We lose track.

In the future, the trail follows the left bank of Auspii river, but the team of deer crossed the river and we are going through the woods. At the first opportunity we will turn back to the river. As it is easier to follow it. At approximately 2:00 p.m. we stop for a lunch. Dried meat, guest crackers, sugar, garlic, coffee, stocked in the morning, that's our lunch.

Good mood.

A couple more hours, and we will stop at 5:00 p.m. for the night. We have been looking for a place, then we returned about 200 meters back. Charming place. Deadwood, high pines, in short, everything you need for a good night.

Lyuda quickly got tired and sat down by the fire. Nick Thibault changed his clothes. He began to write a diary. The law is that until all the work is done, do not approach the fire. And so they had a long argument, of who will sew the tent. Finally K. Tibo gave up and took a needle. Lyuda remained seated. And we sewed the hole, and there were so many that there was enough work for all except two attendants & Lyuda. Guys are terribly outraged.

Today is the birthday of Sasha Kolevatov. Congratulations. We give him a tangerine, which he immediately divided into 8 pieces. Lyuda went into the tent and did not come out until the end of the dinner. So another day of our trek went well.

Alexander Kolevatov is born on November 16th. Jan 30 had a special meaning for Kolevatov, he celebrated his birthday on that date. If a person chooses a different date for his birthday that is usually because of a strong affection or life changing event that happened on that date, but we don't know what that is.

Entry By: Zinaida Kolmogorova

January 30, 1959 We go on Auspiya

Cold ayserm. Mansi trail ended. Pine forest. There was sun in the morning, now is cold ayserm. All day long we walked along Auspiya. Will spend the night on a Mansi trail. Kolya didn't get to be a watchman so me & Rustik will stay on duty today.

Burned mittens & Yurkin's second quilted jacket. He cursed a lot. Today, probably, we will build a storage.

The sequence of frames in film ?1 is questionable. The film is cut and it is hard to tell which frame follows which. According to the sequence of frames it turns out that Doroshenko's quilted jacket was burned on the night of January 31 to February 1. However, it Zina Kolmogorova writes in her diary that the jacket was burned on the night of January 30 to January 31. There is a contradiction between the sequence of the film frames or entries in the diary, only one of many in this case.

There is also the question about the stove, if it was used on the night of January 31st. They lit a fire to cook their meal. Dyatlov's stove was used to heat the tent, not cooking. Whether they used the stove or not on the night of January 31st is not clear from the diaries, but in this photo taken on the morning of February 1st Yuri Krivonischenko is dusting ashes from the stove, so most likely they used it. Nothing is definitive on this case. You have to use your own judgement. Is Krivonischenko cleaning it because it was used or just putting it away, we will never know.

Entry By: Group.

January 31, 1959

Today the weather is a bit worse wind, west, snow, probably from the pines, because the sky is perfectly clear. Started relatively early, around 10:00 a.m. Took the same Mansi trail. Till now we walk along a Mansi trail, which was crossed by a deer hunter not long ago.

Yesterday we apparently came across his resting stop. Deer didn't go much further. The hunter didn't follow the beaten trail and we are now in his steps.

Today was surprisingly good accommodations for the tent, air is warm and dry, despite the low temperature of -18°C to -24°C. Walking is especially hard today. We can't see the trail and sometimes we have to advance gropingly. All we can do is 1 mile per hour.

We are forced to find new methods of clearing the path for the skis. The first member leaves his backpack on the ground and walks forward, then returns and rests for 10 to 15 minutes with the group. Thus we have a nonstop paving of the trail. It is especially hard for the second to move along the new trail with full gear on the back.

We gradually leave the Auspiya valley, the rise is continuous, but quite smooth. Fir trees are replaced by wispy birchwood. We came out of the tree line.

Wind is western, warm, penetrating. The speed of the wind is similar to the air draft created by a taking off airplane. Firn, open spaces. I can't even start thinking of setting up a storage. It's close to 4:00 p.m. We have to start looking for a place to pitch the tent. We are going south in Auspiya river valley.

This apparently is the place covered with the deepest snow. Wind is not strong, snow cover is 1.22 meters.

Tired and exhausted we started the preparations for the night. Not enough firewood. Frail damp firs. We started fire with logs, too tired to dig a fire pit. We had supper right in the tent. It's warm. It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing wind, hundreds kilometers away from human settlements.

Entry By: Unknown

January 31, 1959

Death is not far behind...

We gradually leave the Auspiya valley, the rise is continuous, but quite smooth. Fir trees are replaced by wispy birch-wood. We came out of the tree line. Wind is western, warm, penetrating. The speed of the wind is similar to the air draft created by a taking off airplane. Firn, open spaces. I can't even start thinking of setting up a storage.

It's close to 4:00 p.m..

January 31, 1959

Dyatlov Pass: Death is not far behind...

After careful consideration Igor decided that the exercise to spend the night on the pass will make more sense if they leave the extra load here.

Igor explains to Zolotaryov his change of plan, to go back to Auspiya river for a warm and sheltered campsite make a storage, leave an extra load next day continue to Mt. Otorten without descending from the pass. They would have already built the storage and left the extra load on Auspiya river.

The standard route to go up Mt. Otorten was from Lozva river. Dyatlov had a different idea in mind, once on top of the pass to continue on the ridge light from extra weight, trek easily on firm ice on the ridge of Mt. Kholat Syakhl without loss of altitude, and spend a warm night on the lake, the source of Lozva river make an ascent to Mt. Otorten and set off on the return journey.

February 1, 1959

The group started out late, covered 2 km only and pitched a tent on the open ridge for a cold overnight, without firewood.

Dyatlov group had to prepare a note for the ascent to Mt. Otorten, but instead they write on Evening Otorten 1, the satirical propaganda leaflet.

The hoax:

According to the book Mountain of the Dead, one of the group had written on a piece of paper a day or two before the incident:

Now we know snowmen exist.

In Discovery, Russian Yeti: The killer lives, it quotes a cryptic passage written in a newspaper the students brought with them:

From now on we know that the snowmen exist.

Numerous sites plain misquote Evening Otorten 1 paragraph. Here is an example:

In the trek newspaper, where they typically reported humorous events, was this: From now on we know the Snowmen exist. They can be found in the Northern Urals, next to Mount Otorten.

The reality:

The only written piece where snowman, or Yeti, is mentioned is in Evening Otorten 1, the satirical propaganda leaflet Dyatlov Group put together at the night of the incident.

The case file does not contain a photo of this flyer, only a transcript of its content. You might think that writers would want to consult the original document in order to independently authenticate such an apparently important clue, but they do not.

We have to guess what their plans were.

They were carrying the stove and even though they did not used it that night it means that they were planning on using it at least once before their return back to the labaz.

They pitched the tent on the ridge although they had the time to go down to Lozva river. The only reason to do that is to continue in the morning on high grounds towards Otorten, where it is easier to ski on firm snow.

The conclusion is that they planned to have more warm overnight on February 2 at Lake Lunthusaptur, under Mt. Otorten where the source of Lozva starts. They must have planned to make the note for the ascent then.

On the morning of February 3 make an ascent to Mt.Otorten, and replace the note that was there with their own. Then they pack their tent and start their way back.

They spend another cold overnight on February 3 on Kholat Syakhl.

On February 4 the group was supposed to go back to their labaz on Auspiya river.

From the campsite on February 1 to Mt Otorten is about 18 km. Taking into account the return journey, that makes 36 km. The group planned to leave on February 1 and return on February 4 to the labaz, the group had to take products for 3 days.

The upcoming route was river Auspiya - lake Lunthusaptur - Mt Otorten - river Auspiya.

They started late on February 1 because they waited for the weather to clear out. They wrote Evening Otorten 1, built a storage, labaz, gather firewood for the return back. Then after lunch, Dyatlov took the risk and lead the group up the the mountain Kholat Syakhl.

Dyatlov Pass is not where the group was headed. The pass is the place to go over Kholat Syakhl if you are going to come down. Some people speculate that Dyatlov got lost and didn't find the pass. This is not true. The group didn't intend to go though the pass. They wanted to gain altitude and stay on the ridge for a cold overnight, without firewood. They went 2 km and about 3:00 p.m. setup a campsite.

On February 2 the group was supposed to cover 14 - 14.5 km on a firm snow, reach lake Lunthusaptur and to have a war" overnight. That's way they took the stove with them and was found in the tent, not used on the tragic night of February 1.

What happened on the night of February 1959 will haunt us till this day. Only a speculative reenactment of the events of this night can be offered.

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