The Dyatlov Pass Incident is one of those famous “what really happened” stories from history. You know the ones I’m talking about. The ones movies now-a-days plaster “Based on a true story” all over in the promotional ads. Well, despite the fiction vomited out by movie studios recently, the Dyatlov Pass Incident was indeed real and occurred in February of 1959. A team of ski hikers, organized by one Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov(whom the area is now named after),for a ski trek across the Northern Ural Mountains in Russia. Most of the team were students or graduates of Ural Polytechnical Institute (Уральский Политехнический Институт, УПИ) and consisted of eight men and two women:
Igor Alekseievich Dyatlov (Игорь Алексеевич Дятлов) -age 23
Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova (Зинаида Алексеевна Колмогорова) – age 24
Lyudmila Alexandrovna Dubinina (Людмила Александровна Дубинина) – age 21
Alexander Sergeievich Kolevatov (Александр Сергеевич Колеватов) – age 25
Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin (Рустем Владимирович Слободин) – age 23
Yuri Alexeievich Krivonischenko (Юрий Алексеевич Кривонищенко) – age 24
Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko (Юрий Николаевич Дорошенко) – 21
Nicolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux-Brignolles (Николай Владимирович Тибо-Бриньоль) – age 24
Semyon (Alexander) Alexandrovich Zolotariov (Семен (Александр) Александрович Золотарёв) – age 38
Another man, Yuri Yefimovich Yudin (Юрий Ефимович Юдин), was supposed to be the tenth member of the team but fell ill right before the trek started and had to return home.
The following information about the trek has been established through the teams audio recordings and journal entries found at the site.
The team set out from Vizhai, Siberia on January 27th, 1959. The goal of the expedition was to reach Otorten (Отортен) Mountain. At the time of year they were trekking the hike was rated at it’s highest difficulty but all members of the team were experienced climbers and hikers and they proceeded with little difficulty. Until the snows came.
Between January 31st and February 1st the team began moving through what would become known as Dyatlov Pass. They had begun climbing up into the mountains from the forest but snowstorms were decreasing their visibility and they were gradually taken off course to the west. Instead of backtracking and climbing back down into the forest for better shelter from the snows, Dyatlov had the team set up camp on the moutain side.
Dyatlov was expected to send a telegram confirming their successful climb by February 12th. It never got there. On February 20th, the first search party was sent out.
February 26th – The camp was found, along with the first five bodies:
Searchers found the site to be in ruins. The tent was collapsed and filled with snow. The most curious thing was that the tent had been cut open and coats and other protective gear had all been left behind. Thet found footprints of people without shoes and most without socks, either. The tent appeared to have been cut open from the inside. It seems that they had been buried by a freak avalanche during the night and had to cut themselves out of the tent, running away in whatever they happened to be wearing at the time. Temperatures that time of year are −25 to −30 °C (−13 to −22 °F).
Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko and Yuri Alexeievich Krivonischenko were found at a makeshift camp down in the forest in front of a burnt out fire.
Three others; Dyatlov, Kolmogorova and Slobodin were found several hundred meters further and it appeared as if they may have been trying to get back to the tent when they had frozen to death.
It took over two months to find the remaining four bodies. They were under four meters of snow seventy five meters from the other bodies in a ravine. They were found to be wearing some of the clothes of their teammates who had died first in an attempt to stay warm. Three had suffered fatal injuries. Two had skull fractures and another had chest fractures. It is speculated that the injuries were inflicted when they had fallen into the ravine and not from being attacked by a native Mansi tribe as had been originally postulated. The bodies were all well preserved from the cold temperatures. Dubinia had suffered the most post mortem decay, losing her eyes and tongue and lips.
An official investigation was launched and for the most part it was conclusively determined that the avalanche theory had the most credence. Although a very interesting part of this whole story is that several articles of clothing from the victims were found to be carrying high level radiation. It has been established that Dyatlov Pass had taken the team right between two military testing areas of the Russian army. One for the intercontinental R-7 missles and the other for nuclear bomb tests. Which gave rise to another theory that they had gotten too close to “something” and the military killed them. Just more bullshit conspiracy as no tracks were ever found around the camp or any of the bodies aside from the victims themselves.
Over the years people have wanted desperately to make this something more than what it is. A yeti attack or some other supernatural occurrence is the most popular aside from the usual military conspiracy theory coverup or that they were attacked by cannibal mutants or native mountain tribes or whatever other bullshit creatively bankrupt movie makers want to come up with. They were buried in an avalanche in the middle of the night and with their shelter clothes and equipment soaked and ruined, they had nothing to do but try to make new ones and stay warm…That situation must have been scarier than any shallow hollywood screamfest…