October 23, 2021, 11:14:02 PM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Walking a km in deep snow  (Read 1990 times)

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November 27, 2020, 10:08:15 AM
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Manti


I wonder, does anyone have experience with, or has anyone done an experiment on how difficult it is to walk around a km or more in deep snow with only socks on your feet?

This depends on the type of snow, but there is mention in the diaries of snow "being blown by the wind, probably from trees because the sky is blue", and also on the photo where they're setting up the tent, clearly there is snow on their clothes, so I assume the snow was the loose kind...

Also based on the same photo, it was at least a metre deep around the tent. 
When you step into deep, powdery snow, your feet sink into it, so I think it would be almost impossible to walk any considerable distance, this is why people use skis.

I know footprints were found in a part of the assumed route (between the tent and where the bodies were found), but I wonder if it's correct to assume that they walked the whole way..
 

November 27, 2020, 11:54:00 AM
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sarapuk

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I wonder, does anyone have experience with, or has anyone done an experiment on how difficult it is to walk around a km or more in deep snow with only socks on your feet?

This depends on the type of snow, but there is mention in the diaries of snow "being blown by the wind, probably from trees because the sky is blue", and also on the photo where they're setting up the tent, clearly there is snow on their clothes, so I assume the snow was the loose kind...

Also based on the same photo, it was at least a metre deep around the tent. 
When you step into deep, powdery snow, your feet sink into it, so I think it would be almost impossible to walk any considerable distance, this is why people use skis.

I know footprints were found in a part of the assumed route (between the tent and where the bodies were found), but I wonder if it's correct to assume that they walked the whole way..

Well Iam sure that there are Members of this Forum who have walked through deep snow, including myself. But I havnt done it without boots or wellingtons. Soft snow is hard to walk through and thats why people use ski's as you say. But I have walked up to a mile in soft snow, its easily doable.
DB
 

November 27, 2020, 12:13:12 PM
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Manti


Looking at the photos from the search, it appears the snow was actually the hard, layered type. For example



Easily walkable, so my topic is pointless  dunno1
 

November 28, 2020, 03:34:58 PM
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sarapuk

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Looking at the photos from the search, it appears the snow was actually the hard, layered type. For example



Easily walkable, so my topic is pointless  dunno1

But where exactly was that photo taken. It looks like level ground not a slope.
DB
 

November 29, 2020, 12:34:54 AM
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Manti


It looks like it's above the treeline, and there are some rocks visible behind them so I guess it's around one of the rocky "ridges" between the tent and the treeline.

Based on maps there isn't level ground anywhere in the search area...
But what is even more strange now that I look at this photo again, is that this doesn't even look like snow, but ice dusted with snow. The searchers' boots don't even sink into it at all.

Ice requires above freezing temperatures to form, so that there is water that can then freeze, at night for example.

But I've found another photo also from the first search showing deeper snow, so it varied by location:

 

November 29, 2020, 04:08:59 AM
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Nigel Evans


Fresh wind drift would be loose powder.
 

November 29, 2020, 06:05:30 AM
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Manti


Yes indeed.

This is also from the search:



Looks like layers that form when the temperature during the day is above freezing, then below freezing at night, and it snows. So hardened layers form on top of each other every night.

But that couldn't have formed recently as it never goes above freezing during winter there. It could have formed in October. It is possible that the upper, powdery snow layer was all blown away by the wind however
« Last Edit: November 29, 2020, 06:12:53 AM by Manti »
 

November 29, 2020, 07:13:24 AM
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Nigel Evans



Looks like layers that form when the temperature during the day is above freezing, then below freezing at night, and it snows. So hardened layers form on top of each other every night.

But that couldn't have formed recently as it never goes above freezing during winter there. It could have formed in October. It is possible that the upper, powdery snow layer was all blown away by the wind however
The electrical theory for the DPI allows for regular warming of the snow due to discharge from the sky to the mountain. And strangely enough the reports of the tent, the tent area, the legend of the nine mansi hunters (and indeed your comment above) all support this.
 

November 29, 2020, 10:13:07 AM
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Manti


There is an electrical theory? Where can I read about this?
 

November 29, 2020, 10:19:30 AM
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Nigel Evans


 

November 29, 2020, 03:11:42 PM
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WAB


Let me try answer you in detail (and with specific examples) to these questions.....

I wonder, does anyone have experience with, or has anyone done an experiment on how difficult it is to walk around a km or more in deep snow with only socks on your feet?

There is of course. Here is link to the video of this event: https://youtu.be/FAuxkkISqmI?list=PLQUaBB5B8ds5kQyCbh9oBIHKApv9_CT72     
And then it was done twice - the second time, one day later, at night. I do not give reference to it only because there is almost no visibility. This was unsuccessful attempt get at least something when shooting at night.

This depends on the type of snow, but there is mention in the diaries of snow "being blown by the wind, probably from trees because the sky is blue", and also on the photo where they're setting up the tent, clearly there is snow on their clothes, so I assume the snow was the loose kind...

It was a story about what they saw elsewhere. There are different conditions in different places. You yourself bring a few photos:
1 - https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-017.jpg .
2 - https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-017.jpg 
3 - https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/gallery/Dyatlov-pass-1959-search-000.jpg 

They are also made in different places if you go down a slope in the order of numbers: 3 - 1 - 2. I just want remind you that photo #2 was taken at the end of March, when the snow fell already lot.
On the video, where Shura Alexeyenkov walks in socks of snow was also much more than it was in 1959.

Also based on the same photo, it was at least a metre deep around the tent.

Near the tent there was different amount of snow from different sides, but there was hard snow (this is called nast - thin crust of ice over snow) so the depth of snow did not matter. I have to explain that the shots
https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/thumbs/Unknown-origin-Dyatlov-photos-11.jpg  are not made in the place where the tent was, these are completely different conditions and snow conditions. This photo does not have exact reference points, both in time and place. According to all conditions, I assume that it was made on January 31, when they went to the top of the pass and unsuccessfully tried to make warehouse there.


When you step into deep, powdery snow, your feet sink into it, so I think it would be almost impossible to walk any considerable distance, this is why people use skis.

I know footprints were found in a part of the assumed route (between the tent and where the bodies were found), but I wonder if it's correct to assume that they walked the whole way..

You think it's right. But here we also need to make explanation: they could walk on parts of the slope without skis and they got to the place where it was possible. They could not go any further. The border of this can be seen on this diagram: https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/Dyatlov-pass-ravine-map-Borzenkov_1.png .

If they could go further into the forest, they would stay alive, because they could make a big and good fire. In the place where they were found, there was no proper amount and condition of firewood.
The traces they had were not very small. Above their beginning, there were no conditions for their formation, but below their end, the tracks were covered with snow that blew out from above and they could not be seen.
They went all the way and there is no need doubt it, because the teleportation had not yet been invented even now.  grin1

--------------------------

You can see for yourself the same conditions somewhere in the north of your country, for example in Lappi -  very good example is the Inari community. I know this because it borders on our Murmansk region, where I have been many times. The conditions are the same there. The difference with the Northern Urals will be such that the whole difference in snow conditions will be much shorter and faster.
 

November 30, 2020, 12:40:20 PM
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Tony


From pictures it looks like the snow on the slope was wind-blown, hard-packed snow and would have been easy to walk on. Probably slippery in places. Almost certainly the further they travelled into the forest area the more likely it would have been that the snow was deep. Walking in anything deeper than mid-shin snow is absolutely exhausting. Walking in knee deep snow for even a kilometer would have taken a long time and they would have had to stop often to rest. Walking in just socks would have been very painful. It seems that even after a few minutes of walking in just socks (or barefoot) most, if not all, would have turned back because of pain (minus the two in valenki and shoes). This is why I have a hard time with the avalanche theory. I do find it very strange the lack of frostbite on extremities. It seems like the only two with frostbite on their feet were Y. Doroshenko and Y. Krivonischenko.

For what it's worth, here is video of someone walking part of the route from the tent to the cedar. Towards the end, he enters the forest area and the snow begins to become deeper as he nears the cedar.



"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson
 

November 30, 2020, 02:30:46 PM
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sarapuk

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It looks like it's above the treeline, and there are some rocks visible behind them so I guess it's around one of the rocky "ridges" between the tent and the treeline.

Based on maps there isn't level ground anywhere in the search area...
But what is even more strange now that I look at this photo again, is that this doesn't even look like snow, but ice dusted with snow. The searchers' boots don't even sink into it at all.

Ice requires above freezing temperatures to form, so that there is water that can then freeze, at night for example.

But I've found another photo also from the first search showing deeper snow, so it varied by location:



It looks to me like some fairly deep snow in places. Looks like somewhere in or near the forest.
DB
 

November 30, 2020, 02:33:39 PM
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sarapuk

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Yes indeed.

This is also from the search:



Looks like layers that form when the temperature during the day is above freezing, then below freezing at night, and it snows. So hardened layers form on top of each other every night.

But that couldn't have formed recently as it never goes above freezing during winter there. It could have formed in October. It is possible that the upper, powdery snow layer was all blown away by the wind however

This is a good photo and it clearly shows that there has been snow layering. So deeper snow could have been blown away over the course of a month or more.
DB
 

November 30, 2020, 02:36:12 PM
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sarapuk

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Looks like layers that form when the temperature during the day is above freezing, then below freezing at night, and it snows. So hardened layers form on top of each other every night.

But that couldn't have formed recently as it never goes above freezing during winter there. It could have formed in October. It is possible that the upper, powdery snow layer was all blown away by the wind however
The electrical theory for the DPI allows for regular warming of the snow due to discharge from the sky to the mountain. And strangely enough the reports of the tent, the tent area, the legend of the nine mansi hunters (and indeed your comment above) all support this.

Looks like a natural occurrence to me. Natural layering. Wind blown snow over the course of a month or more.
DB
 

November 30, 2020, 02:38:29 PM
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sarapuk

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From pictures it looks like the snow on the slope was wind-blown, hard-packed snow and would have been easy to walk on. Probably slippery in places. Almost certainly the further they travelled into the forest area the more likely it would have been that the snow was deep. Walking in anything deeper than mid-shin snow is absolutely exhausting. Walking in knee deep snow for even a kilometer would have taken a long time and they would have had to stop often to rest. Walking in just socks would have been very painful. It seems that even after a few minutes of walking in just socks (or barefoot) most, if not all, would have turned back because of pain (minus the two in valenki and shoes). This is why I have a hard time with the avalanche theory. I do find it very strange the lack of frostbite on extremities. It seems like the only two with frostbite on their feet were Y. Doroshenko and Y. Krivonischenko.

For what it's worth, here is video of someone walking part of the route from the tent to the cedar. Towards the end, he enters the forest area and the snow begins to become deeper as he nears the cedar.



Yes it looks like that when the photos were taken but it would probably have looked a lot different a month or more earlier.
DB
 

December 01, 2020, 04:03:50 AM
Reply #16
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Manti



--------------------------

You can see for yourself the same conditions somewhere in the north of your country, for example in Lappi -  very good example is the Inari community. I know this because it borders on our Murmansk region, where I have been many times. The conditions are the same there. The difference with the Northern Urals will be such that the whole difference in snow conditions will be much shorter and faster.

Thank you for the detailed answer.

Many people seem to assume that the photo https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/thumbs/Unknown-origin-Dyatlov-photos-11.jpg is them setting up the tent for the last time, but indeed you are right, it could be from previous times.

Regarding hard snow (nast), I didn't expect it in that location, but I can see from the videos that even in 2004, the same type of snow was present with hardened layers on top.

And yes I didn't consider teleportation, but maybe a silly prank (the hikers seemed to be in playful mood, laughing in photos, writing Evening Otorten), like sliding race down the slope. Just a thought... they were after all young but, even if they do such a thing, makes no sense to do it in the dark and also Semyon would probably not take part...

Also from the videos, walking down doesn't seem hard, at least when there's no wind.
 

December 01, 2020, 07:28:48 AM
Reply #17
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Nigel Evans



Many people seem to assume that the photo https://dyatlovpass.com/resources/340/thumbs/Unknown-origin-Dyatlov-photos-11.jpg is them setting up the tent for the last time, but indeed you are right, it could be from previous times.

"Many people" includes Ivanov who had first hand experience of the original materials.
 

December 03, 2020, 10:59:54 AM
Reply #18
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GKM


Walking a KM in snow or ice, loose or hard, in bare feet or only socks could not have been easy for anyone, experienced or not.It was 20 degrees at my house yesterday and I walked to my mailbox in tennis shoes and thought I would freeze! I cannot imagine doing what they did. Whatever happened or was at the tent must have been beyond frightening. Perhaps even terrifying.
 

December 15, 2020, 01:20:15 PM
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Tony


Walking a KM in snow or ice, loose or hard, in bare feet or only socks could not have been easy for anyone, experienced or not.It was 20 degrees at my house yesterday and I walked to my mailbox in tennis shoes and thought I would freeze! I cannot imagine doing what they did. Whatever happened or was at the tent must have been beyond frightening. Perhaps even terrifying.

^Yes! I can't imagine even the most hard-core outdoor sportsperson walking 1500m barefoot or in socks without turning back minutes into the journey. This is why there are issues with so many of the theories i.e. avalanche, wind, etc.

Many have proposed a plan by the hikers to descend to the forest area and build a fire that occurred just after exiting the tent. I think this is possible and gave the hikers a sense of security that they would be able to warm themselves at the cedar. The forest area may have seemed closer than it was and, after hiking for so long, they had no choice but to walk further into the trees. But the obvious question is: why not take footwear to begin with or, why not return for footwear sooner? What event is so pressing that everyone must immediately exit the tent but then so unimportant that they are able to take time to make a plan?
"If there exists a fact which can only be thought of as sinister. A fact which can only point to some sinister underpinning, you will never be able to think up all the non-sinister, perfectly valid explanations for that fact."
- Josiah Thomson
 

January 17, 2021, 06:29:56 PM
Reply #20
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Manti



^Yes! I can't imagine even the most hard-core outdoor sportsperson walking 1500m barefoot or in socks without turning back minutes into the journey. This is why there are issues with so many of the theories i.e. avalanche, wind, etc.

Many have proposed a plan by the hikers to descend to the forest area and build a fire that occurred just after exiting the tent. I think this is possible and gave the hikers a sense of security that they would be able to warm themselves at the cedar. The forest area may have seemed closer than it was and, after hiking for so long, they had no choice but to walk further into the trees. But the obvious question is: why not take footwear to begin with or, why not return for footwear sooner? What event is so pressing that everyone must immediately exit the tent but then so unimportant that they are able to take time to make a plan?
Indeed, in case of wind, the most logical thing is to stay in the tent, even if it's ripped to pieces, it still provides some cover, and also being there is the best way to weigh it down and prevent it all being blown away.

And in case of avalanche, if it already occurred, it might make sense to cut the tent from inside and dig yourself out, and go to the forest to warm up next to a fire. But there were no signs of an avalanche having occurred. If they were only afraid of it, first of all the logical thing is to walk up to the mountaintop, not down, but also they were close to the ridge so there isn't much space for an avalanche to develop above them.
 

January 17, 2021, 07:01:58 PM
Reply #21
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Investigator


Manti, there was a TV show here in the USA, and they went there and pitched a tent (one tent, not two stitched together, and a rounded shape), and the wind was just vicious.  If you have a tent like the Dyatlov group had, I have little doubt it would not survive the night if the conditions were even remotely similar.  I'm surprised they didn't realize this; perhaps the weather changed or it was usual to get a lot worse at night (and reember that they were not familiar with the area).
 

January 18, 2021, 12:06:52 PM
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sarapuk

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Walking a KM in snow or ice, loose or hard, in bare feet or only socks could not have been easy for anyone, experienced or not.It was 20 degrees at my house yesterday and I walked to my mailbox in tennis shoes and thought I would freeze! I cannot imagine doing what they did. Whatever happened or was at the tent must have been beyond frightening. Perhaps even terrifying.

Thats correct. Frightening or terrifing. I think most people who have sampled the outdoors in winter conditions will know what its like to not be dressed properly. Certainly as regards footwear. One only has to look at history reports to see the number of people who have sufferd severe frostbite in the feet / toes, requiring amputation. And the Dyatlov Group were all experienced outdoors people.
DB
 

January 19, 2021, 12:43:40 PM
Reply #23

DAXXY

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In the video in reply 15 he does the walk down to the cedar tree in socks.  Wool keeps all it's thermal qualities even when wet.  They had layers of wool socks.