Did the group suffered calamity due to a fallen branch, and was there was a subsequent effort to misdirect investigators? I think not. Why? The first reason is that no suitable fallen branch in the immediate vicinity or surrounds was found with or without traces of canvas. If the branch was previously found and removed, earth and snow would be worked with boot prints, skids,,wood chips and a trail. Secondly, the forensic site and vicinity of the tragedy had no evidence of tampering.Third, if the scene was staged and bodies were planted, there would exist the traces of it in the snow. Further, I doubt someone would have the imagjnation to think up a story line right on location, reenactment it and pose the deceased, especially in the ravine.
Occam's razor. The simplest answer is the best. It all boils down to whether the hikers turned right or went straight after making the cache. They went straight to not lose ground. They camped in the open, When frightened, they underestimated the distance to the trees. The fear was caused by a transient phenomena. I think a tremor caused by geological or meteorological sources is the answer. I thinkt in Russian eyes, the interest in this by other nationalities is a thinly veiled slap at Russian ability to take care of their own.I too an not Russian and am guilty .