March 01, 2024, 07:16:44 PM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Survival programs as a resource.  (Read 1866 times)

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October 23, 2023, 03:29:25 AM
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Hi, I've been binge watching the survival program " Alone ".

If you enjoy the outdoors and fighting to survive with selected items, 10 out of 40 , building your own shelter , hunting game with a bow and arrow, snares, fishing nets during winter etc, then I can recommend it.

However , I think it's a good resource for the Dyatlov pass. I have only watched two seasons but it's the effect the cold has on people .

Having  watched one of the series , two contestants did something that might offer a rational explanation to the burns on the group. The program seems genuine enough , the contestants are left in an allocated piece of land and have emergency satalite phones, basic first aid, bear spray/horn and their chosen survival equipment. They have to survive against each other, film themselves for up to 100 days from fall to winter. It actually seems quite brutal and has a certain charm.

Anyway , one of the contestants was trying to lay a system for catching fish in the lake. They decided to swim out to lay the line in the start of winter. Things went wrong quite quickly, her life belt got tangled in the line, and ended up being in the water for over 20 minutes. They had set the cameras up to film before hand and they had made a fire at the shore. After getting out of the water you could see that the cold was having an effect. Speech was deteriorating along with body movement. To remedy the pain , the contestant squatted over the fire , put on thermal base layer and fought against the cold. Unknown , they had moderately burt their thighs and quite badly at the knee to the point of a blistering, also they had burnt a hole in the leggings.

 Also, another contestant suffering with cold feet put them close to the fire whilst wearing their socks and managed to burn holes in the socks.

The point being, or the parallels to the Dyatlov group are ,that it is quite feasible that people will put their limbs in a fire out of moderate desperation . Without knowing, they can burn themselves and their clothes! . The Dyatlov group were potentially suffering from the conditions than these TV contestants. Some contestants have the start of frostbite and get pulled of the show. No idea how the insurance works , must sign a waiver.

Another contestant actually killed a wolverine that was raiding his "labaz" ( mounted in the trees) . Unfortunately there was zero reports of smell or bad odour. He even skinned the wolverine . ( Think he might of ate it?)
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January 07, 2024, 05:18:06 AM
Reply #1


This is a guy deep snow survival camping in a 8ft snow hole.

Caution: I don't recommend anyone to do this without training.

At 5:15 in the video he break's off branches of a fur/ceder tree. He says this is the best wood for fire and the sap helps. Point to note is the debris that fall to the ground whilst he is collecting the wood. I suspect this type of trail is what the Mansi would have discovered during the thaw that lead to the discovery of the den . If I remember correctly some of the hikers clothes were found along the same path as the remains of sticks and branches used to make the den. If the debris and clothes were found at the same depth in the snow, it would reinforce the notion that the incident and building of the den happened at the same time.

The lack of any other trails or tracks around the ceder and ravine is significant in suggesting no one else was in the area and the den was not a previous flooring built by another party.

If anyone else was camping at the ceder, I think there would be more signs of activity and tracks,going to the toilet, chopped , sawdust or cut wood for fires, left over food scraps, tangerine skins for example. Humans leave more than footprints and i think it would be next to impossible to make the area


January 07, 2024, 06:20:11 AM
Reply #2


Ziljoe, you are certainly right that these references add to the group understanding of the tragedy. It also points out the real dangers of battling with the elements. Even the best laid plans must be subservient to physics. The snow cave is a clever solution, providing the snow conforms to expectations. Can we imagine creating such a shelter without tools in any sort of wind or falling snow.

Thhe DP9 should have listened when the Forester advised them to not try their suggested route. They, for the most part were young, energetic and primed for a challenge. Nature is indifferent.

For me, the big take away from your postings are that the standard canon of what transpired on their last days on 1079 are entirely reasonable and likely true. I like the economy of the explanation.

January 08, 2024, 02:23:24 PM
Reply #3


I hate to say it but this is looking more and more like overconfidence and biting off more than the could chew.  Why was it allowed for them to go on a level 3 hike when no one, including Dyatlov were level 3?
What sense does It make to say if you are successful at this level 3 hike you will then be level 3. And if you failed what else could happen except you die?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2024, 02:40:11 PM by Falcon73 »
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January 09, 2024, 12:07:43 AM
Reply #4


I hate to say it but this is looking more and more like overconfidence and biting off more than the could chew.  Why was it allowed for them to go on a level 3 hike when no one, including Dyatlov were level 3?
What sense does It make to say if you are successful at this level 3 hike you will then be level 3. And if you failed what else could happen except you die?

Good point. There might be over confidence for sure but they had done several trips before. The distance covered in this trip is considerable and without a contingency plan if one of the party was to break an ankle for example.

However, the nature of tourism in the USSR was encouraged and a passtime. There were many accidents and deaths , this includes rafting as well as winter climbing and hikes. There were fallouts and fights in other groups quite frequently I believe, one of the other groups ran into difficulty at the same time as DP9 but for different reasons, an accidental burning of their tent left them digging snow holes on their return to safety, another group are reported to have suffered frostbite .

It was the 1950s but such things still happen in all parts of the world. Saying that , we only hear of the accidents and deaths , not those that came to no harm.

This is also maybe part of the mystery to the Dyatlov 9 , why , out of all the deaths and accidents in the Soviet Union does it it get so much attention?.


January 09, 2024, 01:20:17 AM
Reply #5


             Cairngorm Plateau disaster

This disaster has several similarities.

1) The weather changed dramatically

2) One of the group was found crawling up a slope , knees bent almost frozen, hands clenched to get help.

3) Two of the students had got out of their sleeping bags and lay on top of them.

4) Several students were found sheltering in a snow hole/ ditch. (One survived)

5) starting the hike late in the day.

6) The two older members left the students in the snow hole and went to get help as the situation was dire , one collapsed quickly and the other member left them and made the decision that she had to keep moving. ( That must have been a difficult decision and one that makes me think it must have been similar on the slope for Zina. To note, both females seemed to have lasted the longest?)

7) The group split up , twice .

            Details and back ground

          Two videos below retell the event's ( unfortunately they have music for effect)

         Recent news article below 

A survivor of Britain’s worst mountain disaster has recalled the tragedy for the first time ahead of special 50th anniversary memorial services.

Patricia Cameron lost five teenage school friends and their teacher when they froze to death in an unprecedented November storm in the Cairngorms in 1971 during a trip designed to improve their navigation skills.

           Survivor recollection below
          ( has some black and white film )

At 4000 feet on Saturday, November 20, climbing club members from Edinburgh’s Ainslie Park School split into two groups amid deteriorating weather.

A more experienced party, led by 23-year-old Ben Beattie and including Patricia, headed to the sanctuary of the high-level Curran bothy, where they remained overnight before heading back down the mountain the following day.

But when they reached the safety of Rothiemurchus at 5.30pm on the Sunday, they realised the other group was missing and alerted police in Aviemore.

Mrs Cameron remembers the fierce weather conditions on the way down and recalls the desperation of the children to get back to safety.

“The conditions were appalling, it was a complete white-out,” she said, speaking about the disaster for the first time from her home in Edinburgh.

“It was fine when we left. We got up the chairlift, stopped at the Ptarmigan café, then we left there and got so far up the mountain when it changed.

“Even the following day, coming down was probably more traumatic than going up.”

Led by 21-year-old Catherine Davidson, the less-experienced climbers had attempted to dig a snow hole in freezing, 100mph winds on the Cairngorm Plateau, but were soon engulfed just a few hundred yards short of the shelter.

By the Sunday evening, a major search and rescue operation was underway for the missing climbers and, from the air, a helicopter crew spotted a severely frostbitten Ms Davidson’s bright red jacket as she crawled on her hands and knees.

That sighting led them to discover the bodies of five children and instructor Sheelagh Sunderland, but miraculously, the other survivor from the less experienced group, 15-year-old pupil Raymond Leslie, was pulled free from four feet of snow by an RAF rescuer using an avalanche pole for the first time.

Marty Rowe, who was part of the RAF Kinloss Mountain Rescue Team, recalled: “We started to dig away the layers of snow and the young lad was lying in a slight ditch, which probably saved his life.

The snow had closed over him and insulated him a wee bit. As we were digging, we saw slight movement of his limbs and thought ‘this guy’s alive’.”

The disaster led to considerable debate about the value of mountain bothies. While experienced climbers credited the huts with saving lives, others claimed they had tempted the less well prepared onto the hills.

A fatal accident inquiry found no one was to blame, but led to the demolition of two high-level bothies and sparked an overhaul into the training and safety of children taking part in outdoor pursuits.

Looking back now, Mrs Cameron doesn’t know if the trip was poorly planned.


January 10, 2024, 03:03:55 AM
Reply #6


Cutting saplings/branches for the den, can it be done?

The following bushcraft videos give examples on how to cut small trees with only a knife.

One of the hikers had a pen knife in his pocket. A knife sheath was also found without a knife.


January 12, 2024, 03:50:53 AM
Reply #7


Walking without shoes or boots

Can people walk when wearing socks ?

The obvious answer is yes they can, there is no argument there, we walk around in our homes wearing socks everyday. If you don't believe me, put some socks on and go for a walk. Did you manage?

Can people walk on snow when wearing socks ?

Again we can work this out... people can! , No surprises so far .

Can people walk on snow , wearing only socks for a reasonable length of time ?

This is more tricky to answer, snow, socks and time , what about heat loss!

Luckily , some of the human race have done  this walking in snow with socks for us. oddly enough, not all in connection with the Dyatlov pass but from survival perspectives.

This video below is one of my favourites , the guy actually puts his socks in water first , then walks in the snow. He states it's -25c , walks for about 15 minutes in his backyard explaining the sensations. Only 2 pairs of wool socks . We can note the build up of snow on the sock. See the end result? .

Below is a video of a woman running through woods at -12c in the snow wearing socks. It looks like 30 minute workout. She states no harm to the feet. Again , socks ,2-3

Lastly, we have the experiment film of the researchers on the actual slope of the hikers. Walking from tent to ceder.


January 12, 2024, 04:51:17 AM
Reply #8


Global Moderator
All research is helpful to this case and adds to our set of references which may one day help to solve this mystery. The "feet" question is one of the biggest! I appreciate reading what you have uncovered about the socks and feet. While I agree that any one of the hikers could have run through snow and over rocks and come out with pristine socks, my big stumbling block here is that the odds are against that happening with all nine of them.

January 12, 2024, 07:50:36 AM
Reply #9


All research is helpful to this case and adds to our set of references which may one day help to solve this mystery. The "feet" question is one of the biggest! I appreciate reading what you have uncovered about the socks and feet. While I agree that any one of the hikers could have run through snow and over rocks and come out with pristine socks, my big stumbling block here is that the odds are against that happening with all nine of them.

Thanks amashilu

The following is from Yuri Yudin , written in his diaries at home.

"The legs are bare, not damaged, not torn to blood (1.85 km through the snow and stones and the socks are intact!), and then so much work by the fire!"

Some things to note. Yuri Yudin was never at the scene at the time. He was there in 2008 I believe , when there was no snow. The bare legs are damaged and socks are torn and not intact.

We can ask what is going  on in this small piece of dialogue. Is Yudin writing from looking at the black and white photos or the autopsy photos. Has he read someone else's book that said their were no injuries or damaged socks?. Is it from memory of what he thought he saw at the mortuary? .

We can see the slope is mostly covered with snow, although some parts of the slope are quite rocky underneath  , there is a lot of snow on top . We know that the snow was deeper on the slope in some parts before the searcher's found the tent, that's a fact.  We can see that snow has little impact on socks.

However, I would expect damage to the socks around the shallow snow under the likes of the ceder tree.

Here's quotes from the two Yuri's autopsy's found under the ceder tree.

DOROSHENKO Yuri Alekseevich

On the left foot, there are two pairs of light-brown knitted socks torn in the back of the foot and in the ankle joint and a white woolen sock with a reinforced heel; on a white sock there is a 2 x 5 cm dark-brown burnt area in the forefoot around the toe. On the right foot, there are the remains of the cotton sock with an elastic band. This sock is the same color as the one on the left foot. There is also a white woolen sock.

KRIVONISCHENKO Georgiy Alekseevich

The bottom left half of the long underwear is missing up to the knee; the edge of the tear is uneven and charred. Under the long underwear are blue 2-knit satin shorts. On the left leg is a torn cotton sock, the edges of which are burned.

Lyudmila Aleksandrovna Dubinina

On the left leg there is a torn grey woolen sock. On both legs there are torn blue cotton socks with grey wool machine-knitted socks under them

Aleksander Kolevatov

On the feet are dirty white home-knitted wool socks, parts of which are burned, and brown cotton socks. On the left leg there are three brown cotton socks with a gauze bandage underneath them at the ankle joint

Is too much faith being put on what Yuri Yudin says? Has Yudin been misquoted?

I can only conclude that it is not impossible to walk to the ceder in socks , feet will not instantly freeze.
Damage to the hikers socks has occurred, this is most likely due to the wooded area , softer, more shallow snow. Also,  there seems to be a strong connection with charred/burnt socks, we know there was a fire.