January 28, 2022, 08:47:26 AM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Why did they turn back the day before?  (Read 128 times)

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January 18, 2022, 07:22:49 PM
Read 128 times


31 January 1959
 Weather today is a bit worse – wind (west), snowing (probably from the pines), since the sky is perfectly clear.
 Started relatively early (around 10 am). Got back on the Mansi trail. (Up to now we are following a Mansi trail on which not so long passed a hunter with deer.)
 Yesterday it seems we stumbled upon his resting stop. Deer didn't go any further. The hunter took the beaten trail by himself, we are following in his steps.
 Had a surprisingly good overnight, air is warm and dry, though it’s -18°C to -24°C. Walking is especially hard today. We can't see the trail, have to grope our way through at times. Can’t do more than 1.52 km (1 mile) per hour.
 Trying out new ways to clear the path. The first in line drops his backpack, skis forward for five minutes, comes back for a 10-15 minute break, then catches up with the group. That’s one way to keep laying ski tracks non-stop. Hard on the second hiker though, who has to follow the new trail with full gear on his back. We gradually leave the Auspiya valley, it’s upwards all the way but goes rather smoothly. Thin birch grove replaces firs. The end of forest is getting closer. Wind is western, warm, piercing, with speed like the draft from airplanes at take-off. Firn, open spaces. I can't even think of setting up storage here. It's nearly 4. Have to start looking for a place to pitch the tent. We go south in the Auspiya valley. Seems this place has the deepest snow. Wind not strong, snow 1.22 m deep. We’re exhausted, but start setting up for the night. Firewood is scarce, mostly damp firs. We build the campfire on the logs, too tired to dig a fire pit. Dinner’s in the tent. Nice and warm. Can’t imagine such comfort on the ridge, with howling wind outside, hundreds of kilometers away from human settlements.
 Dyatlov (last record in the diary)

I think this aspect has not been explored enough, but is very important. The day before the incident, they reached the Dyatlov Pass itself (pass in the spur between the Auspiya and Lozva valleys). Instead of continuing and camping in the Lozva valley, which was very close and on their planned route, they turned back. Above is the diary entry stating this, but it doesn't give a reason.

Why would they turn back and lose a day?
The searchers' camp was in the Auspiya valley and every day, they went up to the tent (which was further past the ridge), searched for long hours and then went back down. It seems like it's not difficult. Is there a record of a searcher who was unable to reach the search area due to weather, impassable terrain, or any other reason? What caused the difficulty for  the Dyatlov group?

The next day, they built the labaz/cache, and walked up the slope, crossed the spur and set up camp (or set up a labaz according to the theory in Igor & Teddy's book). The labaz that was found was just stuff covered by snow, couldn't have taken long to set up. This is the same route the searchers took every day, and yet the Dyatlov Group failed to reach the Lozva valley again! To me it seems like something was already wrong... But what could it be?

January 19, 2022, 02:44:26 AM
Reply #1

Игорь Б.

Потому что через час уже начало бы темнеть и они вернулись в лес, чтобы не ночевать на горе без дров и на очень сильном ветру (подобном скорости взлетающего самолета).
Кроме того, они собирались устроить настоящий лабаз - на деревьях, а не в снегу. Но как известно это у них не получилось.
The answers to all the questions related to the death of Dyatlov group:
Evidence of the death of the Dyatlov group from the Wolverine chemical weapon:

January 19, 2022, 04:09:58 PM
Reply #2


Because in an hour it would have already started to get dark and they returned to the forest, so as not to spend the night on the mountain without firewood and in a very strong wind (similar to the speed of a plane taking off).In addition, they were going to set up a real warehouse-in the trees, not in the snow. But as you know, they did not succeed.
I didn't know they tried to make a real labaz in the trees. Were some wooden structures found that suggest this?

Your explanation for turning back makes sense. Nightfall was close, and they chose to return to an area they already knew. But then, the next day they were caught out again?

Distance to the Lozva valley forest from the tree line of the Auspiya valley is not great:

From photos it doesn't look like the weather was any better, and yet they now choose to camp on the slope instead of going to the forest, even though it's not further away (if they set out to the North instead of North-west), and requires less elevation gain:

For me this part is hard to understand. Looks like they were either lost, Igor changed his mind from the previous day and now wanted to camp in the wind, or there was some other reason to avoid the Lozva valley.

January 27, 2022, 07:46:54 PM
Reply #3


I looked at available maps and diagrams. I discount theories of a cover up and the tent planted on 1079. From what I saw, the original planned route would take the hikers through deep snow, a tangle of forest and cross at least one stream, then climb to reach their goal. Too, there was no trail to follow elow and they could not decode Mansi sign. It is far easier and more practical to traverse 1079 above the tree line which is open country. Igor made the right decision in that regard. When things went wrong, they underestimated their distance from the treeline where they could have fire.