Ziljoe, how can any of us prevail against the rapier wit of the "expert"? Now, back to the matter of the disaster.
At that time, I imagine some imaginary conspirators thinking, " Now, what are we going to do with this tent? I know, let's set it up way,,way over there on the hill. That is going to fool everyone!" I think not! The tent got there because the hikers put it there. Or perhaps the bad boys trekked around and found the labaz and said " Hey,this is here, so let's put the tent up over there"." Now, who is going to carry it up from a mile away?"" Who is bringing the pots and pans up? " Lets flip for it." None of this scenario works for me. If you know the tent is going to be found, you are going to make the scene as " vanilla" as possible. The fewer questions about the tent,the better. There are too many questions.
If a tree fell on the hikers, then why in the world would you find three freezing to death going up hill towards the tent at elevation 880? I recall that ice formed under Rustem. That meant he was warm when he fell. That means he was alive, not a planted corpse.
Too, if two of the DP9 hikers were supposedly relieving themselves outside, it would be deucedly hard for troublemakers to sneak up unobserved. I think it would also be hard for a critter to get past them, but timing is everything, yes?
A slab slip seems the simplest event to compel people to leave their shelter. Yet, it seems unreasonable for sane people to walk half dressed the better part of a mile. It also seems odd that if they did leave the tent half dressed, that those who were better dressed would not share or otherwise assist.. If indeed the tent collapsed on the hikers and they cut their way out, they may have underestimated the distance to the woods for a fire. There was a flashlight mentioned, so it surely happened at night, a dark and stormy night.
If a wolverine or other creature invaded the tent, that would be completely out of character for an animal (except for a bear). Bears hibernate.I would immediately fear rabies if a random wild animal attacked the shelter. I know that I would cut my way out of any tent if I thought a rabid critter was in my space. That is reasonable.
It would have been so simple if the rescuers detected the odor of an animal. As it was, they snagged the vodka and probably snacked on some of the unspoiled stores. My point being, it, wasn't like they were put off by the smell.