It wasnt much of a tree though. Hardly the sort of tree you could stay up for long and also not of such an height that any one climbing a few metres up it could see that far. They couldnt hide up that tree and they wouldnt have had a good view from that tree.
True. But in a desperate attempt to escape their attackers, it makes perfect sense that they tried to climb the tree. That also explains the injuries to their hands, which must have been sustained as a result of using their bare hands to try to get hold of the trunk. It is also likely that the injuries were made worse by the attackers' dragging their victims down.
The question of course arises why the attackers did not simply shoot them and all of the others.
The answer is that our picture of murder is largely derived from Western films where killers mostly use firearms. In the real world, very resourceful killers try to camouflage the act so as to make it look like an accident or a natural death.
If, as likely, armed attackers entered the tent and forced the nine victims out in the cold they did so because they wanted to give the impression that the Dyatlov group died as a result of freezing after a voluntary exit from their tent. The fact that many people still believe in the official version, is testimony to the intelligence of the attackers. The killers - and those who orchestrated the murder of the nine - had however misjudged the weather. The victims did not perish as soon as planned, so the attacking squad had to hunt them down and ensure that they died. That also explains why Dubinina, Zolotaryov, Kolevatov and Thibeaux-Brignolle had the most severe injuries. They were better dressed than the others, and might have survived and even escaped. The attackers therefore had to expedite their mission by using force, and all their injuries are consistent with physical force by human attackers.
The question still remains who these unknown killers were. There are only two possibilities, the way I see it.
One is local people (Mansi) who were evidently present in the area. Svetlana Oss believes in this theory, and in her book "Don't Go There" she does a very admirable job in dispelling the theories of natural causes - she demonstrates well how the nine were likely murdered. However, she fails to substantiate the claim that the Mansi were responsible. She only has hearsay evidence to offer and the book does not prove that the locals were responsible - it is a possibility but no more.
The other possibility is a more sinister one.
Personally I feel that the most important thing is to establish the fact that the nine were murdered. Those who were responsible are no longer among us, and whatever the motive - superstitions, offended feelings or perceived security reasons if the students witnessed something they were not supposed to know - the murders were the unfortunate result of suspicions and a profound lack of human understanding. The decision to kill the nine was a terrible mistake, since these young people were unlikely to harm anyone or to divulge any state secrets, but in a world where people are sometimes killed as a preventive measure such things happen - and these acts are often camouflaged as "accidents" or "natural deaths." To force the victims out from the tent after having ensured that they are improperly dressed, and then let the cold weather do the "job," makes perfect sense when the intent is to make the whole thing seem like an unfortunate accident.
An analytic approach to the Dyatlov pass tragedy will strongly suggest that this is precisely what happened on February 2, 1959.