Here is something I haven't seen addressed, although it probably has been somewhere and I just missed it.
There are, as you know, theories in which the bodies were moved after death or planted as part of a cover-up; well, if it were ME planting them, I would put them as far away from the original incident as I could, in order to keep searchers and investigators from finding the site where it all happened. I can't help but wonder if, in the last 60 years, have searchers ventured away from the place where the bodies were actually found and looked elsewhere, for example, on the other side of the pass? Just wondering if I've missed this information somewhere ...
Maybe they were planted somewhere else...
As a 'variation on a tree theme' I have sometimes wondered if a helilogging accident occurred, the loggers working after sunset, which came as early as 4:35pm, let's say until 7pm, under pressure to clear a large number of magnetic anomaly areas of trees as part of the Cold War effort (assuming this is mainly a search for uranium), and also knowing they would be grounded for 48hrs when the storm came.
They might light fires as workzone beacons, and a dropzone fire, these seen as the orange orbs witnesses saw from distant peaks, and because this wasn't a harvesting operation with waiting trucks logs were released mid-air from a hydraullic grappler under a helicopter.
The hikers campfire gets mistaken for the dropzone and injures the hikers and wrecks their tent with falling/rolling logs and snapped branches cascading down causing head injuries. 48hrs later the loggers fly back and see the carnage, and by then any survivors have perished in the cold.
The loggers would have a very powerful motive to cover-up what happened, and falsify their work records and flight clearances. They were experts in forest clearance and had the tools, their helicopter/s, nobody else needed to be involved, they protected themselves because they were directly responsible, criminally negligent in an industrial accident when they were doing something unsafe.
In the context of this theory the night photo's on Semyon's camera become what he might have seen as the dangerous fools flying over their heads, then the accident happens.
However, any restaging theory founders on those 2 trench digging photo's IMO. They cannot be of a high altitude a labaz
, they are not retaining any snow with which to backfill a hole if intending to bury anything.