There are several problems with the 'avalanche' theory.
a. Even a modest amount of snow would have been next to impossible to escape. Near the area where I live, we had a number of avalanches this past winter. One alone claimed the lives of three skiers. In one avalanche, the skier was able to ski parallel the slope almost escaping the avalanche but was caught at the very edge of the slide and was covered by only 1 foot of snow and was unable to escape. Luckily, he was skiing with a friend who was able to dig him out. Even under 1 foot of snow, it is almost impossible to dig yourself out.
b. If the slide was very minor, then why not remain an extra few minutes and secure lifesaving equipment. Walking barefoot in snow is extremely painful. It's hard to imagine even the most hardened outdoors person not turning back to secure footwear even after a few minutes of walking barefoot. Often the argument is made, "there was too much snow on the tent to retrieve equipment." But not too much that 9 people were able to cut the tent and dig themselves out? If you can dig yourself out, then it wasn't that much snow to begin with.
c. Why walk almost 1500 meters to the cedar to, only then, decide to turn back towards the tents as Igor, Zina, and Rustem had attempted. What were they hoping to find that wasn't there when they left? It doesn't make sense that, if you are leaving the scene of an snow slide, to decide to turn around and attempt to return after walking 1500m down a windy, cold slope. If it was an avalanche, what was at the tent that wasn't there when they left?
d. making cuts into a canvas covered in hundreds of pounds of snow would have been extremely difficult. Not to mention the 3 cuts detailed in the report were found at a distances from each other that would be difficult to explain if the person making them were under a enormous amount of snow.
e. M. Sharavin described the cuts as being on the leeward side with the windward side folded over on top of them. Since there is no report of how the tent was found with regards to the location of the sides of the tent, all we have to go on is M. Sharavin's word. However, if this is correct, the avalanche theory does not make sense. If snow had slid down and onto the tent it would have pushed the windward side over and it would have collapsed on top of the leeward side. Then, for the theory to make sense, the cuts would have been made to the then bottom of the tent (the leeward side). After exiting the tent, the hikers then turned the windward side back over on top of the leeward side covering the cuts. So, they had time and energy to turn the windward side of the tent over on top of the cuts but didn't have energy to retrieve footwear and heavy coats?
f. But I think the biggest piece of evidence is the fact that there has never been a recorded avalanche on Kholat Syakhl despite hundreds of visitors. Even with setting up a tent, digging into the mountain, the same as the hikers did in '59 (see below).https://youtu.be/sH-3jOO9QI0?t=307
I think the avalanche theory is the most logical - it just has many problems.