WAB. I would be interested to know from your expeditions to the site how long do you think it would take to walk from the tent to the Cedar tree given the conditions as we know them ?
I have estimated about 45-60 minutes. I am assuming it was slippy and rocky in places about -25 celsius, poor visibility and a down slope wind.
(I watched your informative video showing the slope and your friend trying to decsend very carefully in daylight).
How sure can we be about the temperature, wind speed/direction and visibility during the group's journey down the slope?
Thank you for asking questions in this way: short, concrete and clear.
In order to save time (unfortunately, the information is very extensive), I will be answering points:
1. You estimate this time approximately correctly, for a participant who came in the best way in those conditions. For example, it may concern the 2 Yura with the highest probability. If there were any additional obstacles, then this time could be longer. Additionally, I can say (this is my personal opinion based on the analysis of places and the logic of events) that not all participants have reached the cedar and fire. This follows from the places where they were found and the analysis of the things they had found. So far we can say that only 3 people have been there: 2 Yura and Alexander Kolevatov - with the highest probability. The rest (alas) could not get there for various reasons. Therefore, their travel time was longer. For example, if 4 den (more exactly 3 of them) carried a wounded man to the third stone ridge of Tibo (a second flashlight was found there!), then this time should be at least twice as long. This is a very hard and long process, especially considering that of the three, one it was Luda.
2. You also assess the quality of the slope sections very correctly. However, your temperature is little lower than the one calculated from 9 weather stations in the county. I have calculated (maybe I will be corrected, but so far there have not been such reliable corrections), that the temperature was at the top about -15 ... -18 C (this is Celsius, but if it is more convenient for you, you can write on Fahrenheit, I can understand everything correctly, only please specify the icons - which scale refers to) with wind 15 ... 20 m/s (30 ... 39 knt). There was practically no wind at the bottom, but the temperature was lower - about -20 ... -24C(-4 ... -12F) is the aerodynamics of the area and the influence of vegetation. As well as the fact that the eastern slope of the Ural Mountains belongs to another climatic region, colder than the western one. These mountains are the boundary of the division of these regions. The wind was exclusively western (downhill), but slightly above the place where Zina was found, it dropped sharply... This was also noted in observations on our expeditions and is feature of the local aerodynamics of the landscape. I gave here links to videos series when I was walking down slope with an initial wind of about 20 m/s (39 knt).
3. Night visibility very much dependent on the quality of vision, but even for good vision it does not exceed 20 m in the absence of the moon. That is, you can see individual contours and spots, but there are no specific images that can be confidently identified. Hearing in the wind was no more than 15 m from the wind side, this we tested in the experiment in common Kuncevich back in March 2013. When there, unexpectedly for us, we found out that correspondents of the newspaper "Komsomolskaya Pravda" should fly there. I also gave link to the video of this experiment here on this forum.
4. The video you are talking about was an experiment to determine the time that can be considered absolutely minimal in ideal conditions and with maximum safety of movement on a slope. It shows very well that even with no ice at all, the snow is very slippery, so one should not be surprised how likely injuries on the rocks are when you fall, especially if it happens at night and when there is no visibility.
And I want to emphasize once again the idea that there is no certainty that the group has acted in full all the time. Most likely, there were maximum of 2 groups - 2 and 4 people (and only at the very end) + 3 individual participants on the slope, but they were separate from each other.
This is a consequence of the reason for leaving the tent, and the conditions that were there then. The conclusion from this can be justified by the event`s logic.