I believe the snow, coarse or fine, is a symptom, not a cause for the evacuation. They left with footprints diverging in the cold black night. Later, they regroup and make the long trek to the woods.To me, diverging footprints says," everyone for themselves,," Panic drove them from the tent. Rational minds decide to travel to the trees as a group. No one is brave/ foolhardy enough to go back. The threat had to be continuous.
However, something that was mentioned here sent me along a different tact. If the tent was ripped by the rescue party and/ or the snow mass, then the hikers would have left an intact camp. Question, is there any sense in the notion that hubris (pride) played a role? Could it be that Igor tasked his companions to make a survival trek to the woods and back, at night in undressed fashion just so that their grade 3 certification meant something more? I understand that the majority of the trip was by vehicle, with little actual hiking. Could they have gotten so full of themselves as to gamble with the elements for the sake of pride?
Even smart people succumb to peer pressure. This being said, on the face of the matter everyone in the forum seems to like the group cutting themselves from the tent. To me, only an aerial threat would make sane people cut their tent, scatter, regroup and March 5,280 feet away from their coats and boots. You cant reason with a jet,nor the munitions. Please advise!