In my country, after the communists came, many people/former WW2 soldiers went in the mountains forming anti-communist resistance groups(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romanian_anti-communist_resistance_movement
One event has come to my mind recently related to one resistance group, and the events are somehow similar:
The death of the undercover tourists
September 2, 1950. Toma Arnăuţoiu, Petre Arnăuţoiu, Constantin Jubleanu and Ion Marinescu meet with tourists Aurel Bârsan, Băş Ghervase, Neniu Dumitru, Venter Teodor and Maria Tiron on Gălăşescu Mountain. Educate to be circumspect with any unknown, the four interogate the to the strangers until they revealed them. Tourists were undercover Security Agents. Aurel Barsan is the only one left alive.
On September 2, 1950, the terrorists Arnauţoiu Toma, Arnăuţoiu Petre, Marinescu Ion and Jubleanu Constantin attacked with arms a group of people on the tourist route Sîmbăta-Moldoveanu, at the point named Piscul Călăşescului, bestially murdering four people and namely: security platoon Băiş Ghervase, Neniu Petre, worker, PCR member, engineer Venţer Teodor and student Tiron Maria. After they murdered them, the terrorists robbed them of the objects they had on them, stripped them and then run, hiding at one of the hut they had in the mountains. Student Tiron Maria, being only injured, was eventually shot dead with bullets in her heart and her head. "
Secret Service Report - https://adevarul.ro/locale/constanta/militienii-eroi-aventurile-romantate-reusit-gruparea-arsenescu-arnautoiu-ucida-mai-securisti-traseu-turistic-1_5b488b76df52022f752cf567/index.html
I'm not familiar with the resistance groups in Russia in the '50's, but what if Dyatlov Group met, let's say, a group of people that was "not happy" about it's location made public/reported to the authorities and this group acted more intelligent than the Romanian resistance group from the example above, leaving no traces.
The people forming this group was trained to live in the mountains and to leave no traces in order not to be found by the authorities, that's why we have no footprints other than the tourist's footprints. Well, maybe they have missed one footprint :
They find the hikers, they cut the tent and order them to come out and to go in the cedar area (this zone was protected from the wind, so it was easier to interogate te students there). Tent cut from inside? Maybe not. A I read, the first search team made itself some cuts in the tent and I didn't find in the report anything about this... so maybe the report is wrong. Or maybe the hikers have made also some cuts in order co come out quicker.
Three hikers didn't made it until the cedar, they try to fight the members of the resistance group, they are beaten and left in the snow where they die.
The rest of the hikers are "interrogated" under the cedar : tho of them are stripped by their clothes in order for the others to say if they are secret service agents. The two stripped hikers die.
After this they applied another torture : submerging the bodies in freezing water/cutting tongue / beating. After all the hikers show no signs of life, they cover their own traces leave.
Radiations? Well, the bomb or whatever it was exploded in the area on 17 February. So the contamination could have been made after the death of the hikers.