If they were struggling against the wind they would have crawled? Like maybe how Zinaida was found?
That's a really good point. Maybe they did crawl, that's very possible. Then they (correctly) reasoned that they were going to die if they kept crawling in the snow at -25 in very strong winds.
No one loses a switched on flashlight in the dark.
In whiteout conditions? From how far away do you think you could see a flashlight? I would say 15 feet max, and that's if it's pointed directly at you.
See how you can barely see the headlights
of that truck. And the conditions were worse in the Dyatlov Pass that night.
Plus, we know there was 40 cm more loose snow cover on that night. The flashlight might've been covered until it was laid bare by the wind.
It's also possible that the people with the flashlight weren't with the group looking for the tent. Since the tent was also more buried, it might've been barely sticking out the snow (or not at all!), and they were unable to find it even with the flashlight.
This is what driving in a blizzard looks like.
Imagine trying to find a nearly completely buried tent in 70 km/h winds in those conditions, with only a flashlight. They also might've thought that the tent had been completely destroyed.