My theory explaining worst wounds - happened under cedar
It's possible that they left the tent in bad weather with poor visibility...
Climbing takes a lot of energy. I think the reason why they were scavenging woods from this tree is because they did not want to walk in deep snow there, they were not
properly booted after all.
They decided to cut branches on this tree. Empty "window" on cedar was result of cut branches, not intended to see in ten's direction.The group was cooperating on this place around cedar to build fire.
Two members were climbing the tree and cutting branches and two members were down,
picking up cut branches on ground below. I believe that it's possible that there was a spot without snow(or very little snow) under the cedar's treetop, that's
what I see sometimes in winter countryside.
But the heat of fire was not enough and they started developing hypothermia. The climbers vere surely standing on branches and it's possible that the branch under
their feet or bottoms suddenly cracked.
Their limbs were already slighly numb at that moment. One or both fell down onto comrades who were picking up cut branches.
Zolotarev and Lyudmila were worst wounded...
They were holding the trunk for stability in treetop, but it caused them moderate scratches (and skin left on trunk) after branch under their feet(or bottoms in case
of sitting on tree) cracked.
Was the knife used for cutting branches found? Was it the same knife someone used for slashing the tent?