In the University equipment inventory
there is mentioning of one spare pair of skis. Yudin returned on his skis. Ski professionals say that extra pairs of skis are essential for such a long route. Traditionally, the last person in the line drags them behind with a rope.
In this photo we see Krivonischenko carrying skis on his back.
It was probably this extra pair that was used to make Kolevatov's sledge mentioned in their satirical propaganda leaflet Evening Otorten, see the Technical News section.
In the case files we have 3 different counts of the skis found at the tent and the labaz:
- Feb 28, 1959 The protocol of the hikers camp site mentions 8 pair of skis on the bottom of the tent, no mentioning of spare pair of skis. Signed by Tempalov.
- Apr 15, 1959 Slobtsov who found the tent and the labaz, says "around the tent in the snow stood ski poles and spare skis - 1 pair" (sheet 298 back) and "a pair of spare skis" in the labaz (sheet 300).
- Apr 18, 1959 Tempalov in his testimony says 9 pair of skis, all of them under the bottom of the tent and additional spare pair of skis in the tent.
My conclusion is that there were total of 9 pair of skis at the tent, 8 under the bottom of the tent, and one pair propped in the snow, but it was not a spare pair, just the ninth pair.