December 01, 2020, 07:22:32 AM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: Why they didn't unpack and light the stove?  (Read 798 times)

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July 26, 2020, 11:41:37 AM
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I've been trying to make sense of why the stove wasn't unpacked and operating in the tent, and why instead young men who'd been digging a trench and setting up a tent were inside supposedly removing wet outer clothing without first warming their environment.

The tent was a cut & shut job, like two cars made into a stretch limo, and normally had a centre rope to shore up the middle of the ridge via an eyelet. .

Crucially this centre rope supported the stove, which according to the diagram at this site was suspended from the centre ridge, and obviously it would require the centre rope in place or it risks a hot stove falling down on the occupants as they sleep.

I believe this may be the reason why they didn't unpack the stove. They couldn't use it because they had no way of installing a centre rope on the mountain slope. Additionally this centre rope would stop the long tent from flexing in winds, which if extreme would risk the canvas tearing in such an exposed location. The tent had been repaired repeatedly, and apparently was found with a jacket stuffed in a hole.

I'm exploring just one of many theories here - that the effect of a tent with no overnight heating possible, set up in an exposed mountaintop location at the limit of its stability, with a hole, with the windchill and wind speed rising overnight near the crest of the mountain, and nothing to help prevent it sagging and flexing which may open up other holes/repairs and tear the canvas, may have made the 5 lads' core temperatures drop after sweating from their exertion and removing wet clothing with no real prospect of getting warm again.

You then have the potential for paradoxical undressing, or rather 'paradoxically remaining undressed' inside the cold tent, explaining why they do not leave with shoes or coats, and they all decide to abandon the tent to head to the woods overnight to start a fire because that is the only place they can have any heat.

I've been colourising some photo's using online software. Note the centre rope used previously, but absent from the collapsed tent:

« Last Edit: July 27, 2020, 01:55:43 AM by eurocentric »

July 26, 2020, 11:49:45 AM
Reply #1


On a picture of a previous trek on the site you can see that in the open the middle rope is tied to skis. IMHO it also weakens snow wall (Along with the direction of the wind going downwards) and the « someone fell on the tent from above «  théories
But maybe the slope was not ok for this setting and then ....

July 26, 2020, 12:08:26 PM
Reply #2


On a picture of a previous trek on the site you can see that in the open the middle rope is tied to skis. IMHO it also weakens snow wall (Along with the direction of the wind going downwards) and the « someone fell on the tent from above «  théories
But maybe the slope was not ok for this setting and then ....

Yes, perhaps the angle of the slope made it impossible, unless skis were used and a supporting rope was tied to one lower on the higher elevation side and higher on the other, and the depth you may need to plunge the lower elevation ski into may work to limit the supporting rope height you can achieve.

There are skis there, but unless buried under snow I can't see any evidence of a diagonally aligned centre rope being used.

July 26, 2020, 10:58:23 PM
Reply #3


It is quite possible that the stove was not used because they planned to use it later when  going to sleep. They had only one big log in the tent.

I imagine the situation as follows: 17.00-19.00 they built the tent, and then they sat down to dinner and shortly after dinner something happened forced them to leave the tent.

July 27, 2020, 01:02:32 AM
Reply #4


I believe they had not planned to use the stove the night they died.  There was talk somewhere (here on this forum?) about going without heat a certain number of nights when on a type III hike.

July 27, 2020, 01:23:07 PM
Reply #5


Case-Files Achievement Recipient
I believe they had not planned to use the stove the night they died.  There was talk somewhere (here on this forum?) about going without heat a certain number of nights when on a type III hike.

Yes there has been some discussion in this Forum about that.  But given the nature of any expedition in the wilds, sometimes you have to ADJUST your Plans.  Iam still concerned about why they pitched the Tent in such an exposed and therefore a dangerous position  !  ?  They had struggled to get to that area and therefore the logical thing to have done would have been to pitch the Tent near to or in the Forest.  By pitching it in that exposed place they would hardly have been likely to have been thinking of setting up that Stove.

August 04, 2020, 09:58:31 AM
Reply #6

Jean Daniel Reuss

 For me, borrowing an expression of Morski (July 23, 2020) those questions (eurocentric, sparrow) are not relevant because my reconstruction of the DPI ("Altercation on the pass") explains all the published statements in a different and complete way.

Part 1 •  An Dyatlov's invention : the suspended wood stove

  §-1-    Igor Dyatlov : a mentality of sportsman and engineer

Dyatlov methodically prepared its expeditions in which the weight of the backpacks was an important factor.
In this photo, we see Dyatlov weighing an axe.

Dyatlov had an engineering background, with a vocation as a designer and was also capable of making prototypes (despite relatively low material resources).
On this picture (apparently taken several years before 1959) we see Dyatlov using a slide rule.
(I deduce that Dyatlov did not have a perfect sight because in this case he put on glasses to be able to better distinguish the very fine graduations of his slide rule ).

For those who may not know what exactely a slide rule is...===>

  §-2-    Advantages of his stove

For the winter expedition in complete autonomy, Dyatlov had designed and manufactured a transportable wood-burning stove. (Wood : a free and inexhaustible resource for heating in the taiga).

In order to limit the heat loss from a tent, which occurs mainly through the heat exchange surface, Dyatlov naturally understood that the tent should be as small as possible.

Dyatlov's original idea to increase the available floor space in a tent of a given size is to suspend the stove from the ground.

This is a solution that inevitably has the disadvantage of complicating the installation ; which is of no importance for a group of 9 people on holiday who do not want to go as fast as possible (who are not participating in a speed race).

The problem of storing firewood at night inside the tent did not seem to have been wonderfully solved.
    Kolgomorova - dyary 28.1.59: "I had to sleep on the wood near the stove.")

  §-3-    Satisfactory test of the stove in the taiga

The stove functioned satisfactorily on the nights of January 28, 29, 30 and 31, when trees close to the tent allowed for easy and solid stowage.
Kolgomorova dyary 29.1.59 "We are burning firewood with Yurka. We talked about the past."
Dyatlovgroup's dyary   
30.1.59:"We are warmed by the fire and go to sleep"
31.1.59: "It's warm. It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing howl of the wind, hundreds kilometers away from human settlements."

  §-4-    Heat output of the stove

It is impossible to guess the temperature that was established in the tent, because the unknown heat losses are predominant.
Nevertheless we can estimate the relative importance of the two existing heat sources: the hikers themselves and the stove, with the following order of magnitude

One person's food intake = 2480 kilocalories per day (this is a thermal power)
This corresponds to : the thermal power emitted by a person is 120 watts (1 calorie=4.18 joules and 120 [watts]=2480*4.18/(24*3600) )
  •••  The 9 hikers inside their tent produce 9 times more thermal power which is 1080 watts.

Suppose that burning 15 kg of slightly damp wood in the stove produces the same amount of heat as 5 kg of oil equivalent (10,000 calories per gram).
  •••  Let's also assume that the 15 kg of wood burn regularly during 10 hours (10 pm to 8 am), then the thermal output of the stove would be 5806 watts.
(5806 [watts] = 5* 1000* 10000* 4.18 [joules] / 36000 [seconds] and with a combustion in 5 hours the power would be 10171 watts).

  •••  One could say that the stove produces 5.4 times more heat than the 9 hikers. ( 5.4 = 5806/1080 )

  The 5.4 ratio is an important factor, but not a huge one. I would be tempted to conclude that:

  •••  Even with the stove in operation the hikers never got too hot and never perspired inside the tent.

Part 2.   Dyatlov was eager to set up the tent on the slope of the Kkolat Syakhl to test his stove.

  §-1-         First tests of stove suspension in the absence of trees
On the 1958 Subpolar Ural expedition Dyatlov had begun his first attempts at tent heating with the portable wood stove he himself had designed and built with limited means.

The 1958 expedition consisted of 6 hikers and the tent was probably smaller than the tent of the 1959 expedition, which should have housed 10 hikers.

You see further the tent of the 1958 expedition "Subpolar Ural", set up outside the forest.

When there are no trees to anchor the tent, i.e. outside the forest (taiga), Dyatlov had planned an ingenious system of ropes (cables) with the use of skis in the function of  poles or masts.

In the 3 photos from 1958 you can see the ropes system that can support the stove.

When setting up the tent and stove
in a treeless area there is no, and no need, of the horizontal rope stretched.

 But the installation is more difficult than in the taiga where there are sturdy trees which obviously allow a simpler and faster stowage

In the first photo the chimney, i.e. the smoke exhaust pipe is visible to the left of the tent.

  §-2-            Necessity to go for further demonstrations on the bare slope of the Kholat Syakhl

I believe they had not planned to use the stove the night they died.  There was talk somewhere (here on this forum?) about going without heat a certain number of nights when on a type III hike.

It was important for Dyatlov to prove that his stove was capable of functioning and heating in treeless areas.

On the contrary,  Dyatlov wanted to show everyone that his transportable stove (of its design and manufacture) could be set up and used outside the forest (i.e. on the bare slope of the kholat syakhl.

After 4 nights of trouble-free operation of the stove in the taiga, february 1 Dyatlov was eager to start demonstrating the proper functioning of his stove in a treeless place, namely on the slope of the now (february 1) nearby Kholat Syakhl.

  §-3-           The transport of firewood

Setting up the tent with its heating by the stove in treeless areas naturally involves transporting the firewood on the back of a man over long distances.

Transporting firewood on a man's back

  §-4-        Dreams of challenging future expeditions

Moreover, Dyatlov was young and very athletic. He was certainly dreaming of future expeditions and of one day use his stove in areas more challenging than the almost flat hills of the Uralsto - than the ordinary Otorten hill.
(In true mountains and not in the almost flat hills of the Urals).

Likely, a real mountain climber is dreaming of real high mountains and has little interest in the cow mountains.

Part 3. The stove had been installed and was about to be lit when the murderers attacked

I know very well that the official propaganda, who believe in unknown overwhelming force...or in avalanche, does not like the version of some human attack...

Neverless in any case, whatever senario is proposed to explain the DPi, it is useful to read or listen to the long thought-out arguments of :

 •••  Several members of the forum who vaguely evoke human intervention, but seem to remain perplexed:Vietnamka, Noelle, Nordlander, Sabine, Lilya79....tekumze(Guest).....

 •••  Eduard Tumanov who appeared on several Russian television programs (but I may not have understood everything he said) and finally seems to think that the hikers took part in a fight against outsiders........

 •••  Per Inge Oestmoen;area=showposts;u=325
  In his 180 posts from: March 12,2018  to:  March 07,2020
Example: Why did the Dyatlov group leave their tent? => April 28, 2018 => Reply #10
"...a close and unprejudiced look at all the injuries of the unfortunate nine hikers leads to the inevitable conclusion that they were killed by human attackers..."
 •••  Vladimir Askinadzi
 "...I thought a lot about this and came to the conclusion that no spontaneous force could kill the nine healthy and fit guys. They could not just freeze in those conditions...".
 "...It was  convenient for the authorities to let out a rumor about ..."
- ....[I add] let out a rumor about...a huge amount of deceptive topics.

 •••  Aleks Kandr
 On all three of his web pages, which are written in Russian.
Aleks Kandr (not registered on as a member on "") is adamant :

" The absurdity of the argumentation of many authors of non-criminal versions and their supporters suggests that they are deliberately trying to divert public opinion from the real cause of death of the tourists of the dyatlov group, which shows clear criminal signs."

 •••  Personally, very slowly and little by little, a human intervention, or more correctly an attack by a terrorist intent to exterminate hikers, seemed to me to be the only possible explanation of all that can be known about DPI.

Here is one significant clue among dozens of others: on the hands of the hikers found dead outside the Den :
 "abrasions in the area of metacarpal phalangeal and inter-phalangeal joints." ==> these five hikers struck desperately with all their strength...

The DPI is a humdrum terrorist type attack, as there have been thousands and as there will be thousands more in the history of Humanity.
What makes the DPI interesting and rare anecdotally is that it has succeeded with only phehistoric weapons namely wooden clubs.

For me, the human cause of DPI being clearly established,  there are many more interesting questions waiting for us now :
WHO ?  and  WHY ?

Part 4. "...the stove was not used because they planned to use it later..." (Monika)

It is quite possible that the stove was not used because they planned to use it later when  going to sleep. They had only one big log in the tent.
I imagine the situation as follows: 17.00-19.00 they built the tent, and then they sat down to dinner and shortly after dinner something happened forced them to leave the tent.
           I agree on the most important points and a more detailed scenario is being developed in the topic "Altercation on the pass --> Altercation on the pas":

                   "..something happened forced them to leave the tent.."

There were attackers (perhaps only three) who triggered their first offensive just after the stove assembly was completed and the "battle sheet" "Evening otorten No. 1" was written, but before the hikers had time to fire the wood in the stove.

The attackers launched "some kind of dope inside" the tent =  narrative  Anatoly Stepochkin formulation.   See :

In others words the attackers put a tear gas or a suffocating gas hand grenedade or - another variant -  an Improvised Suffocating Device, inside the tent by surprise which, in a few tens of seconds, made the atmosphere inside unbreathable  =  more modern formulation of Jean Daniel Reuss.

 - (For instance :  2.KNO³ + 4.S --> 3.SO² + N² + K²S or 2.KClO³ + 3.S --> 3.SO² + 2.KCl 
KNO³,KClO³ and S are very common products that could easily be bought in the Ivdel drugstore - or another variant - a suffocating hand-grenenade bought illegally on the black market).

It should be noted that the volume of air inside the tent is small, less than 5 m³, which makes the "some kind of dope inside" hypothesis particularly simple and convincing.

The attackers compelled the hikers to go down the slope by hitting them with blunt wooden objects judiciously carved (length=110 cm and weight=4 kg being held with two hand but if the attackers were strong it is probably enough to use 70 cm and 1.5 kg being held with one hands : in each case the energy of a blow can reach several hundred joules)
The attackers had taken the precaution of leaving one or two lights on in the slope so that they could easily locate the tent and return to it.

              Then the details of the fights which followed one another, interspersed with long inactive pauses, is difficult to reconstruct with precision and certainty. Which is not of much importance.

What is almost for sure is that the hikers had time to light a fire with branches and to build the den with four seats. The total duration of these deadly hand-to-hand fights was therefore several hours, maybe ten hours (8 pm, 1 february to 6 am 2 february ?). This is why I prefer the topic "Altercation on the pass" to the topic "Murdered".

The following of the hand-to-hand fights will therefore be discussed in details and elaborated on the topic normally planned which is :
"Altercation on the pass" :

    ••  In short

The attackers knocked out Kolmogorova (870 m from the tent), Slobodin (1020 m) and Dyatlov (1200 m).
The attackers received powerful punches in their face.
After tying up the ankles of Dyatlov who was lying unconscious, the attackers did not know where stood the others 6 hikers who were more or less hidden further away (in the dark) only 300 m under or behind the cedar tree.

The attackers then went back up to rest in the intact tent.

Around midnight the attackers were able to locate the fire under the cedar tree which was visible from 1500 m away.
The attackers came back down, stunned Doroshenko by surprise and tortured Krivonishenko to find out where the 4 hikers of the den were.  But Krivonishenko did not talk.
It should be noted that the attackers who emerged from the darkness could see better than Doroshenko and Krivonishenko who were slightly dazzled by the light of the fire.

Again, the attackers then went back up to rest in the intact tent.

 The attackers knew then that it was almost enough for them to wait for the 4 hikers, that remained to be destroyed, to slowly weaken in the cold....

Note :The reason for the death of the four of the den is controversial; look for example:

 - Material Modern => Publications/Media => The First 2nd Opinion! 
 Opinion of Dr Daniel Schultz whom is the founder, President, and Chief Pathologist for Final Diagnosis, Inc.
      Loose}{Cannon : May 20, 2018, 01:59:15 PM

 - Material Modern => Publications/Media => First results from Zolotaryov's exhumation - Komsomolskaya Pravda 
     Teddy  : from  April 30, 2018, 05:46:37 AM  to May 19, 2018, 08:13:24 AM  ,, i.e to  --> Reply #50
     Vietnamka   (Galina Sazonova)May 05, 2018, 08:36:37 PM          --> Reply #6

Many people do not understand that a person with a little training, and using a blunt object adapted, can easily fracture a skull and break human ribs which are fine bones.

  • It should not be forgotten that on 9 May 1959, the 4 corpses that were autopsied were rotten, which meant that it was no longer possible to detect any surface abrasions on the skin.
Vladimir Askinadzi  : " And here for the first time Colonel  Ortyukov took out a pistol, threatening the pilots... But the pilots still refused to board the corpses without the packaging. ===>    the pilots required a leak-proof packaging !

  • The attackers had time to strike several times, in the most appropriate places, at the lying bodies, which quickly became corpses, of Dubinina and Zolotaryov.
(By several, I mean 10 times ...20 times ...50 times ...100 times ...but not more than 100 times because more than 100 times is too tiring).


After their final victory around the den, about 6 am on February 2nd, the attackers went back up into the intact tent to rest.

The attackers did not want to spend too much time making fire in this stove, which they did not know exactly how to set.
          Moreover in anticipation of a long fighting in the dark the attackers were dressed in white tracksuits (Aleks Kandr's idea) which they did not want to blacken by handling pipes soaked in dirty black soot.

The attackers therefore disassembled and moved the stove that was cluttering them, as the stove was designed to operate in the middle of that tent that was very low.

It is possible that the attackers may have even eaten a few portions of the hikers' food. But the rescuers and investigators, who came after February 26th, could not possibly notice this because the hikers' food was not counted with great accuracy.

A little before returning to Vizhay, perhaps around noon on February 2, the attackers made the famous cuts with a knife in the tent canvas.

Then the attackers removed a few tie-downs so that the clever architecture of ropes, poles and skis (which had been designed by Dyatlov to support the stove in a high central position) collapsed.
It is also a general tradition that when leaving the scene of heavy fighting for good, the equipment that belonged to the enemy is rendered unusable.

  •••       Thus, on February 26, when Slobtsov and Sharavin discovered and then reached the tent, they found only one tent completely collapsed, the stove descended and pushed to one side, without any noticeable disorder inside.
Jean Daniel Reuss

Rational guidance =

• There is nothing supernatural and mysterious about the injuries suffered by the Dyatlov group. They are all consistent with an attack by a group of professional killers who wanted to take the lives of the nine  [Per Inge Oestmoen].

• Now let us search for answers to: WHO ? WHY ? HOW ?

• The scenario must be consistent with the historical, political and psychological  contexts.

• The solution takes in consideration all known findings.

September 21, 2020, 11:21:01 AM
Reply #7


eurocentric, I agree that when you look at all the known evidence, it's hard to believe anyone could survive in that tent for more than a short period of time.  When they realized they would freeze to death or the tent was going to collapse (from the wind or ice building up on the sides), the decision was made to quickly secure the tent (that's why there was a layer of snow under the flashlight on top of the tent) and then try to survive by getting to the trees and starting a fire.  And they walked down there calmly and did a lot of work, so the notion that their brains were significantly impaired before starting the fire does not seem reasonable.  Trying to get back to the tent (three of them at most) could have involved brain impairment, but there are other reasonable explanations (such as that Zina was very upset seeing one or both Yuris die, and so she decided on her own to try to survive huddled in the corner of the tent with 9 blankets; then Slobodin went after her but fell and was knocked unconsious, so Igor then went after her).

I think the problem with this series of incidents/decisions/accidents/etc. is that people tend to want a "big picture" explanation, instead of looking at all the evidence that seems solid, allowing that evidence to "speak for itself."  And in cases like the DPI, there is no reason not to do a precise, complete reconstruction (considering how much money has been spent and how little would be required to do this).  Looking at the "little pieces" of evidence, such as the tent ripping apart even during much better weather conditions, the lack of a reasonable heating source, the lack of sleeping bags, the old type of clothing and footwear (that will freeze up at night if you put them in a tent like that; some moutain climbers have said they sleep with their boots inside their sleeping bags, after taking them off!), the location, the way the wind comes roaring down that mountain, etc., what else could be expected?  The real surprise to me is that they could not guess what was almost certainly going to occur at night (which led me to think that Igor might have set this all up as some sort of survivalist exercise).
« Last Edit: September 21, 2020, 02:24:15 PM by Investigator »