December 04, 2020, 12:44:37 PM
Dyatlov Pass Forum

Author Topic: "There was no snowstorm": New investigation conclusions on the weather the night  (Read 903 times)

0 Members and 2 Guests are viewing this topic.

September 07, 2020, 03:47:54 AM
Read 903 times
Offline

Teddy

Administrator

"There was no snowstorm": New investigation conclusions on the weather the night of the Dyatlov Pass incident

This weather report is part of the prosecutor's investigation in 2019

All right belong to Komsomolskaya Pravda. Authors Nikolay Varsegov and Natalya Varsegova

Dyatlov Pass: Krivonischenko's camera film 1 frame 32

In the winter of 1959, a group of nine hikers disappeared in the mountains of the Northern Urals. They were led by fifth-year student of the Ural Polytechnic Institute Igor Dyatlov. For 18 days, the group had to ski 300 kilometers in the north of the Sverdlovsk region, climbing two peaks. The hike was of the highest category of difficulty according to the 1950s classification. A month after the disappearance of the hikers, rescuers found their tent cut from inside and five frozen bodies within a radius of one and a half kilometers on the slope of a pass. The bodies of the rest were found only in May. The investigation found that some of the hikers died from the cold, but some of them had fatal injuries of unknown origin. What exactly happened to the Dyatlov group is still unknown.

In 1959, investigators closed the criminal case with a strange wording: "The cause of death of hikers was a overwhelming force, which they were unable to overcome." No one ventured to explain what kind of "overwhelming force". The first thing that comes to mind is maybe some kind of meteorological phenomenon? Like a sbowstorm? But there is practically no mention of the weather in the official documents. No requests to local hydrometeorological services, no meteorological information. In general, we doubt that the investigators were then interested in the weather on the day the hikers died.

In the criminal case, there are only a few witness statements, from which it is known that, for example, the forester Rempel from Vizhay warned Igor Dyatlov about strong winds in the mountains in winter. And witness Popov said that in early February the weather was terribly windy. But the forester's warnings can hardly be considered official confirmation, and Popov, judging by the document, communicated with the investigator on February 6, which does not fit in with the beginning of the criminal case initiated on February 26.

As it happens, no one has yet explained this discrepancy in the dates, not even the prosecutor's office. But the prosecutor's office tried to establish whether there was a severe frost and winds with the force of a hurricane at the pass on the night of 1 to 2 of February, 1959.

Dyatlov Pass: One of the last photos of the group

A microclimatic examination of the Kholat Syakhl mountain region in January-February 1959 was carried out at the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory in St. Petersburg. The specialists used the method of calculating weather conditions based on data from several weather stations. In our case, expert Galina Pigoltsina determined a detailed microclimatic assessment of the Dyatlov pass, relying on the readings of January-February 1959 of the nearest stations Ivdel, Burmantovo, Vizhay, as well as Taganay (a high-mountain point 600 km south of Kholat Syakhl), Polyudova Kamen (western foothills of the Urals ). The expert noted that the Dyatlov pass has been studied "in meteorological terms extremely insufficiently", and information about the area is "practically absent". That is why the conclusions are circumstantial. Here they are:

Temperature

It snowed continuously in the area of Mount Kholat Syakhl from January 31 to February 1. The snowfalls were accompanied by strong winds, with temperatures ranging from -10°C to -32°C. Please note that temperatures are calculated not only by hours and by hiker's locations.

Date 1959 Time hour Alleged behaviour of the Dyatlov group Temperature °C
tent cedar
1 Feb 1 pm Skiers prepare to exit from the Auspiya valley to go on the pass -14.1 -12.4
3 pm Go over the pass -15.4 -13.5
5 pm Start setting up the tent -16.4 -14.5
7 pm Hikers settle inside the tent -17.9 -16.2
9 pm Something or someone makes them abandon the tent -19.1 -17.7
11 pm Hikers reach the cedar -22.5 -21.3
2 Feb 1 am What happened during these hours is unknown -26.0 -25.0
3 am -28.7 -27.8
5 am According to some forensic doctors, by this time the hikers were already dead. They estimated the onset of death to be 8 hours after their last meal. -30.6 -29.7
7 am -31.7 -30.8

 

The well-known forensic expert Eduard Tumanov does not agree with this conclusion.

- I do not agree with the method of calculating the time of death by examining the stomach content, the expert says. - It is based on the fact that a person ate at a certain hour and the contents gradually enter the stomach, and then descend into the intestines, and that all this happens at some intervals. But each person has his own intestinal rhythm. And in the case of Dyatlov group incident, cold and stress must be taken into account. And even the cause of death affects intestinal motility. The reaction of the intestines to agony can not be predicted and taken into account e.g. each body reacts differently.

Wind

Was there a strong wind (with force of a hurricane) on Kholat Syakhl that drove the hikers out of their tent to their demise? We know from ourselves that a strong piercing wind blows constantly on the mountain - both in winter and in summer. The microclimatic examination answers the questions how strong it was on February 1, 1959.

Galina Pigoltsina claims that on February 1 and 2, 1959, according to aerological and synoptic data, a northwest wind was blowing over the mountains. A wind shadow has formed on the eastern slope (a place where the wind speed is significantly reduced). Skiers set up their tent there.

Date 1959 Time hour Wind speed (m/s)
tent cedar
1 Feb
1 pm
11.7 9.8
3 pm
10.6 8.9
5 pm
9.8 8.2
7 pm
9.2 7.7
9 pm
9.0 7.4
11 pm
9.4 7.6
2 Feb
1 am
10.2 8.2
3 am
11.3 8.8
5 am
12.1 9.4
7 am
12.4 9.6

 

It turns out that the wind speed was relatively low. There was no snowstorm in the day of the Dyatlov group incident. We found an circumstantial confirmation of this in the diaries of journalist Gennadiy Grigoriev "Snowstorm in the Mountains", who was at the scene of the tragedy during the search. He wrote: "I imagined, listening to the whisper from the cedar, how Krivonischenko and Doroshenko died here. There is moss on the birch trees. Near the cedar there is a mountain ash [aka rowan] bush. Snow all around (deep). On the mountain ash are a few dry leafs and a some berries not yet pecked by the birds." Obviously, a hurricane wind would not have left any leaves or berries on the trees.

Wind chill temperature index

The "feels like" temperature is a measurement of how hot or cold it really feels like outside. For example, skin that is exposed to wind and cold temperatures will make a person feel that it is colder outside than it really is because heat is drawn away from the body at a faster rate. When we look at the weather on the phone, the application shows two values: minus 25, it feels like minus 30. The latter value is the wind chill index, the complex effect of temperature and wind on a person.

The wind chill index on 1 and 2 of February, 1959, at the tent and cedar:

Date 1959 Time hour It feels like °C
tent cedar
1 Feb
1 pm
-26.5 -23.4
3 pm
-27.7 -24.4
5 pm
-28.7 -25.3
7 pm
-30.3 -27.2
9 pm
-31.8 -29.0
11 pm
-36.5 -33.8
2 Feb
1 am
-41.6 -39.0
3 am
-45.9 -43.1
5 am
-48.9 -46.0
7 am
-50.5 -47.6
9 am
-49.7 -46.6
11 am
-44.6 -41.5

 

Wind chill index values:

°C Risk of hypothermia and frostbite on exposed skin °F
From To From To
-10 -28 Low risk 14 -18.4
-28 -40 Moderate risk within 10-30 min -18.4 -40
-40 -48 High risk within 5-10 min -40 -54.4
-48 -55 Very high risk within 2-5 min -54.4 -67

 

It turns out that at the moment when the tourists left the tent (at about 9 pm), the wind chill index both at the level of the tent -31.8°C (-25.2°F) and at the level of the cedar -29°C (-20.2°F) corresponded to the moderate risk of hypothermia and frostbite... By the time three hikers decided to scale the slope back to the tent, at about 3~5 am, the wind chill index at the cedar was already -43~-46°C (-45.6~-50.8°F).

Snow

The key point of the microclimatic examination is the increased thickness of the snow cover to 250 cm, which, according to Pigoltsina, formed 50 m above the tent. It was this large mass of snow that allegedly descended onto the tent under the influence of the wind and thaw. It is known that at the end of January the weather in those parts was warm for the winter. But on February 1, the temperature began to drop lower and lower. This, according to some researchers, provoked the formation of the snow slab.

A participant in the search for the Dyatlov group, Vladislav Karelin, analyzed the expert's calculations and did not agree with them.

- I was at the pass from February 27 to March 9, 1959, - Vladislav Georgievich recalls. - And I didn't see any signs of an avalanche. In addition, the tent was not on the eastern slope of Kholat Syakhl, but on the slope of the northeastern spur of this mountain range. The expert calculated the distribution of the height of the snow cover over the tent, using the pattern she obtained on the slopes of the Aibga ridge in the Caucasus. But the conditions of the Caucasian relief are fundamentally different from the altitude characteristics of the Ural Mountains. The slopes and peaks in the Caucasus are steep and rocky, with a well pronounced prominence, and in the Urals there are smooth outlines of peaks with a small difference in heights on the slopes. These differences cast doubt on the results of the expert's calculations. In addition, my observations made during the search clearly contradict the calculated data of the expert. According to Galina Pigoltsina, the depth of the snow near the tent was 150 cm. But during my searches in February-March 1959, I repeatedly stuck a metal probe into the snow, which went deep near the tent in no way more than 80-100 cm. According to the expert's calculations, the depth of the snow on the northeastern spur of Mount Kholat Syakhl in 1959 was 140 cm. But I, together with the head of search operation Evgeniy Maslennikov, climbed the northeastern spur. And there I saw stones, slightly powdered with snow. Therefore, I have great doubts about the calculations and conclusions made by the expert.

"The avalanche could have happened with a high degree of probability," the expert concluded. But it is obvious that the possibility of an avalanche is not evidence of its actual occurence. In addition, the expert did not give any real and specific signs of an avalanche. Therefore, it is not yet possible to speak of the avalanche version as the only possible cause of the tragedy.

 

« Last Edit: October 08, 2020, 04:29:24 AM by Teddy »

September 07, 2020, 05:15:24 AM
Reply #1
Online

Nigel Evans


The branches of the young firs at the treeline were stripped of bark on the side facing uphill?

How else if not very strong winds blowing snow/ice particles?

September 07, 2020, 05:31:20 AM
Reply #2
Offline

Teddy

Administrator
The branches of the young firs at the treeline were stripped of bark on the side facing uphill?

How else if not very strong winds blowing snow/ice particles?

Who says when were "the branches of the young firs at the treeline stripped of bark"?
This could have happened any time prior to the fateful night.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 05:42:33 AM by Teddy »

September 07, 2020, 06:43:37 AM
Reply #3
Online

Nigel Evans


The branches of the young firs at the treeline were stripped of bark on the side facing uphill?

How else if not very strong winds blowing snow/ice particles?

Who says when were "the branches of the young firs at the treeline stripped of bark"?
This could have happened any time prior to the fateful night.
Agreed the bark only indicates the winds potential in general, not of that night. For this we need a local eye witness. The best i know of is Pashin - https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-49-50?rbid=17743
"Around the time when hikers were killed even in the village of Vizhay was a strong wind and storm, from which the children were falling down". So if the winds were strong enough in Vizhay to blow children over, how strong on that ridge?



September 07, 2020, 09:19:06 AM
Reply #4
Offline

Teddy

Administrator
"Around the time when hikers were killed even in the village of Vizhay was a strong wind and storm, from which the children were falling down".
So if the winds were strong enough in Vizhay to blow children over, how strong on that ridge?

We don't have to guess anymore. The new investigation is telling you exactly how strong the winds were on the night of the events. We can not come up with anything better. Prosecutor's office spent the time and resources to finalize this matter.

September 07, 2020, 09:51:57 AM
Reply #5
Online

Nigel Evans


We don't have to guess anymore. The new investigation is telling you exactly how strong the winds were on the night of the events. We can not come up with anything better. Prosecutor's office spent the time and resources to finalize this matter.
The expert noted that the Dyatlov pass has been studied "in meteorological terms extremely insufficiently", and information about the area is "practically absent". That is why the conclusions are circumstantial.


That doesn't sound very "finalised" to me....


There is nothing conclusive here imo. On the other side of the argument we have eye witness accounts of storm conditions in the relevant period, photographs that clearly show whiteout conditions in strong winds. Igor's last diary entry alludes to storm conditions  - "It is  hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing howl of the wind".

Mountains and valleys create wind tunnels that can substantially accelerate modest airflows. Many of the reports from the rescue party in late Feb stress the strength and constancy of the wind.


Including weather reports for 600km to the south of Kholat underlines how flaky this work is. Nothing final...



September 07, 2020, 09:58:23 AM
Reply #6
Offline

Teddy

Administrator
What I meant is that the Andrey Kuryakov and his experts have considered all the data that there is to consider. We won't find more relevant information. The snow cover is a different story. I agree with Karelin on that one.

In general, you are right that it is still all very uncertain. Unfortunately, it will probably remain arguable.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2020, 10:13:02 AM by Teddy »

September 07, 2020, 11:40:42 AM
Reply #7
Online

Nigel Evans


I would have thought that correlating the reports of winds from the rescue party with meteorological data at the same time would allow reasonable extrapolation backwards.

September 08, 2020, 02:14:15 PM
Reply #8
Offline

sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
I would have thought that correlating the reports of winds from the rescue party with meteorological data at the same time would allow reasonable extrapolation backwards.

It will still be little more than a guess.  Lots of guessing in this Dyatlov mystery.
DB

September 09, 2020, 12:41:06 AM
Reply #9
Online

cennetkusu


 Also, I guess there hasn't been a strong storm on that mountain since 1959. In other words, this greatly reduces the possibility that young people escape from the tent due to a very strong storm. If there was a very strong storm, it would not be possible for the tent to stay in place like this. So I strongly believe that the young people were forced out of the tent by some force. At first they resisted a great deal. But eventually they had to give up and flee from the tent. Unknown power had two purposes. First of all, the second purpose of killing those young people is to leave the bodies as they are and send a message to people !!!
You're alone and desperate. Connect with God, you won't be alone and you're a saint.

September 09, 2020, 01:15:35 PM
Reply #10
Offline

PJ


Yes, I agree with cennetkusu.
Generally we not need any weather analyzes to ruled out that there was strong wind. The tent will be destroyed and blown out within minutes after they abandon it, not possible that it will survive any wind stronger than 80km/h.

From other side this analyzes shows that they not have much chances to survive outside the tent, windchill -45C, no proper clothes. The reason that they left the tent must be very strong...

As well, looks like that the wind got a bit stronger during the night so it could be why they abandon the fire at the cedar and try to hide in the ravine.
at 3am the wind at the cedar was around 9m/s what make windchill about -43C, if they shelter from wind in the ravine the windchill will be just -30C, for sure hiding from wind was much better option than making fire.

And about the analyzes. I think it is very accurate, today the weather modeling based on historical data is very advanced and precises so same as it is used for forecasting weather for next week it could be used to create weather forests for the past as well.

September 12, 2020, 03:21:29 AM
Reply #11
Online

Nigel Evans


If a good amount of snow had built up on the windward side and the tent collapsed as found then it's plausible that this would prevent the tent from flapping and would explain how the flashlight stayed in position and Igor's jacket stayed in the hole.

September 12, 2020, 01:25:02 PM
Reply #12
Offline

Monty


There was no snow storm? I am still staggered that they would leave their boots and blankets behind. Even if the weather that evening was mild, the general consensus on exit must have been suicide. Or escaping something worse.

September 12, 2020, 06:53:53 PM
Reply #13
Offline

Investigator


The weather certainly must have been dangerous regardless of whether there was a storm, but the key question is, how did they (or at least Igor) perceive things (my sense is that they/Igor thought it would be reasonable to do what they did to try and survive the night, and apprently Russian soldiers did survive this way during WW II)?  We know they left the tent and placed snow on it, then placed one of the two flashlights on that mound of snow (my guess being to prevent the wind from blowing the tent or its contents down the mountain, so they didn't need both flashlights (if there had been a storm, they would want to take both flashlights).  We know they proceeded down the mountain in an orderly way (nobody got blown off their feet).  We know they were able to do quite a bit of work, digging out the den, ripping a lot of branches off the tree (which one would need as a "bed" to prevent hypothermia if one just sat on snow/ice), and starting a fire that was apparently robust and lasted between around 1 and 2 hours.  And they took clothing from the two Yuris and put those items on.  I don't think this would be possible if there was any kind of significant storm.

September 14, 2020, 01:27:54 PM
Reply #14
Offline

sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
The weather certainly must have been dangerous regardless of whether there was a storm, but the key question is, how did they (or at least Igor) perceive things (my sense is that they/Igor thought it would be reasonable to do what they did to try and survive the night, and apprently Russian soldiers did survive this way during WW II)?  We know they left the tent and placed snow on it, then placed one of the two flashlights on that mound of snow (my guess being to prevent the wind from blowing the tent or its contents down the mountain, so they didn't need both flashlights (if there had been a storm, they would want to take both flashlights).  We know they proceeded down the mountain in an orderly way (nobody got blown off their feet).  We know they were able to do quite a bit of work, digging out the den, ripping a lot of branches off the tree (which one would need as a "bed" to prevent hypothermia if one just sat on snow/ice), and starting a fire that was apparently robust and lasted between around 1 and 2 hours.  And they took clothing from the two Yuris and put those items on.  I don't think this would be possible if there was any kind of significant storm.

We assume that they left the Tent sometime after setting it up and presumably having got some sleep first. We dont know if they put snow on the Tent.
DB

October 17, 2020, 03:05:38 AM
Reply #15
Offline

Beluga1303


We all know the snow drifts in winter, even on the flat land. You don't need a strong storm for that. Light winds are also sufficient if the snowfall is appropriate. The tent stood unprotected in an open area and thus offered an attack surface for snow drifts. We also know from our European winters how quickly snow masses accumulate when snow drifts. This drifting snow might not last long. But the very low temperatures were fatal for the group. They hurriedly fled the tent, hoping to return after the flurry of snow. They sought protection at the edge of the forest by the cedar. Both yuris try to climb the tree to break off branches so that the group can start a fire. Perhaps that explains the skin abrasions. Both yuris stay by the fire, give the other group members some of their clothes. Zina, Igor and Rustem were the first to return to the tent. But they have not found the foot prints, they have blown away from wind. The exertion made them very weak. The cold did the rest. They froze to death. When they did not return, a second group set out, believing they would find the right path. ( The group with Semyion ). But they didn't get far, and fell into a hole piled up through snow, under which as the river. Don't forget it was night. So to say,  pitch black. And very, very low temperatures.
If there was a westerly wind, as Igor wrote in his diary, that explains the cuts in the tent on the east side. ( I'm not sure if it was cut on the east side. I may have overlooked or skipped a note). While the group slept in the tent, the snow gradually pushed in the tent on the west side. The main exit may already have been blocked by the snowdrifts. The only option left was to leave the tent as quickly as possible.
And note the entry of Igors diary:
30. January 1959
The wind is strong, south-west, snow begins to fall, heavy clouds, drop in temperature....

31 January 1959
Today the weather is a bit worse wind (west), snow (probably from the pines) because the sky is perfectly clear.

And sorry, in this case I believe more in Igor's diary as in the prosecutor's investigation in 2019

But that's like everything, just pure theory.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2020, 11:35:36 AM by Beluga1303 »
Someone knows the answer. But will we ever find out?

October 17, 2020, 08:39:28 AM
Reply #16
Online

Nigel Evans


The weather certainly must have been dangerous regardless of whether there was a storm, but the key question is, how did they (or at least Igor) perceive things (my sense is that they/Igor thought it would be reasonable to do what they did to try and survive the night, and apprently Russian soldiers did survive this way during WW II)?  We know they left the tent and placed snow on it, then placed one of the two flashlights on that mound of snow (my guess being to prevent the wind from blowing the tent or its contents down the mountain, so they didn't need both flashlights (if there had been a storm, they would want to take both flashlights).  We know they proceeded down the mountain in an orderly way (nobody got blown off their feet).  We know they were able to do quite a bit of work, digging out the den, ripping a lot of branches off the tree (which one would need as a "bed" to prevent hypothermia if one just sat on snow/ice), and starting a fire that was apparently robust and lasted between around 1 and 2 hours.  And they took clothing from the two Yuris and put those items on.  I don't think this would be possible if there was any kind of significant storm.

We assume that they left the Tent sometime after setting it up and presumably having got some sleep first. We dont know if they put snow on the Tent.


Imo an explanation for the flashlight being outside on top of 10cm of snow is that it was for nocturnal toilet trips. There were signs of urination so it fits that someone used it and placed it there after some build up of snow.

October 18, 2020, 09:56:55 PM
Reply #17
Offline

Marchesk


Agreed the bark only indicates the winds potential in general, not of that night. For this we need a local eye witness. The best i know of is Pashin - https://dyatlovpass.com/case-files-49-50?rbid=17743
"Around the time when hikers were killed even in the village of Vizhay was a strong wind and storm, from which the children were falling down". So if the winds were strong enough in Vizhay to blow children over, how strong on that ridge?

"Around that time" is not necessarily the same as that night, and someone recalling strong winds is not the same as an actual weather report, which they apparently had for Vizhay. This is similar to hikers and locals nearby seeing lights in the sky around that time, which is not an exact date, since it doesn't matter if those lights were seen a day before or two days after.

October 24, 2020, 11:55:37 AM
Reply #18
Offline

eurocentric


The temperature differential between the inside and outside of an unheated tent is said to be around 10 degrees for canvas (hemp, and later cotton) and 15+ for modern fabrics, according to camping forums I referenced.

Using the meterological data, flawed as it may be, this implies it would be -9.1 inside that tent if it was -19.1 outside of it at 9pm. You then have to take into consideration the wind chill, because even if they are inside, the tent is in a poor state of repair, with one hole large enough to need blocking with a coat, so cold air will be entering the air space in such an exposed position.

They would arrive near the summit a lot earlier than the data suggests, which states they started setting up the tent at 5pm, because it was sunset at 4:29pm and there's 2 photo's showing them digging the trench in daylight.

That means they would make their ascent and attempt to speed dig a trench and erect a tent by nightfall, possibly arriving there around 3 to 3:30pm, exposed to an estimated wind chill of -28 for several hours, and then spent a stimulating evening sat inside this unheated WW2-era tent. A number of them stripped off outer clothing, which would be to air themselves off from the sweat of their exertions, because without being dry at skin level they could not hope to retain body heat using the insulating air gaps of multiple layers of cotton clothing. And all this without lighting their stove, which may or may not have remained unpacked because they only had enough fuel to last a certain number of hours so were putting that off until 10 or 11pm (they typically rose around 10am).

Hypothermia affects people both physically and mentally. As their core temperature drops they cannot perform basic tasks, they cannot reliably count back from 10, they suffer from amnesia, and they can hallucinate (a potential alternative explanation, if you prefer, for cutting their way out the tent, if they started 'seeing' things, including the yeti they wrote about). They can become lethargic and depressed, and of course, at extremes, they can take off their clothing and make places to hide - paradoxical undressing and terminal burrowing.

The behaviour of the hikers on the ridge matches a lot of what can happen, and all the conditions were perfect for it. They leave without what they need (amnesia), their behaviour is bizarre, they need to be led like schoolchildren down the pass, assembling near the tent, and some tracks deviated during the descent before rejoining the group - hypothermics cannot walk in a straight line, acting as if drunk.

A few years ago the UK had a rare cold snap, though nothing by Russian, Canadian or Scandi standards, at -15. I cycled to a supermarket in the early evening, a 2-mile round trip, perhaps 15 minutes on the road, and I was properly dressed. But when I got back home I immediately thought there was an intruder, "there's someone in the house!", because he had clearly turned the heating on full blast, then I reminded myself I didn't have any central heating, and it was 7 degrees inside.

That short journey, with a 'wind' of 12mph when riding a bike, had exposed me, my face mainly, to a wind chill of -24 and for only 15 minutes, yet it made my home feel like it was 25 degrees+ indoors because of how rapidly it had chilled my core temperature.


https://www.calculator.net/wind-chill-calculator.html



« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 03:54:46 AM by eurocentric »

October 25, 2020, 04:47:32 PM
Reply #19
Offline

sarapuk

Case-Files Achievement Recipient
The temperature differential between the inside and outside of an unheated tent is said to be around 10 degrees for canvas (hemp, and later cotton) and 15+ for modern fabrics, according to camping forums I referenced.

Using the meterological data, flawed as it may be, this implies it would be -9.1 inside that tent if it was -19.1 outside of it at 9pm. You then have to take into consideration the wind chill, because even if they are inside, the tent is in a poor state of repair, with one hole large enough to need blocking with a coat, so cold air will be entering the air space in such an exposed position.

They would arrive near the summit a lot earlier than the data suggests, which states they started setting up the tent at 5pm, because it was sunset at 4:29pm and there's 2 photo's showing them digging the trench in daylight.

However lets not forget the acclimatisation factor.  And as you are probably aware, people who live in cold climates are better equipped to deal with more extreme cold. So the Dyatlov Group were well equipped, mentality and physically and clothing wise. But the Tent should not have been pitched in such an exposed position. It all kicks off at the Tent. But why would they want to pitch the Tent in such a position. It would have made more sense to pitch the Tent near the Treeline.

That means they would make their ascent and attempt to speed dig a trench and erect a tent by nightfall, possibly arriving there around 3 to 3:30pm, exposed to an estimated wind chill of -28 for several hours, and then spent a stimulating evening sat inside this unheated WW2-era tent. A number of them stripped off outer clothing, which would be to air themselves off from the sweat of their exertions, because without being dry at skin level they could not hope to retain body heat using the insulating air gaps of multiple layers of cotton clothing. And all this without lighting their stove, which may or may not have remained unpacked because they only had enough fuel to last a certain number of hours so were putting that off until 10 or 11pm (they typically rose around 10am).

Hypothermia affects people both physically and mentally. As their core temperature drops they cannot perform basic tasks, they cannot reliably count back from 10, they suffer from amnesia, and they can hallucinate (a potential alternative explanation, if you prefer, for cutting their way out the tent, if they started 'seeing' things, including the yeti they wrote about). They can become lethargic and depressed, and of course, at extremes, they can take off their clothing and make places to hide - paradoxical undressing and terminal burrowing.

The behaviour of the hikers on the ridge matches a lot of what can happen, and all the conditions were perfect for it. They leave without what they need (amnesia), their behaviour is bizarre, they need to be led like schoolchildren down the pass, assembling near the tent, and some tracks deviated during the descent before rejoining the group - hypothermics cannot walk in a straight line, acting as if drunk.

A few years ago the UK had a rare cold snap, though nothing by Russian, Canadian or Scandi standards, at -15. I cycled to a supermarket in the early evening, a 2-mile round trip, perhaps 15 minutes on the road, and I was properly dressed. But when I got back home I immediately thought there was an intruder, "there's someone in the house!", because he had clearly turned the heating on full blast, then I reminded myself I didn't have any central heating, and it was 7 degrees inside.

That short journey, with a 'wind' of 12mph when riding a bike, had exposed me, my face mainly, to a wind chill of -24 and for only 15 minutes, yet it made my home feel like it was 25 degrees+ indoors because of how rapidly it had chilled my core temperature.


https://www.calculator.net/wind-chill-calculator.html



DB