The Dyatlov Pass. The Hike of the Doomed through the Forbidden Areas

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Book 1. The conclusions of Kochetkov

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«The most important thing in research is not the amount of the information you have, but the skill how you use it.»

After careful studying the criminal case files, I have made a disappointing conclusion regarding the investigation findings. They proved to be not only erroneous, but deliberately falsified. But this was not the main thing in this tragedy, but the fact that the researchers of the past, as if not noticing the obvious mistakes of the investigation, for many decades not only used the conclusions of the investigation, but in some cases, raised them to the rank of axioms. And, as you know, the thinking people profit by the other people’s mistakes, and do not use them in their reasoning’s. That was why so many versions of the tragedy appeared and none of them corresponded to reality. The thing is that it’s impossible to build a plausible version of the events on the erroneous conclusions, however hard you may try. Therefore, unlike the others, I have completely rejected the investigation conclusions and, comparing the available facts, drawn my own conclusions, which, in my opinion, are more consistent with reality than the previous ones.

Chapter 1. Who cut a ski pole, and what for?

As is known from the criminal case files, a ski pole cut into several pieces, was found in the tent, belonging to the hikers from Igor Dyatlov’s group, which was evidenced by the participants of the search and rescue operations, Vadim Brusnitsyn and Vladimir Lebedev. This looks very odd, especially with respect to what happened to the Dyatlov group on the slope of the height «1079».

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Vladimir Aleksandrovich Lebedev, April 20, 1959

«In the tent, we found a ski pole, whose upper end was cut off along a neat end notch, and another notch was made. This suggests that someone seemed to stay in the tent much later than the others, maybe for a day, because no one would cut a pole, which might still be useful, out of sheer idleness.»

A criminal case file, sheet 315

Indeed, why cut a ski pole, which may still come in handy. Suppose the hikers needed just a cut pole, which, in their opinion, could no longer be useful for one reason or another. To hunt down this complicated issue, one should review the testimony on this point of another witness, which is available in the criminal case files.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Vadim Dmitriyevich Brusnitsyn, May 15, 1959

«On top of all the things, a ski pole cut into several pieces lay, whereon the northern ridge of the tent seemed to be fixed. To resolve upon rendering a ski pole unusable, taking into account that the group had no extra ones, was possible only on extraordinary occasions.»

A criminal case file, sheet 368

Hence, Vadim Brusnitsyn also confirmed the presence of a cut ski pole in the tent of the hikers, found on the slope of the height «1079», which lent this important information some credibility, since the students had no need to lie and mislead the investigation. Moreover, prior to the interrogation, they were made aware of Article 95 of the RSFSR Criminal Code on the responsibility for perjury.

To figure out a secret of a cut ski pole is not an easy task, though it is all the same achievable. And unlike others, I will not read tea leaves, I will rather use what is available in the criminal case files. Thus, if the testimony of Vadim Brusnitsyn is taken as the basis for solving this issue, the two options for the development of the events are possible:

1) the group should have had an extra pair of ski poles;

2) some special events should have occurred, compelling the hikers to resolve upon rendering the ski pole unusable.

Let’s start with the first case scenario, which, in my opinion, is easier than the second one. And, as is usually the case in the investigations, to find an answer to a difficult question one should sift the whole lot of materials through, before the answer comes to fruition, which will correspond to reality, i.e. be based on the reliable facts, confirming its correctness.

Indeed, this matter is so intricate that it won’t be quite so easy to come to its understanding. Sometimes, the same people provide conflicting testimonies, which leads the researchers astray. And yet, if one does not jump to conclusions, but methodically compares the facts, it is possible «to separate the wheat from the chaff», as the saying runs.

The Protocol of discovery of the Dyatlov group’s camp site, February 28, 1959

«The overnight camp represents a snow-leveled site with 8 pairs of skis on the bottom. The tent is stretched out on the ski poles, fixed with the ropes. 9 backpacks, with various personal belongings of the group members, are laid down at the bottom of the tent, the quilted jackets, windbreakers are placed on their top, 9 pairs of ski boots are found where the heads should have been..»

Junior Counsellor of Justice, Tempalov

Witnesses: 1) Brusnitsyn, 2) Sharavin, 3) Kurikov, the Head of the detachment 4) Maslennikov.»

A criminal case file, sheet 2

It is strange, the Dyatlov group numbers 9 people, and there are only 8 pairs of skis, whereas 9 pairs of ski boots are found. Herewith, one pair of ski boots is found in the cache. Why do the hikers need 10 pairs of ski boots, having 8 pairs of skis? Something does not quite add up in the Protocol drawn up by Tempalov. To get to the bottom of the circumstances, one should review the testimonies of the witnesses, who were present during the inspection of the items in the tent.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Vadim Dmitriyevich Brusnitsyn, May 15, 1959

«8 pairs of skis were laid under the tent with their bindings facing down. Thanks to the dense snow cover, the tent was set up very firmly. Everything was covered with the packed snow, except for the southern ridge, fixed on a ski pole and tied to a pair of skis. No ski pole was under the northern ridge.»

A criminal case file, sheet 367

Now it becomes clear why Tempalov mentions 8 pairs of skis, rather than 9 pairs. The thing was that one pair was not under the tent, but next to it, as reported by Vadim Brusnitsyn. But he says nothing of the ski boots, so one should review the testimony of another witness, who was present during the inspection of the items.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Yevgeniy Polikarpovich Maslennikov, March 10, 1959

«In the Dyatlov group’s tent there were 9 backpacks, 10 pairs of skis, of which 9 pairs under the tent bottom, 8 pairs of ski boots, 3.5 pairs of felt boots (7 pcs.), several quilted jackets and other property. When the inspection of the tent was over, we dragged it to a helipad at a distance of 600—700 meters.»

A criminal case file, sheet 70

Actually, Yevgeniy Maslennikov reports of the 8 pairs of ski boots in the tent, rather than 9 pairs, which, in my opinion, is closer to the truth for a number of reasons, whereof I will tell you, but a little bit later. But the story with the skis has taken an unexpected turn. And now it is not clear who should we believe and who not. It turns out that on the slope of the height «1079» there were 10 pairs of skis, rather than 9 pairs. But one should not jump to conclusions, for, as a rule, this can mislead even an experienced researcher, without saying of those, who take only initial timid steps in this direction. So, please, arm yourselves with patience and hold onto your hat.

Indeed, the events have taken an unexpected turn, and it proves that on the slope of the height «1079», there were 10 pairs of skis instead of 9 pairs. This seems to be fantastic, despite the fact that the hikers did have an extra pair of skis, which was left in the cache, as you know. And, nevertheless, Vassiliy Tempalov agreed with the opinion of Yevgeniy Maslennikov, which is supported by the information, available in the criminal case files.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Vassiliy Ivanovich Tempalov, April 18, 1959

«An ice-axe and an extra pair of skis were found near the tent. An unlit Chinese flashlight lay on the tent. 9 backpacks, 9 pairs of skis, all of them lying under the tent bottom, 8 pairs of ski boots, 3.5 pairs of felt boots, quilted jackets, and a lot of rusks, a half-bag of sugar, a large amount of concentrated food, porridges, soups, etc., cocoa, axes, a saw, cameras, the students’ diaries, documents and money were found in the tent.»

A criminal case file, sheet 310

According to the Protocol of Tempalov’s interrogation, 10 pairs of skis were found on the slope of the height «1079», i.e. 9 pairs under the tent and 1 pair at the entrance. Moreover, Vassiliy Ivanovich said that 8 pairs of ski boots were in the tent, not 9 of them, as he had previously stated. I wonder what made Tempalov change his mind in respect to the discovered skis and boots? After all, it was not for nothing that he suddenly supported the opinion of Maslennikov, thereby admitting his own mistake.

The Protocol of discovery of the Dyatlov group camp site, February 28, 1959

«All found items were transferred for the inventory and delivery to… the base of the Head of the search and rescue detachment, Maslennikov Yevgeniy Polikarpovich, wherefore this Protocol was drawn up. Junior Counsellor of Justice, Tempalov.»

A criminal case file, sheet 2

What a striking picture! Did Tempalov, Brusnitsyn and Lebedev really make a mistake in counting? And Yevgeniy Maslennikov, who the items were handed over to «for the inventory and delivery», after their inspection, found that the inventory did not correspond to reality. But how could this have happened? The three persons could not make a mistake just like that. Something is wrong here. Undoubtedly, an explanation for this strange event should be found somewhere in the criminal case files.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Aleksei Alekseyevich Chernyshov, March 11, 1959

«The tent was set properly. The snow was trampled and a flat site was prepared, the skis were lying on the snow with their sliding surface up, the tent bottom was already put on them. The quilted jackets were laid at the bottom in the tent itself (away from the slope), the empty backpacks were laid out in the tent. On the same side of the tent (towards the slope), the personal things of each hiker lay. In the right corner, near the entrance, there was some food: cans of condensed milk, concentrated food, etc., 8 pairs of ski boots and 7 felt boots were lying along the length of the tent, on the side of the slope.»

A criminal case file, sheets 89 and 90

Hence, the Deputy Head of the united search and rescue detachments, Captain Chernyshov, on the one hand, confirms the fact that there were really 8 pairs of ski boots in the tent, but on the other hand, he does not say a word of the number of skis. And the situation with the actual number of skis starts to look hopeless, remaining one more contradictory piece of information, which is, most likely, to remain unexplained.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Georgiy Vladimirovich Atmanaki, April 7—8, 1959

«There was no sense in continuing the further inspection of the items, and so, they put everything back in its place until the investigator’s arrival, having first raised the tent and pulled out the three pairs of skis, since the dog handlers were walking on foot, and the rest of the skis were used by us to mark the places where the bodies of the dead were found.»

A criminal case file, sheet 215

Here is an answer why those, who were sorting out the items in the tent, were mistaken with the actual number of skis. The thing was that at the time of drawing up the Protocol by Vassiliy Tempalov, the searchers took several pairs of skis for their needs. A fair question arises: «Why did they not share this important information with the Head of the united search and rescue detachments, Yevgeniy Maslennikov, and he, in turn, with Vassiliy Tempalov?»

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Yevgeniy Polikarpovich Maslennikov, March 10, 1959

«Brusnitsyn was the one who was mostly engaged with the tent, and he would tell of the location of the items in it better than me. Considering that a prosecutor, Comrade Tempalov, and a sufficient number of people were near the tent, I went down to the search and rescue detachment, because it was necessary to activate the search for the people.»

A criminal case file, sheet 70

That was why Tempalov changed his mind concerning the number of skis, found on the slope of the height «1079». But, as is often the case with the investigations, after answering one question, there arises another, no less important one: «Where did the extra pair of skis, which had not been there at the beginning of the hike, come from?»

The Protocol of inspection of the items, found at the scene, March 5—7, 1959

«The clothes, found on the body of Igor Dyatlov, were listed in the autopsy report: a fur sleeveless jacket, trimmed with blue satin. Yura Yudin said that that sleeveless jacket belonged to him and he handed it over to Sasha Kolevatov on January 28, 1959».

A criminal case file, sheet 13

It turns out that Yura Yudin gave Sasha Kolevatov not only «a fur sleeveless jacket, trimmed with blue satin», but also the skis and ski poles. And this event took place in the 2nd Severnyi village on January 28, 1959. But how then did Yura Yudin get to the 41st Kvartal, having lost not only his fur jacket, but also the means of transportation across the terrain, covered with deep snow? And why did the group leader let the sick comrade go alone, without being accompanied? I will provide the answers to these fair questions in the next chapter of my work, dedicated to Igor Dyatlov’s group.

Chapter 2. What Yura Yudin was silent about

Previously, it was assumed that the sick Yura Yudin left the hikers on January 28, 1959, which corresponded to reality. But the question arises, how did he get from the village of geologists to the village of lumberjacks? And if one cannot give the right answer to this question, one can go astray, already at the start of the research, and this, in turn, will lead to a sad ending, rather than an understanding of what, in reality, happened to the hikers on that unfortunate day, when they were on the slope of the height «1079».

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Yuriy Yefimovich Yudin, April 15, 1959

«My leg ached, I could not participate in the hike, so on January 28, 1959, from the 2nd Severnyi village, I returned back to the city of Ivdel, and the other 9 people went on skis and with all the equipment along the route.»

A criminal case file, sheet 294

Yura Yudin himself does not explain how he got from the 2nd Severnyi village to the 41st Kvartal, moreover, from the village of geologists he immediately appears in the city of Ivdel, missing in his narration the two settlements at a time, i.e. the 41st Kvartal and the Vizhai village, as if he wanted to conceal this important information from the investigation. And this fact alone already raises suspicion of Yura Yudin’s desire to cooperate fully with the prosecutor’s office. And accordingly, the researchers of the past had to solve this difficult issue themselves, relying on the meager information, available both in the criminal case files and in the diaries of the hike participants.

The diary of Zina Kolmogorova, January 28, 1959

«Uncle Slava is leaving today with his horse, and Yura Yudin is leaving too. He took a few core samples. I saw this type of ore for the first time after drilling.»

Coming from the diary of Zina Kolmogorova, indeed, Yura Yudin left the hikers on January 28, 1959, and allegedly went on ski after Uncle Slava. And, as if in confirmation of this fact, there is reliable information, which was shared by Uncle Slava himself.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Stanislav Aleksandrovich Valyukyavichus, March 7, 1959.

«I spent the night in the hut with the hikers, had breakfast together with them the next morning. One of the hikers put a drilling core sample in the backpack and asked me to take it to the 41st Kvartal. At the same time, he said that I should head back slowly, and he would catch up with me, since he could not go on a hike further due to illness, his leg ached.»

A criminal case file, sheet 53

So far, it all fits and there is no doubt that Yura Yudin really went on skis after Uncle Slava, especially since he had no other choice. As you know, from the diaries of the hikers, the 2nd Severnyi village was abandoned back in 1953, accordingly, no one cleared the road to an uninhabited village, since it made no sense.

The copy of the Dyatlov group diary, January 27, 1959

«The 2nd Severnyi village is an abandoned geological site, comprising 20—25 houses. Only one of them is suitable for living. Late at night, in complete darkness we found the village and house, and only guessed through the ice-hole where the hut was.»

A criminal case file, sheet 25

And, as if in confirmation of this fact, there is reliable information, which Uncle Slava shares with the prosecutor’s office. Everything seems to be coherent, if not a slight problem, which previously the researchers of the past did not pay due attention to, and how wrong they were! It was namely this slight problem, that should have raised a doubt among the researchers if Yura Yudin really went along the Lozva river after Stanislav Valyukyavichus.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Stanislav Aleksandrovich Valyukyavichus, March 7, 1959

«I left the village about 10 o’clock in the morning, the hikers stayed behind. I arrived at the 41st Kvartal about 15 o’clock in the afternoon and after a while one hiker came, who collected the rock.»

A criminal case file, sheet 53

Indeed, coming from the Protocol of interrogation of Uncle Slava, Yura Yudin came and took the core sample. It seems that all checks out, which means that one has no reasons to doubt the correctness of the investigation conclusions. However, some understatement remains, which should be excluded in such a confusing matter. Firstly, why did Yura Yudin conceal under the interrogation that his leg ached in the 41st Kvartal, and secondly, why did he not tell how he got to the village of lumberjacks?

The copy of the Dyatlov group diary, January 27, 1959

«It took a long time to pack off: we waxed the skis, adjusted the bindings. Yurka Yudin is leaving home today. It’s a pity, of course, to part with him, especially for me and Zina, but nothing can be done about it.»

A criminal case file, sheet 26

It turns out, that despite the fact that the village of geologists was abandoned, Yura Yudin could leave, respectively, by car. But what about the words of Uncle Slava, that after a while one tourist came. Exactly, he came, but from where it was not known, since Vyacheslav Vylyukyavichus did not give the exact information where Yura Yudin came from. He could come both from the direction of the Lozva river and from the lumberjacks’ hut, where he had his things.

The diary of Zina Kolmogorova, January 27, 1959

«Yes, Yura Yudin is leaving us today. His sciatic nerves inflamed again and he is leaving. Such a pity. We distributed his load in our backpacks.»

It turns out, that as early as on January 27, the hikers distributed the load to their backpacks, leaving for Yudin only his things. Accordingly, he did not need to carry his backpack to the 2nd Severnyi village and he left it in the lumberjacks’ hut. That was why the hikers were not worried that the lame friend might not reach the 41st Kvartal, since he left by car. But a fair question arises: «Whence did the road, suitable for cars in winter appear, since the village was uninhabited, which meant that no one had cleaned it of snow?» Indeed, no one would clean the road to an uninhabited village, everyone knows that. But there is one fact, which the researchers of the past have forgotten. The road to an abandoned village would also be cleaned if it were located on the way to another village, i.e. behind the 2nd Severnyi village there was another settlement, which, at that time, was an operating mine.

Chapter 3. The Severnyi mine

When I studied the Protocols of interrogation, I was unspeakably surprised by the fact, that the Head of the 8th Camp Department, Khakimov, provided a car for the hikers, going not to the 2nd Severnyi village, but to the Severnyi mine, i.e. somewhere behind the village of geologists another settlement was located, whereto the cars regularly drove.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Valeriy Mikhailovich Ufimtsev, April 13, 1959

«On February 16 comrade Blinov telephoned the Committee and asked whether there were any news of the group, and immediately a phone call to the Vizhai village was ordered and talks were held with the Camp Department officer, Khakimov, who said that they gave the Dyatlov group a ride to the Severnyi mine on December 27.»

A criminal case file, sheet 269

And immediately a fair question arises: «Why January 27 and not January 26?» Indeed, based on the diaries of Igor Dyatlov’s group, the hikers left the Vizhai village on January 26, 1959, i.e. a day earlier than Khakimov claimed. Really, comrade Khakimov, confused the dates and indicated the wrong day, and Ufimtsev, instead of the 2nd Severnyi village, by mistake, informed the prosecutor’s office of the Severnyi mine, which, perhaps, did not exist at all. But, nevertheless, if there is such an information, then it must have been verified. As the saying goes: «Trust but verify».

The diary of Lyuda Dubinina, January 26, 1959

«We go by car. We tried to sing, talked on abstract topics and in general nobody was warm. The surroundings were uninteresting at the beginning, a scorched forest. In general, we had to go to the 2nd Severnyi village, but it was getting dark, and we decided to stop at the 41st Kvartal at 16:30 p.m.»

It turns out that the hikers left too late and, therefore, they had to stay in the 41st Kvartal. But why did comrade Khakimov, instead of sending the car in the morning, taking into account a long distance, provide it much later? Why did the driver have to spend the night in the village, which belonged to another Department, i.e. to the Ivdel Energolesokombinat (Power Engineering Forest Integrated Plant), rather that the Ivdellag.

The diary of Yura Blinov

«We got to Ivdel in 3 hours. They were already waiting for us there. It was decided to immediately go to search. Four persons flew: a commander, a navigator, an engineer (procured a car for Dyatlov to take them from the Vizhai village to the 41st Kvartal, and then they drove the backpacks to the 2nd Severnyi village on a horse cart) and also me.»

It turns out that a certain engineer «procured a car for Dyatlov», i.e. he negotiated with Khakimov that he would provide a car for the hikers. And this is a very important piece of information, which could clarify the question of interest to us: «What was the reason that they left the Vizhai village so late?» And my searches have led to the desired result, I have managed to find this unknown engineer in the criminal case files.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Mikhail Timofeyevich Dryakhlykh, March 5, 1959

«On February 21, I was summoned to the CPSU City Committee by comrade I.S. Prodanov and told that a group of hikers is missing and it was necessary to search for them. On February 21, 1959, I, a student of the Polytechnic Institute (I do not know his name), the aircraft commander Spitsyn, and a navigator flew off on a „Yak“ airplane in the direction of the Vizhai village.»

A criminal case file, sheet 41

Yura Blinov was just that student, whose last name Dyakhlykh did not remember. And Deyakhlykh himself was just that engineer, who «procured a car for Dyatlov.» After I have found the engineer, it remained for me to clarify one important fact. To what extent were Dryakhlykh’s words about the car true?

The telegram of Rustem Slobodin, February 26, 1959

«Greetings to the native Sverdlovsk residents! Yesterday we safely reached the Vizhai village. Now we are driving to the starting point, the 2nd Severnyi village by a special car.»

The telegram contains a very interesting information, which has not been paid due attention to before. It turned out that the hikers were not driving in an ordinary car, but «in a special car.» But looking at the broken car body, a fair question arises: «How was it different from other cars of those years to be called a special car?» And the answer to this important question was given by Yura Yudin.

The diary of Yura Yudin, January 26, 1959

«In the truck in which we came,3 movies were brought: «My Apprenticeship» by Gorki, «There is such a guy» and «Symphony in gold».

Now everything fell into a groove. Indeed, the car was ordinary, but due to the fact that it belonged to a cinema operator, it was called a special car, since it carried the equipment for the demonstration of feature films to the personnel of the 8th Camp Department. Accordingly, the engineer Dryakhlykh, negotiated on the issue of a car not for the students, but for the needs of the Energolesokombinat, i.e. on the eve of the opening of the 21st Congress of the CPSU, he wanted to show the feature films to the lumberjacks. And the next day, January 27, the cinema operator with the hikers would have continued on to the 2nd Severnyi village. That was why, comrade Khakimov said that the Dyatlov group was taken by the car to the Severnyi village on January 27. But this information did not fully correspond to reality, since the car with the movie operator, indeed, continued its movement, but without the hikers. And why this happened, I will tell you, but not in this chapter, since now we are talking about something completely different, namely of the Severnyi mine.

One fact, moreover, a controversial one, cannot be a 100% guarantee that a certain settlement was actually located behind the 2nd Severnyi village. Therefore, we had to look for more compelling evidence of the existence of the Severnyi mine. And, strange as it might sound, such information was in the criminal case files, rather than somewhere in the secret archives.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Mikhail Timofeyevich Dryakhlykh, March 5, 1959

«On February 21, 1959, a student of the Polytechnic Institute, (I do not know his name), the aircraft commander Spitsyn and a navigator flew off on an „Yak“ airplane in the direction of the Vizhai village, thence up the Lozva river through the 41st Kvartal, the 2nd Severnyi village, the Severnyi mine to the mouth of the Auspiya river, up along the Auspiya river. Then returned back through the 2nd Severnyi village and the 41st Kvartal.»

A criminal case file, sheet 41

2-ой Северный рудник — The 2nd Severnyi mine. Северный рудник — The Severnyi mine.

Coming from the Protocol of interrogation of the witness Dryakhlykh, it turns out that the Severnyi mine was located between the 2nd Severnyi village and the mouth of the Auspiya river, but away from the Lozva river. The thing was that the plane flew in one direction over the road, and back over the Lozva river. That is why in one case the Severnyi mine is mentioned, and in the other case not. And it remains to find out where this unknown settlement was approximately located.

Radiogram No. 26. Received by Temnikov. To Sulman

«We are in 6—10 km from the mouth of the Auspiya river. In the village at the mouth of the Auspiya river the tracks of narrow sports skis were found. The ski trail was quite well-trodden, there were many people, 8—10 persons. The tracks are old. Nevolin.»

A criminal case file, sheet 143

Устье Ауспии — The mouth of the Auspiya river. Санно-оленья тропа — The deer-and-sledge trail. Северный рудник — The Severnyi mine.

Based on the radiogram, the village was located 6—10 km from the mouth of the Auspiya river. And although Nevolin did not indicate the name of the settlement, it was clearly referred to the Severnyi mine, since there were no other settlements in that area. Having compared all available facts, I began to search for the Severnyi mine. And I have found only one place in the maps, which fully corresponded to the available information. This is the height «297 (296.4)». It was located about 7 km from the mouth of the Auspiya river, if you move along the deer-and-sledge trail, which is indicated in the old maps. In addition, based on the modern satellite maps, an abandoned road from the 2nd Severnyi village to this height was visible.

Chapter 4. «The hiking route by days» of Yevgeniy Maslennikov

After the Severnyi village was found, it was possible to start analyzing a very important document, which, undoubtedly, was «The hiking route by days», compiled by the student of the Ural Polytechnic Institute, Dyatlov Igor Alekseyevich, back in December 1958. And there was something to disassemble, since the route, presented in this document did not correspond to reality for a number of reasons. And it was the Severnyi mine that put everything in its place. However, first things first.

The hiking route by days

«The 4th — 5th days of the hike. The Vizhai village — the 2nd Severnyi village, 55 km;

The 6th day of the hike — — — — — — — — — — — — — — -;

The 7th — 8th days of the hike. Up the Auspiya river, 38 km;

The 9th day of the hike. A pass at the upper reaches of the Lozva river, 14 km;

The 10th day of the hike. The ascent of the Mount Otorten, 20 km;

The 11th day of the hike. The Mount Otorten — the upper reaches of the Auspiya river, 18 km».

A criminal case file, sheet 202

And to make it clear what this chapter is about, I will put the dates for each hike day.

The hiking route by days.

The 4th — 5th days of the hike. The Vizhai village — the 2nd Severnyi village, 55 km., January 26 and 17;

The 6th day of the hike — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — January 28;

The 7th — 8th days of the hike. Up the Auspiya river, 38 km., January 29 and 30;

The 9th day of the hike. A pass at the upper reaches of the Lozva river, 14 km., January 31;

The 10th day of the hike. The ascent of the Mount Otorten, 20 km., February 1;

The 11th day of the hike. The Mount Otorten — the upper reaches of the Auspiya river, 18 km., February 2.

There are 3 points in «The hiking route by days», which put serious questions to Igor Dyatlov, as the author of this document. The first one is why were the dashes inserted for January 28, and was not the mileage indicated, as if the hikers were not intended to go along the Lozva river? The second one is why were 38 km up the Auspiya river indicated, and not 30, as in reality? The third one is what 14 km the hikers had to overcome on January 31, if they had already reached the pass on the January 30.

Маршрут похода по дням — The hiking route by days

But before proceeding to the analysis of «The hiking route by days», one has to get familiarized with the conclusions of the investigation on this matter.

The decision to discontinue the criminal case, May 28, 1959

«From the diary entries, croquis of the route and developed photographic films of the hikers it is determined that on May 28, 1959 the group went upstream the Lozva river, on January 30, 1959 the group continued its movement, on January 31, 1959 the hikers reached the Auspiya river and tried to go over the pass to the Lozva river valley, but due to the low temperature and strong wind they had to go back down and stayed overnight. On February 01, 1959 the hikers built a cache at the upper reaches of the Auspiya river, wherein they left the food supplies and all redundant equipment.

Returning on January 31, 1959 in the Auspiya river valley, and knowing of the difficult terrain conditions of the height «1079», where the ascent was supposed, Dyatlov, as the leader of the group, made a gross mistake, which manifested itself in the fact that the group began the ascent on February 1, 1959 only at 15:00 p.m.»

A criminal case file, sheet 384

In this document, the route, covered by the hikers, is not fully described, but, as is known, the investigation conclusions did not appear out of the blue. The prosecutor-criminologist Ivanov took advantage of the conclusions of the Head of the united search and rescue detachments, Yevgeniy Maslennikov, who was a master of sports in tourism.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Yevgeniy Polykarpovich Maslennikov, March 10, 1959.

«On January 28.01.1959 the group covered about 15 km and stopped for the night on the Lozva river.

The next day, on January 29, the group reached the mouth of the Auspiya river and walked up to 3 km upstream.

On January 30, 1959 they walked 17 km, starting at 10.30 a.m. That was a warm overnight stay, whereof all the hike participants of the expedition responded well. The camp site of this night was found by the Slobtsov group.

On January 31, the group walked 14 km, and in the evening came to the Lozva river pass, to the place where we later had a helipad. The hike participants wrote in their diaries that the pass met them with the wind, similar to that of the aircraft takeoff. The bad weather and unsuitability of the place to spend the night in such conditions forced the group to return 1000 m down and spend the night in the wood, on the left bank of the Auspiya river.

The next day, on February 1, the group built a cache and at 15:0 p.m., after lunch, went on their old trail to the pass between the heights «1079» and «880».

A criminal case file, sheets 72 and 73

The conclusions of Yevgeniy Maslennikov contain one very interesting point. In contrast to the entries for the other days, which indicate the exact mileage, the entry for January 29 specifies only the distance passed along the Auspiya river. And in order to understand the reason for such actions of Yevgeniy Maslennikov, one has to know the exact distance from the 2nd Severnyi village to the mouth of the Auspiya river. And the distance is 17 km.

The hiking route by days, according to Maslennikov:

The 6th day of the hike, January 28, 15 km;

The 7th day of the hike, January 29, 5 km;

The 8th day of the hike, January 30, 17 km;

The 9th day of the hike, January 31, 14 km;

The 10th day of the hike, February 1, 2.5 km.

It turns out, that on January 29, the hikers walked only 5 km. Apparently, Maslennikov himself did not believe in that, so he indicated only the way, walked along the Auspiya river, and not the entire distance, which the hikers covered on January 29. But that’s not all. If you carefully study the version of Maslennikov, you can see with an unarmed eye that his conclusions were fitted to «The hiking route by days», compiled by Igor Dyatlov. Namely, on January 31, the hikers allegedly covered 14 km, but was that really so? And in order to understand this important issue, one needs to add up the distance, walked by the hikers along the Auspiya river, coming from the testimony of Yevgeniy Maslennikov.

The Dyatlov group’s route, created by Maslennikov (from the 2nd Severnyi village to the tent on the slope of the height «1079»). January 28 — 15 km. January 29 — 5 km. January 30 — 17 km. January 31 -14 km. Лабаз — The cache. Стоянка манси — the Mansi camp site. От 2-го Северного рудника до устья Ауспии — 17 км — From the 2nd Severnyi to the mouth of the Auspiya river — 17 km.

January 29 — 3 km, January 30 — 17 km, January 31 — 14 km, February 1 — 2.5 km. If we sum up the entire distance, it turns out that from the mouth of the Auspiya river to the tent on the slope of the height «1079» is 36.5 km. Let’s round this figure to 37.

The Protocol of interrogation of the witness Ivan Vassiliyevich Pashin, March 7, 1959

«We found the first camp site of the hikers at a distance of about 17 km from the place of their death, and at a distance of 20 km from the Lozva river.»

A criminal case file, sheet 49

So, the forester Pashin confirms the calculations made by Yevgeniy Maslennikov. And he should have known, by force of his duty, the exact distance from the Lozva river to the tent on the slope of the height «1079». And that might be the end of it, if not a slight problem. The exact distance from the mouth of the Lozva river to the tent on the slope of the height «1079» was not 37, but 30 km. And what is most interesting, Maslennikov knew it for sure, as it is evidenced by his notebook entry.

The notebook of Yevgeniy Maslennikov

The schedule of movement

«January 28, the 6th day of the hike. From the 2nd Severnyi village to the Auspiya river, 31 km;

January 29 and 30, the 7th and 8th days of the hike. Up the Auspiya river, 30 km.

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