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Dyatlov Pass Incident Tent and Footprints
Dyatlov Pass Incident tent is one of the most
interesting pieces of evidence found on the slope of the
mountain. Along with the footprints of tourists it tells a
dramatic story of that night.
Point at the image to make it bigger.
Dyatlov Pass Incident Tent
Location and presence of items in the
tent (almost all the shoes, all outerwear, personal belongings and
diaries) testified that the tent was left suddenly at the same time
by all the tourists, and, as stated in the subsequent forensic
examination, the leeward side of the tent, where tourists laid their
heads, it was cut from the inside in two places at sites that
provide free personal exit through these incisions.
Below tent for up to 500 meters
traces were discovered of people walking in the snow from the tent
to the valley and the forest. The tracks are well preserved and
indicate presence of 8-9 pairs. Inspection should be shown that some
of them were almost bare foot (for example, in one footprint had
socks), while others were left by typical "valenki" (traditional
Russian footwear), feet in soft socks, and so on. The tracks were
located close to one another, converged and diverged from one
another several times. Tracks disappeared close to the forest border
- covered by a snow.
Presence of other people was not detected, neither were found
sights of a fight."
- Decision to dismiss a criminal case. Criminal Investigation, pages
and form of these lesions suggests that they were formed from the
contact with the blade of a weapon (knife) on the inside surface of
the fabric of the tent.
- Act of the criminal investigation # 199 (Criminal case, vol.1,
Dyatlov Tent at the time of its discovery
Another interesting part of the Dyatlov Pass mystery is
the tent of the Dyatlov Group. It is of unusual
construction. Dyatlov tent was actually made of two
regular tents. These two pieces were sawn together to
make a bigger one. Those who had to deal with the old
Soviet tents can attest that they are heavy. Two tents
made the job even harder. But presence of a single stove
made sense to create a single home for the tourists.
Staying warm in Siberia is tricky and required a lot of
ingenuity and compromise. Dyatlov group carried their
tent by taking turns.
The first thing that the rescue party discovered
on Kholat Syakhl mountain was a tourist tent with the stove that the Dyatlov made himself. For reasons that are were never answered, the sides of the tent were cut
presumably by the tourists. Judging by the number of cuts they were made from inside. It is hard to explain why they chose this strange exit for leaving the tent completely ignoring the entrance. Many of the members were not fully clothed then this happened. Yet, warm clothes, shoes, sweaters, knives and anything that could keep them warm and help survive in Siberian wilderness were abandoned. In fact most of the footwear and clothes were stacked in the middle and edges of the tent. Additionally Boris Slobcov discovered a flash light of Chinese production on the roof of the tent. It laid on a snow cover 5-10 cm in thickness and had no snow on top. He turned on the flashlight. It was in working condition.
Official protocol report on
the Tent from the Dyatlov group
Tent siteis located on theNorth-
easternslope of mountain 1079(Kholat Syakhl official term)meters at the mouth of river Auspiya.
Tent siteis located 300meters from thetop of
the mountain1079 with a slopeof 30 °.Test siteconsists of apad,
leveledbysnow,the bottom of whichare contains8 pairsof skis (for tent support and insulation).Tentis stretchedonpoles and
On the bottom of the tent
discovered with variouspersonal items,jackets,rain coats,
9 pairsof shoes.There were also found
men's pants, and
three pairs ofboots,
warm furcoats,socks, hat, ski caps,
utensils, buckets, stove, ax, saw,
blankets, food: biscuitsin twobags,
condensed milk, sugar, concentrates,
notebooks,itineraryand manyother smallitems and documents,
cameraand accessoriesto a camera.
The nature andform of all(...)lesionssuggest thattheywere formedby contactwith thecanvasinside of thetentwith the blade of
(presumably a knife).
The entrance to the Dyatlov Group Tent. Most of footwear that the
tourists wore was stored here. Hikers had two pairs of boots. For
the outside they wore valenki, traditional Russian boots
specifically made for the cold weather. Additionally there were
indoor tent boots that the hikers wore while in the tent. Valenki
were left to dry out during the night. In total 7 felt boots or
valenki and 6 pairs of boots.
B. To the right of the main entrance search and rescue
team discovered a pile of house hold utensils used by
hikers. This included various cooking pots, two large
axes, 2 buckets and many other items. A flask with
alcohol was also found. It was not used and it was full.
Search and rescue participants drank for the health of
the Dyatlov group members the same day they discovered
the tent. There was still hope the guys and girls are
C. Another pair of tent boots were found in the center
of the tent.
D. The farthest part of the tent was a place for
storage of food, cereal, sugar, cans and probably wood.
There is minor issue with the wood for the stove. Some
claim that there was wood in the tent, other claimed
that small branches were present in the stove at the
time of the discovered, while other witnesses claim there
was no wood in the tent or in the stove. Either way it
is not that important.
Students retrieved three photo cameras from the tent, group diary, some alcohol and few minor things. They hurried down the mountain to the campsite that was already established at the base of the mountain. Several mansi natives joined the group. Additionally Egor Semenovich Nevolin, a radioman, joined the search party. At 6pm they radioed back about their discovery on the last campsite of the Dyatlov group. UPI informed them that a large search group with will be delivered by a helicopter to their location. They would also deliver two large military tents for better comfort and security. A detective would join the search and rescue effort with Colonel Ortyukov as well.
Radiogam sent by Maslenikov, head of the Search team on March 2,
The main mystery of the tragedy is the hasty retreat of the whole
group of tourists. The only thing, besides an ice ax found outside
the tents, was a Chinese flashlight on its roof. It confirms the
probability of a clothed man outside, who gave some order for
everyone to abandon the tent. "
- Radiographs (page 167)
Zolotarev was well dressed and he probably was outside the tent when
he gave the order to abandon the tent and make a run for it.
While the tent contained all the items of the Dyatlov group we
should point out several strange items that were found in or around
One of the bamboo sticks
used for skiing was broken. In fact it was intentially cut and
then broken. Why it was done still escapes logic.
There were 10 pairs of
skis. We have several testimonies from the group about presence
of an extra pair. Where did this extra pair and what happened to
it, we don't know. We don't see a spare in any of the pictures
that the Dyatlov Pass group did.
Dyatlov Pass Incident
At 50-60 [metres] below the tent on one of its
sides, I found traces of eight pairs of people that are
carefully examined, but they were deformed due to winds
and temperature fluctuations. Ninth track could not be
established me, and it was not. Footprints wre
photographed by me. They pointed down the slope from a
tent. Footprints showed me that people walked at a
normal pace down the mountain. Footprints were visible
only for the 50-meter stretch, beyond that they
disappeared, as lower elevation of the mountain, had
more snow "
- Examination of
witnesses Tempalova VI (Criminal
Investigation page 312)
Footprints are an interesting feature in the Dyatlov
Pass Incident. However, no one expected to find the tourists dead so,
unfortunately, there was no attempt to preserve or record the footprints of people around the Dyatlov Pass. To this day there has been a discussion of exactly how many people were in this pass on that fateful day.
Judging by the words of the people involved in the search and who took the pictures, there were definitely 8- 9 tracks of footprints left by tourists who wore almost no footwear. Their feet pressed the snow and this left a characteristic "columns" of pressed snow with a footprint on top.
Judging by their outline and
distance between steps members of the group walked in a single file with a tall men walking in the back. His footprints partially covered footprints of his friends who walked in front of him. Overall the path gave an impression of organized and uneventful descent down the slope of the mountain. Several trails would deviate from the general direction, but then rejoin the group. Other footprints were also discovered and photographed.
These photos are not professional part of the planned
investigation. We can't tell the exact length of these
marks and we can't see the close up. They were quickly
covered with the footprints of other people. We can't
judge rescuers for being too sloppy. They are not
detectives and they certainly didn't expect that their
search party will find tourists dead.
However it is only one version of events. Yury Yudin who
was an original member of the Dyatlov Group, had to
cancel his journey due to health reasons. He later
participated in the search party that was investigating
the site of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. He is not a
professional in the area of criminal justice, but his
subjective opinion should be noted anyway for the sake
of full picture. In his interview he noted.
When we found an empty, abandoned tent, Captain
Chernyshev, who was an experienced tracker and a taiga
man (expression similar to a "mountain man" in
American culture) and deputy head of the search
party, noted that some of the footprints left by the
boots had a heel. This could indicate a army boots. I
noted this fact as well as some other other participants
of the search. As it is known, the track - is not just a
piece of evidence. For the experienced criminalist it is
the key to solving the crime. However, this "key" Ivanov
did not use.
Another member of the Dyatlov Pass Search team in his
2013 interview claimed that he saw boots with heels
along the entire length of footprints. He denied a
possibility that these footprints could be left by
someone from the search group as they all tried to avoid
stepping on these foot prints.