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Dyatlov Group Diary

Dyatlov Pass Incident


(c) Mikko-Kolkkanen


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Dyatlov Group Diary


Original diary of the Dyatlov group was discovered in the tent that was left in Dyatlov Pass. We kept it as it was in the original form. You can make a psychological portrait of the people who wrote it. It is short and some of its sentences apparently made short on purpose to keep to the point. We didn't add anything. The sentences and events behind them apparently meant more for the people who were describing them. They did not see much point in writing out the whole experience. Just few words to remember.


Dyatlov Pass Incident

Frame from Krivonichenko Camera


23 January, 1959


The Dyatlov Group leaves Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg today).


January 23, 1959

Now we are sitting in the room 531, or rather of course do not sit, but rather frantically shoving into backpacks any oatmeal, cans, canned meat. Zavchoz (head of provision distribution) stands and makes sure everything is included. Where are my felt boots? Y.K (Yuri Krivonischenko) Can we play mandolin on the train? Of course! We forgot the salt! 3kg (kilograms) Igor! Where are you? Where is Doroshenko? Why did he take 20 packs? Give me 15 kopecks. Spring balance, spring balance. Where is spring balance? Can't fit it. Damn. Who has the knife? Yura drove it to the station. Slave Khalizov has arrived. Hallo, Hallo! Luda is counting the money. The room is an artistic mess. And here we are on the train. We sang all the songs that we know, learned new ones, everyone goes to sleep at 3 (am). I wonder what awaits us in this trip? What will be new? The boys solemnly swore not to smoke the entire trip. I wonder how much they have will power, if they can get by without cigarettes? Everyone is sleeping and Ural taiga is spread in all directions.

Zoya Kolmogorova

Dyatlov pass incident  Dyatlov Pass Incident

Left Picture (Krivonischenko's camera): Lyudmila Dubinina, Yuri Krivonischenko, Nicolai Thibeaux-Brignolle, Rustem Slobodin

Right Picture (loose photo, probably Krivonischenko's camera): Nicolai Thibeaux-Brignolle, Lyudmila Dubinina, Semen "Alexander" Zolotarev, Zinaida Kolmogorova



24 January, 1959


Group arrives in a ton of Serov is a mining and commercial town in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, located on the eastern foothills of the Ural Mountains, on the left bank of the Kakva River. It is located 350 kilometers (220 mi) north of Yekaterinburg.


Blinov group becomes an important witness in the early investigation and search party. They have departed in Serov and went their own separate ways, but they later claimed that they saw strange glowing orbs that were flying in the direction of the Dyatlov Pass on the night of the tragedy. Additionally they reported heavy snowing in the Ural mountains in the weeks following the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Ironically, it led to the delay of the search party to begin their investigation into the region.


This town became a place that could potentially end the whole journey of the Dyatlov Group. Yuri Krivonischenko was held by the police for disturbing the of the passengers by singing. The situation was resolved quickly and Yuri was let go. Some theories about Dyatlov Pass Incident point out that this brief arrest was not a coincidence. Particular the fans of the theory that the Dyatlov Group was killed by a foreign special forces unit believe that this arrest was simply staged to give Krivonischenko radiation stained clothes intended for the foreign agents.


January 24

(7am) We arrived in Serov (town). We traveled with a group of Blinov. They have... things for hunting and other accessories. At the station, we were met with "hospitality". They didn't allow us into the building. The policeman stares at us suspiciously. There is no crime or violation, as under communism. Yuri Krivonischenko started to sing a song and a cop grabbed him and took him away. The sergeant explained that the rules of Section 3 prohibited all activity that would disturb the peace of passengers. It is perhaps the only train station where the songs are forbidden. Finally, everything is settled with the law.


Going to Ivdel from Serov at 6:30 pm. We were welcomed warmly in the school near the railway station. Zavchos (who takes care of physical property), who is also a janitor, heated water for us, gave us everything she could to help us during our track. We are free all day. I wanted to go to the city, visit nature museum or take a trip to a factory, but too much time is taken by the distribution of equipment and training.


12:00 pm In the interval between 1st and 2nd shifts in school we organized a meeting with the students. Small room is cramped with all the kids that are curious. Zolotarev: "Kids, now we'll tell you... Tourism is, makes it possible to..." Everyone is sitting, quiet, worried. Z. Kolmogorova: Tra- ta- ta- ta. What's your name? Where were you before? And she went on and on. There was no end of questions toward Zina. We had to explain every detail to the kids, from torches to setting up tents. We spent 2 hours lecturing and kids did not want to let us go. They sang songs to each other. At the station, we saw the whole school. In the end, when we were leaving, the kids yelled and cried, asking Zina to remain with them. They promised to listen to her and study well.


Dyatlov Pass Incident

On a train station, some young alcoholic accused us of stealing his wallet from a pocket. For the second time the police are on the scene. Debate- talk about love thanks to provocation by Z. Kolmogorova. Songs, revision, Dubinina under the seat, garlic bread without water and we arrived in Ivdel around 12 am. Large waiting room. Total freedom of action. Took turns all night to keep stuff safe. Bus to Vijay leaves early in the morning.

Yura Yudin

 Dyatlov Pass Incident

Culture Palace in Serov as the tourists saw it. Picture is taken by the Dyatlov Group

Dyatlov Pass Incident  Dyatlov Pass Incident

As it exists today





Night of 25th January


The Dyatlov Group arrives in a small town of Ivdel (Russian: Ивдель) is a town in Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia, located on the Ivdel River near its confluence with the Lozva River, 535 kilometers (332 mi) north of Yekaterinburg. Lozva river will play an important role in the Dyatlov Pass Incident as we will see later. During the Stalin's regime Ivdel was home to Ivdellag gulag, a soviet concentration camp for criminals and political enemies of the Soviet State. Like other gulags across the Soviet Union it was abolished in 1956 after so called Khrushchev Thaw. Nikita Khrushchev who was the head of the Soviet Union at the time of the Dyatlov Pass Incident accused Joseph Stalin of mass murders and closed all the concentration camps.


However many former inmates did live in the region and some were encountered by the Dyatlov Group. Additionally it is possible that some inmates might have escaped their prisons and lived in the wilderness without knowledge of the amnesty for the political prisoners. It is not a wild story as numerous people and even whole families reported spending dozens of years deep in the Siberian forest. Igor Dyatlov during one of this trips met an Old- Believer (Eastern Orthodox religious sect) deep in a Siberian taiga. He helped fix his radio using his batteries that he selflessly shared with an old man. The man lived in the forest for decades and was not aware of many historic events like World War II or Stalin's death.


Dyatlov Group was probably too tired and too busy to leave any records.



January 26, 1959

Dyatlov Group Incident  Dyatlov Group Incident   

The Dyatlov group leaves Ivdel and gets a ride with GAZ 63 to the 41st Kvartal (41st Quarter). It is third to the last human settlement.


January 26

We slept in a so- called hotel. Two people per bed. Sasha K. (Alexander Kolevatov) and Krivoy (Yuri Krivonischenko) slept on the floor between beds. Woke up at 9 am. Everyone sleep well despite the fact we did not completely close the small window and room got a bit cold. Outside temperature is -17 C. We did not boil in the morning, wood is moist, in the evening it took us 6 hours to boil water. Went to lunch in the dining room. Had some goulash and tea. Then they served tea Igor Dyatlov spoke with a smile: "If the tea is cold, then go out and drink it on the street, it will be hot". The original, though. Agreed to go to 41 by car. We left only at 13:10 (1:10 pm). Froze while riding on top of GAZ- 63. While traveling sang songs, discussed various topics, including love, friendship and problems of the cure for cancer. The 41st settlement they met us friendly, gave us a private room in the hostel. Talked with the local workers. I remembered particularly the red- bearded man. The Beard as his friends call him. Ognev, old friend, described by Lyuba Dubinina in her private diary. Cooked lunch, then ate and now resting. Half of the group is watching a movie, another is sitting on backpacks doing their things. Rustik (Rustem Slobodin) is playing his mandolin while talking with Nicky, and I am going to deal with adjusting the equipment.






I can't. although I tried.

Nick Thibault


January 27, 1959


The Dyatlov group leaves Vizhay and set on a trip to Mount Otorten. The man in the carriage is a former inmate. His name is Velikyavichus (Великявичус) and he is Lithuanian. He got 10 years sentence and was exiled here in 1949. Lithuania along with Latvia and Estonia was annexed by Stalin in 1940. Many people from these Baltic states were exiled to Siberia. His sentence was traditional: Anti- Soviet activity. Regardless whether he was actually in a anti- soviet resistance or simply was unlucky, let's not forget that after amnesty for political prisoners by Beria in 1953 and Kruschtev of 1956 these lands were full of former inmates. Of course they were few people who simply escaped the camp and didn't want to move back to their former homes because there they had higher chances of getting caught by the Secret Police. Below is an exempt of his official testimony.


As directed by the chief of a site t. Razhnev I accompanied these tourists to the village 2nd North. They skied and their load was laid in a cart. In the village of North 2nd we arrived at eleven o'clock in the evening. At the time there was no one in the village. I, along with tourists spent the night in a hut and in the morning we had breakfast. One of the tourists (Yury Yudin) put in a duffel bag of rock core drillings and asked me to take him to the 41 st quarter. He could not go hiking due to illness of his leg. Tourists in my presence talked about the route, but the details of the route I do not know. I've heard that they mentioned in their conversations mountains, cliffs, forests. They made several photos in my presence. I left the village at approximately about 10 o'clock in the morning, tourists (of the Dyatlov Group) have stayed there.


Dyatlov Pass Incident  Dyatlov Pass Incident


The weather is good, the wind is blowing in the back. Guys agreed wit the locals and horse with drive us to Second Severniy settlement. From 41st settlement it will be about 24 km. We helped grandfather Slava to unload hay from a carriage and waited for the horse (she went to get more hay and wood). We waited until 4:00. Boys started rewriting some song. One guy san beautifully. We heard a number of illegal prison songs (Article 58 counter- revolutionary crimes). Ognev told Igor how to find the house in which we can spend the night. We bought four loaves of bread and went there at 4:00. Soft warm bread. Ate 2 pieces. Horse is slow. What a pleasure to go without backpacks. We covered 8 km in 2 hours. (River Ushma). It gets darker. All the delay due to a horse. Yuri Yudin is riding with us. He suddenly fell ill and he can't continue with the track. He wants to gather few local minerals for the University and return. Second Severniy (Northern) is an abandoned village of geologists with total of 2025 houses. Only one is suitable for living. In complete darkness we found a village and the house. We started a fire. Several people pierced their hands with old nails. Everything is good. Then the horse came. We were talking and throwing jokes till 3 o'clock in the morning.




January 28, 1959 


Yuri Yudin departs from a Second Severniy (Northern) village. In his later interview Yudin mentioned an interesting dialogue between Dyatlov and one of the locals. He didn't hear the whole conversation, but he got a general idea that the local man warned him about something mysterious. Igor Dyatlov simply brushed off the warning, but it seemed that he was pissed off. When Yura Yudin approached him and asked about the conversation, Dyatlov simply answered that they will decide which path to take once they will get to river. Now Dyatlov never changed his plans and he obviously did not believe in supernatural superstitions. However he knew enough that legends and beliefs usually start in misunderstood events. He didn't want to take the warning seriously, but the fact that he could compromise with the path that he drew weeks before the trip might suggest that the locals did see something strange around mount Kholat Syakhl. We might guess, but some of the later events might hold a clue on what the warning was all about. Regardless Yudin was sent home with Velikyavichus. Before his departure Dyatlov told him that the return will most likely be postponed from original 12th of February to 14th of February


Few picture of the village are shown below. Another depressing abandoned place on the vast stretches of Siberia. It was part of GULAG system of settlements and concentration camps set up by Joseph Stalin. However after 1956 when Khrushchev denounced Stalin as a tyrant, many political prisoners were released. Many settlements that were part of prison system were subsequently abandoned. Some of the houses ("izba" in Russian) are abandoned and began to fall apart.


January 28

We were awaken by Yurka Kri and Sasha Kolevatov. Weather is perfect. It is only -8C outside. After breakfast, some of the guys headed by Yury Yudin, our well- known geologist, went to look for local minerals. They didn't find anything except pyrite and quartz veins in the rock. Spend some time with skis, fixed and adjusted the mounting. Yuri Yudin now goes back home. It is a pity, of course, that he leaves us. Especially for me and Zina, but nothing can be done about it.

Luda Dubinina


We go up the river Lozva. We take turns to head the group for about 10 minutes. Depth of snow cover is significantly less than last year. Often we have to stop and scrape the wet, melting snow from skis. Yurka Kri is behind and makes sketches of the route. We pass few cliffs on the right bank of Lozva river. Overall the terrain becomes flatter. We stop at 5:30pm. Today we spend our first night in the tent. The guys are busy with the stove. With some thing completed and others not, we sit for a dinner. After dinner we sit around the campfire and sing beautiful songs. Zina even tries to learn how to play mandolin under guidance of our musician Rustik (Rustem Slobodin). Then again and again we resume our discussions, mostly about love. Someone comes up with an idea that we need a special notebook for ideas that we might come up with. Once we are done we are making our way inside the tent. No body wants to sleep by the stove and we agree that Yurka Kri will sleep there. Yuri moves to the second compartment with terrible cursing and accusation that we betrayed him. We can't fall asleep for awhile and arguing about something.



January 29, 1959



Second day of our trip. We made our way from Lozvy river to river Auspii. We walked along a Mansi (native Siberian tribe in the Urals) trail. The weather is -13C. The wind is weak. We often find ice on the Lozvy river. That is it.

Nick Thibault


January 30, 1959


January 30, 1959

Diary is written on the cold on the go. Today is a third cold night on the shore of Auspii river. The stove does a great job. Some (Thibaut and Krivonischenko) think we need to construct steam heat in the ten. The curtains hung in the tent are quiet justified. We get up at 8:30am. After breakfast we walk along the Auspii river, but again these ice dams do not allow us to move forward. Let's go to the shore of the sledge- deer trail. In the middle of the road the discovered markings left by the Mansi (below left photo, these markings simply tell how many local hunters passed through this area and the family clan to which they belong). Mansi, Mansi, Mansi. This words is repeated more often in our conversations. Mansi are people of the north. Very interesting and unique people that inhabit the North Polar Urals, closed to the Tyumen region. They have a written language and leave characteristic signs on forest trees.


Dyatlov Pass Incident
Zolotarev and Kolmogorova

Dyatlov Pass Incident
Igor Dyatlov

Dyatlov Pass Incident
Nicolai Thibeaux- Brignolles

Zolotarev and Thibeaux- Brignolle
Nicolai Thibeaux-Brignolle, Semen "Alexander" Zolotarev

Tourist looking at Mansi signs
Mansi writings




Weather: temperature in the morning is between -17 C and -13C during the day and -26C at night. The wind is strong, south- west and snow begins to fall. The clouds are think. The temperature characteristic of the Northern Urals. Mansi signs tell about animals they saw, resting stops and other things. It is particularly interesting to solve its meaning for the tourists as well as historians. Deer trail is over. The forest gradually thins out and gets shorter. Lots of dwarf birches and pines. It is impossible to walk on the river. It is not frozen. We have to look for solid ground. Day wore on and we started to look for a place for bivouac. That's the stop for the night. Strong west wind. It knocks the snows off the cedar and pine trees, creating the impression of the falling snow. As always we start a fire and put a tent on the spruce branches. We are warmed by the fire and go to sleep.


January 31, 1959


Dyatlov group leaves some of their gear in a forest on a platform set high above ground (known as "labaz" or camp base).


Dyatlov Pass Incident

January 31, 1959

Today the weather is a bit worse than the wind (west), snow (probably from pines) because the sky is perfectly clear. Came out relatively early (around 10am). Took the same beaten Mansi trail. So far we walked along the Mansi trail, which was passed by a deer hunter not long ago. We met his resting stop yesterday, apparently. Today was surprisingly good accommodations for the tent, air is warm and dry, despite the low temperature of -18C to -24C. The walking is especially hard today. Visibility is very low. We walk for 1.52 km (1 mile) per hour. We are forced to find new methods of clearing the path for the skis. The first member leaves his bag on the ground and walks forward, then he returns, rests for 10- 15 minutes with the group Thus we have a non- stop paving of the trail. It is especially hard for the second to move down the new trail with full gear on the back. We gradually leave the Auspii valley, the rise is continuous, but quiet smooth. We spend a night at the forest boundary. Wind is western, warm, penetrating. Snow- free spaces. We can't leave any of our provision to ease the ascend to the mountains. About 4pm. We must choose the place for the tent. Wind, some snow. Snow cover is 1.22 meters thick. Tired and exhausted we started to prepare the platform for the tent. Firewood is not enough. We didn't dig a hole for a fire. Too tired for that. We had supper right in the tent. It is hard to imagine such a comfort somewhere on the ridge, with a piercing wind, hundreds kilometers away from human settlements.

Igor Dyatlov (last record in the diary)



February 1, 1959


The group leaves on the last day of their trip. They start out fairly late and walk for only 2.5 miles. They set a tent around 5pm on a slope of Kholat Syakhl Dyatlov Pass just 10 miles from the Mount Otorten. They eat their last dinner between 6- 7pm. Subsequent investigation showed that one or two of the members left the tent to urinate outside of the tent. Since Semen Zolotarev and Nicolai Thibeaux-Brignolle were better dressed it was suggested that it was the two men who left their shelter before Something happened.)



From the official investigation documents

In one of the cameras kept a photo frame (made by the latter), which shows the time of the excavation of snow for tent set up. Given that this shot was taken with a shutter speed of 1/25 second at an aperture of 5.6, with a sensitivity of 65 units of GOST film, as well as taking into account the density of the frame, it can be assumed that the installation tents began about 5:00 pm, the 01/02/1959 . A similar picture was taken with another camera. After this time, no record and no snapshot was detected.



Copy of a diary of a participant of a hiking trip Z. Kolmogorova

This document is listed in the criminal investigation as a diary of Kolmogorova, however neither her hand writing nor her style fit the handwriting of a second diary present among personal items found in the tent. So we assume the author of this diary is unknown. This makes it a third diary that was present with the group. The second diary belonged to Kolevatov, but it was never recovered. It is presumed lost or stolen by an unknown figure.


January 24, 1959

Last night, about 9-00 we boarded the train №43. At last. There is 10 of us. Bienko Slavik did not go, they did not let him. We are going with a Blinov group. Fun. Songs. Around 8 am we arrived in Serov. We were not allowed to stay on the train station, the train to Ivdel is at 6-30 pm. We are looking for a room. We are trying to get into the club (to the right of the dining room of the station) and school, but fail. Finally he (? not sure about the identity) finds school number 41 (about 200 meters from the train station), where we were very well received.

January 30.

In the morning it was 17 ° now it is getting colder."Volunteers" (S. Kolevatov and K. Tibo are repeating their duties as a punishment for slowing the group yesterday) took a long time to start a fire. In the evening it was decided that we will leave the tent exactly 8 minutes after waking up. Therefore, all have been awake and waiting for the command. But it is useless. Around 9:30 in the morning we began the passive preparation. Nick T. is joking about something in the morning. Everyone is reluctant to get up.
And the weather! In contrast to the rest of the warm days - today is a sunny cold day. The sun appears playful.
Today as yesterday were are following the path of Mansi. Sometimes Mansi writings appear on trees. In general, all sorts of obscure mysterious characters. There is slogan for ​​our campaign, "In a country of mysterious signs." If we knew these letters, it would be possible, without any doubt, to go down the path, confident that it would lead us to the right place. Here the trail takes us to the shores of the river. We lose track. In the future, the trail follows the left bank of Auspii river, but the team of deer crossed the river and we are going through the woods. At the first opportunity we will turn back to the river. As it is easier to follow it. At approximately 2 pm we stop for a lunch. Dried meat, guest crackers, sugar, garlic, coffee, stocked in the morning - that's our lunch.
Good mood.
A couple more hours - and we will stop at 5pm for the night. We have been looking for a place, then we returned about 200 meters back. Charming place. Deadwood, high pines, in short, everything you need for a good night.


Luda quickly got tired and sat down by the fire. Nick Thibault changed his clothes. He began to write a diary. The law is that until all the work is done, do not approach the fire. And so they had a long argument, of who will sew the tent. Finally K.Tibo gave up and took a needle. Luda remained seated. And we sewed the hole (and there were so many that there was enough work for all except two attendants and Luda. Guys are terribly outraged.
Today is the birthday of Sasha Kolevatova. Congratulations. We give him a clementine, which he immediately divided into 8 pieces (Luda went into a tent and did not come out until the end of the dinner). So another day of our trek went smoothly.


Alexander Kolevatov was technically born on November 16th. So the celebration was a fake one, just to create some type of normalcy in the unforgiving Siberian wilderness.