Today's story is about a strange location and event about 10 experienced skiers who trekked up a very ridged and snowy Mountain located in Russia. Out of those 10 hikers, only 1 survived while the other 9 were found dead. The way they were found, still have people guessing and giving theories as to what could have happened. Theories range from being an alien or Bigfoot encounter to a top secret operation by the KGB. But I'm only going to show what happened and let you decide for yourself. The details of this story are only possible due to the fact that there were journal entries, along with photos taken leading up to the tragic deaths.
This story would be famously known as the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Hi I'm Zach and welcome to Rooted Expeditions,hit that thumbs up and let's get started on today's strange and bizzare event.
In the cold winter of 1959, a group of experienced skiers got together to form a skiing expedition in a city that is located in Russia. This group would consist of 9 people from the Ural Polytech Institute and a man named Igor Dyatlov, who was the expedition leader. There were 8 men and 2 women.
The team would get their things together and prepare for what was supposed to be a 21 day journey.
On January 23, 1959, Igor and his group took a long train ride north to a small town called Ivdel and from there they would take a bus to Vizhai. When they arrived, they all piled up in a truck that took them to a logging camp. Once they arrived there, the team would sled to a small abandoned mine which was called North 2. This would be their starting point to trek up the mountain with their skis.
It took them about a week to get to North 2, and when they arrived at this abandoned mine, one of the group members, Yuri Yudin, claimed to be dealing with some health issues along with having a bad knee. Yuri started to rethink his journey with the group. He didn’t think it would be a good idea to trek with the group up the mountain for 2 weeks during the unpredictable Russian winters. So he decided to not continue with the trip and told the group you will have to go without me. The group confirmed and said their goodbyes and wished each other luck. Yuri got on his sled and turned back. This decision unknowingly saved his life.
The team were so eager and excited to get to the Kholat Syakhl, the Mountain of the dead. They knew the trek would be a challenge with temperatures around a daily high of 5 degrees.
On January 31st, everything seemed to be going as planned. They reached a wooded valley and decided to lighten their load and stash some equipment and food in a cache. They would just pick it up on their way back.
If you didn’t know what a cache is, it is a place where people usually bury food and supplies during hiking or hunting trips so they don’t have to carry extra stuff along their journey.
Later that evening they would end up camping on a section of the mountain and prepare for the next day's leg of the hike.
The next day, as the group was hiking, the weather conditions seemed to be going from decent to not so good. In fact, a snowstorm started to roll in, decreasing their visibility. When this happened, they lost their sense of direction and started to deviate west from their destination.
Once they realized their mistake in direction, they decided to stop where they were and set up camp, so they wouldn’t accidentally deviate even further away from their original destination.
Now keep in mind, where they stopped was right in the middle of the open of this mountain. The snow and wind hurling down at them along with the harsh freezing temperatures. What is strange is that there was a forest area less than a mile downhill from where they were.
Yuri Yuden (the man that left the expedition early) suggested that Igor probably didn’t want to lose the altitude that they had worked so hard to gain. Or possibly he wanted to practice camping on the mountain slope.
The group dug out a side of the snowy mountain and set up their tent, in hopes that the snowstorm would lighten up and they could continue up the mountain.
What happened next, is truly shocking.
Now just so you know, before the group left, they let their sports club know that they will send a telegram when they were done letting them know that the group was fine and that they made it back down the mountain safely. They had told the sports club that the earliest they would get back was February 12th.
When February 12th passed and no messages had been received, there was no immediate reaction, as delays of a few days were common with such expeditions.
On February 20th, the families of the expedition group started to worry that the group had not returned. The families requested a rescue team to go look for them. The head of the Ural Polytech Institute sent the first search rescue group out which consisted of volunteer students and teachers. Later, the army and police forces got involved, with planes and helicopters joining in on the search to find this group.
On February 26th, the searchers found the group's abandoned and badly damaged tent on the side of the mountain. The state in which the campsite was found, shocked the search party. One of the searchers who found the tent stated that, "the tent was half torn down and covered with snow. It was empty, and all the group's belongings and shoes had been left behind."
Later on, investigators said the tent had been cut open from inside. Nine sets of footprints were shown leaving the campsite heading down to the forest edge that was about less than a mile down. That’s the same wooded area that they could have gone to before setting up their tent in the open side of this mountain.
The footprints in the snow leading away from the campsite showed that the team were not running or trying to get away from something. The footprints were consistent with people walking away calmly. But there was one major problem.
The footprints in the snow showed that the group left the campsite and didn't leave wearing boots. The prints showed that they walked either barefoot or with socks on in the snow leaving their boots behind in the tent.
At the forest's edge, under a large pine tree, the searchers found the visible remains of an attempted fire. That’s where they found the first two bodies. It was two of the men from the group cuddled together, shoeless and dressed only in their underwear. The tree that they were under had some broken limbs about 16 feet up, which indicated that at some point they must have tried to climb the tree possibly to get away from something or maybe to get a better vantage point to see where they were.
What is even stranger is that the autopsies showed that the two men had scraped their hands trying to climb the tree. They also had chunks of flesh missing from their body consisting of bite marks. In addition, flesh was found on the tree and in one of the men's mouths. It was also shown that their bodies were turned over after they were dead.
Between the campsite and the pine trees where they found the first two bodies, they found three more bodies spread out about 500 feet apart from each other. One of the three found was the expedition lead Igor.
It was suggested that they were trying to return back from the wooded area to their tent. But just didn’t make it back before the harsh winter took their lives.
Finding the remaining four travelers became a bit of a task. It took search and rescue more than two months to find them.
On May 4th, under about 13 feet of snow in a ravine which was about 246 feet further down into the woods past the pine tree where they found the first 2 bodies - they found the remaining four bodies.
Now three of the four were better dressed than the others that were found and there were signs that some of the clothing of those who had died first had been removed.
So do you think the other four removed the clothes off of the two deceased bodies by the pine tree after they died? I don’t know. Let me know what you think.
There were signs that this group managed to survive longer than the others. There were more signs to show that one of the men tried to treat his wounds by ripping up clothing and wrapping around his cuts and bruises.
Other than that, upon finding the four remaining group members. They looked normal from the outside just showing that the harsh winter took their lives.
Now this is where it kind of gets strange.
An autopsy showed that the three others looked like they were hit by a car. One of the men and the remaining woman had serious fractures to their chest. While the other man had his skull crushed. Autopsy showed that this could not be done by a human. It had to be something else to cause these types of injuries.
To add one more thing, the group had built a makeshift shelter out of the snow and some sticks, but they never made it into the shelter. There were clothes found next to that shelter that belonged to the deceased members of the group that were found by the pine tree. Oddly enough they weren't used. But there was something that stood out above the rest. They were scanning the bodies and equipment of the group with a Geiger counter (which if you didn’t know what Geiger counter is, it is a device that detects radiation.)
So while they were using this device on the final deceased bodies and equipment that they found, they noticed very high radiation levels on some of the clothing that belonged to the group members. Indicating at some point they were exposed to high doses of radiation.
The investigators final conclusion on this terrible event, was that it was caused by Igor Dyatlov's irresponsible leadership. Pushing the team too hard instead of taking the extra precautions to keep them safe. But it seems that the entire team was overcome by a natural force that they were not prepared for or able to overcome.
I will not be going over the list of theories. I will leave links below if you want to check them out. Let me know what you think truly happened in the comments below.
Here is a little bit of history for you. Hit that thumbs up, Peace, I love you and as always God bless.
4. ABC News
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