Dyatlov Pass. The Burning August of 2021


Original post August 27, 2021: Перевал Дятлова. Горячий август 2021-го
Author Vladimir Selitskiy

I am writing this material a few days after returning from the Urals, after my difficult trip to the Dyatlov Pass. Several times the hand instinctively reached for the quill pen to describe the trip and what I felt, but each time something stopped me and suggested that there was no main plot of the story. And finally, yesterday everything came together.

This happened after I read the report of military commander Andrey Guselnikov about their trip to the pass in the company of the head of the Dyatlov foundation Yuri Konstantinovich Kuntsevich and the British journalist Graham Phillips, who became famous for his fearlessness in the Donbass 2014-2015.

The hike of this dozen tourists turned out to be very dramatic and in many ways it mirrored the events of 1959. The participants of the trek themselves also noticed this, but could not do anything. A certain Spirit controlled the group and allowed all events to unfold exactly as it was.

Yuri Kuntsevich was a legendary person in the places around the pass. Even the clearing before the ascent to the outlier rock is named after him. In the future, I think, other places in those parts will still be immortalized with his name.

The group, having driven on a shift bus to Vizhay and Ushma, having taken food to the local Mansi Valery Anyamov, slowly arrived at the main place of dropping the groups in the lower reaches of the Auspiya River. After passing a couple of crossings to the pass and reaching the campsite at the spring, Yuri Kuntsevich refused to go further, citing severe pain in his knee. Together with another member of the group, Aleksander Alekseenkov, he went back to the first camp. Aleksander carried Yuri Konstantinovich's backpack, and hid his own in the campsite near the spring.

Research group of Y. Kuntsevich. Farewell to Y. Kuntsevich at the spring.
Research group of Y. Kuntsevich. Farewell to Y. Kuntsevich at the spring.

Kuntsevich was picked up at the starting clearing by a shift bus team, of which there are a lot of driving around, and Aleksander went to catch up with his own.

Thus, there were 9 participants left. The tenth, and also Yuri, as Yudin was also called, left the route. The members of the group could not fail to note this. As well as they could not fail to note that among their nine there were seven men and two women: the artist Ayna and Nastya. Graham Phillips was immediately given the nickname "Zolotaryov", hinting that he was an English spy, like Semyon Zolotaryov, who worked in the authorities. "Yes, I'm Semyon Zolotaryov!" Graham responded cheerfully. Although later he recalled that he was somehow uncomfortable with this. Nastya became Lyuda Dubinina, and Ayna became Zina Kolmogorova.

And so the group, having passed through the sorcerous' forest, arrived at the "Kuntsevich's campsite". For many years, the base camp of expeditions of the Dyatlov foundation has been located here. This is a fantastically beautiful place from which the ascent to the pass begins. Below this clearing is guarded by two giant cedars in three girths. A steep path starts up from the resting spot.

- 2 -

In general, the group was going to spend a certain number of days at the pass, and then everyone had their own plans. The group included a former Afghan Shamil, who considered himself a Dyatlov researcher. He had his own version of the death of the group. He believed that the group died on Otorten after missile tests. To hide the fact of nuclear testing during the moratorium, the KGB collected the mutilated bodies of the hikers and took them to where they were found, and pitched their tent up the slope. However, this version of Shamil practically repeated the version of Gennady Kizilov, who voiced it many years ago.

Having put on his dress uniform and orders, Shamil climbed the pass and saluted the memory of the dead with a shot from a reactive lighting cartridge. Then everyone went to the place of the tent on the slope. A very impressive monument to the Dyatlov group was recently installed there. At the monument, the group found their food delivery, which, by agreement, was brought there by car by their jeep friends.

Graham was especially happy about the throw, as there were a lot of sweets. And the British, as we know, need a lot of sugar.

Returning to the camp, a conflict between Shamil and Graham began. Afghan Shamil began to ask what exactly Graham wants to make with the footage and where he will upload it. Graham had a quadcopter with a camera. Shamil was very annoyed. He tried to bring to the consciousness of the Englishman that the case of the Dyatlov group was a state secret, and that he would definitely have problems with the authorities. Graham fought him off as best he could. The evening was ruined.

In the evening in the tent, Graham told Andrey that he was going back. Guselnikov tried to somehow calm him down, and even promised that he would take him to Ilyich's base himself. The Englishman, who has a monstrous intuition, answered Guselnikov that after Kuntsevich left, everything went wrong and that it would only get worse. At the same time, he told Guselnikov that in the Donbass his self-preservation instinct helped him survive in very difficult situations, and that now this same instinct is telling him to go back.

On the morning of the next day, the group went up to the outlier rock again. But Graham refused to go, and said that he would sit alone in the camp. When everyone returned for lunch a few hours later, Graham was already gone.

No one really bothered to look for him. The man said, the man did. Graham was most likely going down the pass, intending to drive in jeeps to the Ilyich Base. Soon the jeep drivers at the pass confirmed that they had seen Graham walking along the road towards Ilyich's base.

After that, the group remain 8 people, and everyone began to carry out their plans. The calm four of the participants remained in the camp, and the restless went to Otorten. The calm four were lead by Sasha Alekseenkov, and the restless four were commanded by Andrey Guselnikov.

The composition going to Otorten included Andrey, Shamil, Marat and Ayna. Each of them had their own plans for Otorten. Andrey wanted to visit the grave of the famous hermit Oleg on Mattavchakhla, and Shamil intended to launch a signal flare from Otorten in order to understand whether it was visible from the pass or not.

It is worth mentioning here that this plan was originally much more capital. And Shamil executed only part of the original plan. Simultaneously with this trek, another group, commanded by Alexey Korolyov, was supposed to go to Mt Chistop, which is located just south of the pass. That group was also supposed to launch a signal flare from Chistop at the agreed time, and the group of observers at the pass was supposed to look for it. But on the eve of the trek, almost the entire group of Korolyov came down with a coronovirus.

The results of the experiment could help obsessed researchers in favor of both the military, UFO etc. theories of the death of the Dyatlov group.

And so the brave four went to Otorten. At first the weather was favorable, but then a strong wind arose and it began to rain. A few hours later, a real hurricane began, and the guys were almost blown off the slope. Even trekking poles didn't help. They had to get to the forest. But the forest was already far away. There was only a rocky plain around.

The hope was that the guys in the fog and conditions of poor visibility would still get to the rescue modules that kind people installed near Otorten. And they got incredibly lucky. The red modules emerged from the mist. Another hour or two, and the four could really freeze. More than once, the group recalled the Dyatlov group during these difficult hours of the trek.

- 3 -

Modules near Otorten
Modules near Otorten

The exhausted tourists entered one of the modules. Shamil began to cook. He lit a gas burner and began to boil tea and cook rice. But tired and lost concentration tourists made a fatal mistake. Not finding a table, Shamil put the the gas bottle on the stove. In the twilight and general bustle, no one noticed this. The guys were still shaking from the cold.

When the water in the pot had almost boiled away, Andrey went outside to collect rainwater. This saved him. Because at that moment there was a huge explosion. The gas bottle exploded! The door and window were knocked out, and the module began to blow through. First appeared running Marat. He had serious hematomas on his body. Shamil was seriously burned on his face and hands. Ayna was seriously injured, her face was severely singed, her hair and eyebrows were scorched. It was completely at loss what to do.

But here, as in a fairy tale, tourists appeared in jeeps. There were nine of them. They helped treat the wounds of the victims, repaired the door, securing it with self-tapping screws. 13 people somehow spent the night in two modules, sleeping in turns. In the morning the victims were fed and given water. And the group breezed through 20 kilometers to Alekseenkov's camp. Andrey Guselnikov said that they were in such a hurry that they covered the distance in 6 hours. It was foggy, but the rain became weak and the wind died down.

In the camp, Alekseenkov ordered to go home right away. The most injured Shamil, having agreed with the jeep drivers, was urgently taken to the Ivdel hospital. The remaining seven men went back to the drop-off point on Auspiya.

When the jeep drivers with Shamil were in Ushma, he called Kuntsevich at home, but he was informed that Kuntsevich had been hospitalized with Covid. By the way, where did Shamil call from? In Ushma, there is a satellite-operated payphone. This masterpiece in the taiga is impressive. Shamil was taken to the hospital in Ivdel.

Satellite payphone in Ushma
Satellite payphone in Ushma

A battered group, rather hard, but made it to the starting clearing on Auspiya. On August 10, a group on a shift bus arrived in Ivdel. And when they arrived in Yekaterinburg on August 11, the guys found out that Yuri Kuntsevich had just died in intensive care.


On the night of August 11-12, I arrived in Ivdel. A small group of people had clustered near the station, which was closed for repairs. I immediately realized that this is my group. There are five people with me. And with the instructor - six. Ivdel greeted us deserted and cold. Not a single living soul around except us, not counting the stray dog that stuck to us. The instructor mixed up the time, and we had to waited for her in the cold for two and a half hours. Closer to half past five in the morning, our instructor arrived with a shift bus team and we went to the car.

When the door opened, and I looked at the floor covered with bags of food and equipment, I knew this trip would be a killer for our backs.

Initially the group was 10 people, but closer to the start, the participants dropped out. We ended up going as a group of six. And it immediately became clear to my trained eye that the food supplies were way acceding teh current head count.

- 4 -

On the go
On the go

The composition of the group was more diverse than you can imagine. A girl from Krasnoyarsk, going camping for the first time, a wonderful family from the Moscow region: father, mother and son who have no hiking experience. True, the father of the family had experience in river rafting. A very physically strong man of 35-40 years old, thanks to whom we did not die under the heavy loads. The instructor, a girl, former musician, had been many times to the pass, Otorten and Manpupuner. And me, who had a lot of hiking experience in his youth, but did not go on sports trips for almost 40 years. And how I did not invigorate, but I understood that my best sports years were already far behind.

Our shift bus driver is very well known on the track. He is the quickest delivery man on Auspiya. His GAZ-66, including a couple of stops, took us to the starting point in 4 hours and 40 minutes. "Urals" go this distance in 6-8 hours.

Already in the car there was talk about Kuntsevich's death. The story that I heard was not quite the same as Andrey Guselnikov described it. According to the narrator, Graham had a strong quarrel with someone there, ran away from the group’s camp at night without taking any food or water with him, wandered around the taiga for three days and was found by jeep drivers in a state of severe dehydration on the road to Ilyich’s base. Kuntsevich left the route, citing health problems, and soon died. The story about the explosion and rockets was not told by the local natives.

When we arrived at Auspiya, after a quick lunch, we took off right away. We had to hurry. The hike was sporty and the pace was also sporty. At noon, I learned that the route would be the same as it was described in the promotional page of the organizer of the hike "Yeti Tour". I didn’t like it very much, but I didn’t abandon my dream to visit the pass and didn’t turn back.

The group was heavily overloaded. No one controlled the amount of personal belongings taken by the participants, and no one was going to reduce the weight of backpacks by properly arranging food and equipment. As a result, even the boy carried a backpack of 18 kilograms. And the girls carried backpacks that were completely inappropriate. And although I asked for a backpack not exceeding 14 kilograms before the trip, in the end I also received my share of excess weight. Our hero, the noble father of the family, put a backpack of 30 kg on his shoulders. So I thought that if it weren’t for him, how would we even be able to hit the road. But we took off...

It seemed that such a fairy tale would be until the very pass. But soon it was all over.
It seemed that such a fairy tale would be until the very pass. But soon it was all over.

The first 2-3 kilometers were fabulously beautiful, dry road with a pine forest, all plastered with mushrooms. The road was quite passable, wide, with tracks. Apparently, fishermen and various other adventurers made their way in cars. After 2 passages we reached the spring. This is a very picturesque place where civilization ends. By the way, I have not drunk such tasty water as from this spring in my life. Then there was a descent with lingonberry slopes, and we got into a real Tolkien, age-old forest.

- 5 -

Our halt at the spring.
Our halt at the spring. It is from this place that the age-old, magical forest begins. From here, Y. Kuntsevich went back.

It was from this campsite that Yuri Kuntsevich left for home. This is where the trail starts. In this campsite, there is, as it were, an invisible checkpoint at the entrance to Wonderland. Going further has already become an accomplice of immersion in another world. Where bearded coniferous trees grow and where the eyes of local spirits are fixed on you from behind each trunk. The feeling that you are tangible intensified with each kilometer traveled forward along the trail. At times the forest was so dense that it was dark as if it were evening. We could feel the exposed roots of the trees through the bottom of our boots.

This was the road up to the "Kaska" (means Helmet). Further on were wetlands and multi-stemmed logging along the path.

We came to the "Kaska" dead tired. The sleepless night, the wild shaking in the shift bus, and the considerable mileage of the way had an effect. No matter how the instructor tried to tell us that we walked 10 km, everyone's pedometers showed 15 km.

"Kaska" (Helmet) is one of the main sites on Auspiya, where a large tributary flows in. When we got there, we found quite a few groups, many of which were returning from the pass. There was a lot of talk about bears. These were not stories. Bears excited by tourists and jeep drivers behaved aggressively. They unceremoniously trashed hiker's camps. The tourists almost all came with whistles or with shooting cartridges. We had cartridges. Many groups coming towards us whistled so mournfully into their whistles so that the bears walked past, that it was slightly reminiscent of the medieval plague convoy.

Tourists returning from "manpupuners" and "otortens" told what they had to survive August 5-7 in the mountain a hurricane and rain. We passed out at 8 o'clock in the evening. I woke up at dawn when it was not yet 4 o'clock in the morning, and could not fall asleep anymore. I did not understand how it was possible to sleep in such a magical forest. The forest was so heavily populated and dense that it was breathtaking. My trip for firewood took a long time. There was no dry wood left near the campsite, the tourists thoroughly sawed and chopped it away, and the problem of firewood was urgent. Our instructor has not taken the ax so frivolously as a girl, considering it too heavy a burden on her back.

- 6 -

From 4 am to 7 am I had close communication with the local spirits of the forest. They are not just goblins. These are protective recruits on the way to the pass - to the thinnest place, to the umbilical cord, through which the heavenly is broadcast to the Earth, and the earthly can rise to the heavenly.

Then the group woke up and after breakfast we hurried to the next rest stop "Spoon-fork", where we were supposed to have lunch. The path was the hardest, swampy, but the forest was already calmer. On the "spoon" I began to think that I, an elderly comrade, might not have enough strength for the pass. Even the day before, I told the instructor that I would not go to Otorten in any way and would wait for them for 2 days at the "Yeti" rest stop, which is right after the pass, not far from the place where the Dyatlov group died. At the same time, she suggested that they give me a tent and leave all the bookmarks and unnecessary things with me. The instructor did not agree for a long time, first of all telling me that the "Yeti" site is the most bear infested and that the bears there are the worse. And that there should be at least three people together for an overnight. In the end, she agreed, and promised to give me three cartridges to scare away bears.

Rest stop "Spoon"
Rest stop "Spoon"

Our wonderful instructor did not know that besides bears, there is something else in the area of teh pass that poses a much greater danger. But thank God, our group was invisible from the other side of the spiritual world. Even in some sense protected, and therefore neutral. I was the only one who interfered. I was visible from there, and I could see in.

"Kuntsevich's campsite". Mighty cedars on guard.
"Kuntsevich's campsite". Mighty cedars on guard.

An hour and a half later we were at the "Kuntsevich's campsite". Amazing place. It's like there's another invisible checkpoint here. The end of the age-old forest, and the beginning of the Mansi trail to the pass. Near the campsite, I was impressed by two towering cedars. Not a single photo is able to convey their power. The campsite is not on Auspiya, but on a stream running from the pass. There the spiritual ambience changes, becomes lighter. Here the protective layer of Spirits and Compelens* ends. Then the open road to heaven begins, where you go even further on the way to carry your cross to Calvary pass.
* Compelen is a mythical creature among many Nordic peoples, the master of the taiga and everything living in it

- 7 -

The ascend itself is hard and beautiful. It's really like carrying a cross, and at the same time, you seem to take off over the whole swamp-Tolkien world. The forest becomes thinned out, and more and more birches with "faces" begin to appear. By the way, there are a lot of the same birches with "faces" at the site of the tragedy near the cedar and the 4th tributary of the Lozva. Very strange trees there. And turning around you feel joy from getting closer to the sky. And the beauty of the views from different angles is impressive.

And then came the mountainous part, with dwarf birches and low shrubs. And now we could see the outlier rock, one hour from the Kuntsevich's camp. Now we are at the pass.

We were fantastically lucky with the weather. The real Crimean heat came to the Urals after rains and hurricanes. Then we went on dutifully photographing the outlier rock and enjoying the having climbed the pass.

Even when I was climbing, I began to think about whether I would have enough strength for the next 4 days of the trip. Even if we take into account that for 2 days I will sit alone in the camp and scare away the bears, I will wander around the neighborhood as much as I want. But there will still be an equally difficult road back. In addition, here the route was powerfully and sportily changed, and on the 5th day of the trek it was planned to climb Kholat Syakhl, and then descend into the Auspiya valley to the "Kaska" (Helmet) camp. This is approximately 22 kilometers. And even if we consider that we will already be without food supplies, it's still hard. Or rather, for me it's hard.

The weather is clear at the pass. August 13, 2021. Author's photo
The weather is clear at the pass. August 13, 2021. Author's photo

My dream to visit the site of the tragedy came true. Although, as an author who has written a lot about this place, it was probably worthed to spend much more time than the three hours I ended up with.

But I ran into something else on the pass. Time seems to have disappeared. More precisely, time was transformed and strongly eaten by space. And I began to lose strength catastrophically. I can say that the pass began to drink me by hectoliters. I was just very "open". There was a strange feeling that the mountains were changing their size. Kholat Syakhl seemed to be a small hill on which you can jump, then it became Ararat.

The sun had already gone behind the mountain and flooded everything with its warm light. In the distance one could see the ridges of Otorten and Mattavchahl. The horizon was amazingly clear. Sometimes it seemed that when you look down, the space from there rises up like a wave and covers you.

I met with the Spirit of the pass, this unique place in the Urals. I got so much in three hours that it seemed that I didn’t need more.

And just then the magic inspired by me and those spirits that eventually determined my presence there and accelerated my self-determination went to work. The train of the famous "Sublimes" (Шатуны) arrived at the pass. This is a group of 10 cars, quadro giants "Rossommah" (Wolverine), which take extreme sports to the pass and Otorten for good money. This time the "Sublimes" brought only one heavily drunk extreme sportsman. Why do they always travel by train - I still do not understand. It can be seen here as with a dog hunt. Dogs should be given a good walk and scatter in the open.

- 8 -

Our group at the outlier rock
Our group at the outlier rock

In an instant I decided to go back with them. I had no fear for myself. I am a fatalist. But there was a certain conviction that my trip was over. And there was a strong feeling that every hour spent here is equal to a month.

I spoke to the instructor and said that I wanted out. My decision was not met with enthusiasm. We talked with the "Sublimes", and they were not at all opposed to taking a passenger. My group had to go further, and it was time for me to go down.

It knew that I am a disappointment. But at the same time, I saw in a moment that everything should be fine with the group. The group will be even better without me. My performance, my lagging behind, broke the general sports rhythm of the hike. I took with me to return a tent and a rather large amount of extra food. This way they continued lighter.

Under a pirate flag of the "Sublimes"
Under a pirate flag of the "Sublimes"

We said goodbye to my group. The "Sublimes" roamed the pass for another hour. During this time, I also managed to walk around the area and looked at the escape route of the Dyatlov group from the tent to the cedar. It's amazing how everything on this mountainous plateau has changed. Everything is very unstable and shaky. No wonder the Mansi imagined this place as where the Gods descended to earth. And the place where souls went to the Gods. I left too. And yet not to the Gods, but simply to the mainland.

The "Sublimes" warmed up their miracle machines and we drove off. It was certainly a crazy extreme. I learned that passengers paid 40 thousand ($700) to get a similar thrill. I would pay 140 thousand ($2400) so that I would never again be driven on such quadruple giants in my life, in any villages or countries.

Quadro Giants on the road to the Ilyich Base
Quadro Giants on the road to the Ilyich Base

This adventure is not for the faint of heart. The problem was that the passenger seat was not equipped for a person with a backpack. And I held the backpack with one hand, and tried to hold myself with the other. It turned out awkward. Things began to fly out of the backpack. The power bank flew first, followed by a bottle of water, cigarettes, sausages. I was thrown up with such force that I couldn't always get a grip. As a result when we were driving along the mountainous part of the pass towards Bezymyannaya Mountain, I could not avoid the sudden jump of the car and broke my rib. Although I didn't realize it at the time.

Then cars flew into the easy part of the road. And what was good for me - they broke. We started one car for 15 minutes. I got out and took a breath. Then the second machine broke down. The breakdown turned out to be so serious that it had to be left on the roadside. When it got dark and we were driving on a monstrous easy road, and cars turned on their xenon lights, it was just fantastically interesting to look at the flickering pictures of the forest. It seemed that we were falling into the underworld, and the bearded Christmas trees with hanging moss stood as endless, glowing ghosts at the edges of this fall into the underworld.

More or less sedative we rushed through the water. And the road was often covered with a deep layer of water mass. Then I could at least take a breath. When they jumped out onto the stones, I instinctively dug my hands into the handles. And thanks again, guys, that during one of the breaks they took my backpack on another car. In the forest part of the road, branches posed a great danger to me, from which I did not always have time to dodge because I did not see the entire panorama behind the standing figure of the driver. Several powerful dry branches crashed against my Socratic forehead. The glasses saved me from the rest of the branches.

- 9 -

I was driving on Aleksey's car. He is the leader of the "Sublimes". He rode almost all the way standing, balancing, and hardly sitting down. But when someone stalled again, he moved to the problematic car, and I went with Roman. He led our "Rossommah" (Wolverine) much smoother. Probably not such a choleric as Aleksey. At half-past twelve at night we arrived safely at Ilyich's base.

The base of Ilyich is the final station for dropping tourists and catamarans. From here the rafting along the Lozva begins. Other tourists go from here on foot to Otorten. This is a real pirate Tortuga! I ended up in the midst of a nightly pirate party. I was assigned to a guest hut, where I met two young extreme sportsmen from Revda with backpacks of 40 kg each. The men could not go on the route for the third day, because someone constantly came with alcohol, and by the end of the day they were drunk to the hilt. History repeated itself the next day.

Ilyich base. My bunk by the window.
Ilyich base. My bunk by the window.

I unloaded the excess food on the table of the common fund of the hut. And after a short conversation, I collapsed on my bunk and fell asleep. Although the pirates outside the window continued to feast merrily. There were a lot of people at Ilyich's base. To my questions, when will be any cars available? - I was told that God only knows. They can arrive now, or I could wait three days for a car to arrive.

At 6 in the morning I woke up from the roar of the Ural engine, which tickled my heart so pleasantly. Drunk rafters were brought from Ivdel. One was taken out with a heavily bloodied face. As it turned out, they drank so much that he couldn't keep up with the rough ride of shift bus and smashed his face very hard.

The driver turned out to be a wonderful man who works for geologists and occasionally helps with the transportation of tourists. We agreed that he would take me to the mainland. He only asked me to let him sleep for three hours.

We started in the morning. True, he immediately told me that he would not go to Ivdel, but would take me to Polunochnoe, where he had a base. It is 22 kilometers from Ivdel. And then there is a bus or taxi. We arrived luxuriously. I sat on a mattresses. "Ural" was driving slower than GAZ, but much more reliable. If it jumped, it was not much. The road to Polunochnoe took 7 hours. On the way, the driver and I stopped at Ushma, where we stretched our legs. There I saw with my own eyes this incredible satelite phone. Mansi did not come out to us. Then we had a snack on Bolshaya Toshemka, right on the river rift. Car pirates under the flags of different pirate fleets were driving towards us. They rode to the spirit of freedom and the male forest brotherhood.

Crossing Ushma river an a shift bus to Ivdel
Crossing Ushma river an a shift bus to Ivdel

- 10 -

At Polunochnoe I hung out for an hour and a half. This very picturesque mountain village does not often see tourists. They looked at me, they talked to me. Local drunks and children too. The only bus was there in the evening, and I had to get to Ivdel as soon as possible. Bee-line in the village did not work.

Here another miracle of the day happened. An Ivdel taxi driver flew right at my feet at speed, and brought someone to the village. We drove back to the city. My dear driver said that I was very lucky. Because he comes here once a month, if that. It is almost impossible to call a taxi from Ivdel there. The only cart driver from the village, whose phone number was at once given to me by local saleswomen, refused to drive me, citing a colossal hangover.

Cafe "Geologists" in Ivdel
Cafe "Geologists" in Ivdel. Gathering place for local pirates and adventurers going to the pass.

And at half past five in the afternoon I was already standing at the cafe "Geologist", where any adventurous traffic coming down from the mountains usually ends up. I stood there and realized that a great miracle had happened to me. Yesterday at 8 pm I was at the Dyatlov Pass, and now I’m standing in Ivdel, with a purchased ticket to Yekaterinburg, clean and dining in a cafe. And he even managed to take the tent to the "Yeti Tour" base.

My trip is over. In the city I met the tourists from the trail on Auspiya. They wondered why I'm here. After all, they saw me recently going to the pass. I couldn’t tell them everything, and I blamed everything on miracles, on flying carpets, and hats of invisibility. By my vest, glasses and long hair, I was recognized several times in the city and at the station by other hikers who completed the route. I was a little worried when I realized that there was nothing to go to the station on. Taxis are not called in the city, and there are very few rides. And the station is located 7 kilometers from the city. But it's cool here too. I was picked up by a motorist traveling from Megion, who drove me safely to the station. True, all the way he persuaded me to go with him to Samara, because he was homesick from loneliness and was in dire need of fellow travelers-storytellers. In the morning I was already in the capital of the Urals - Yekaterinburg.

Train station in Ivdel is closed for repairs
Train station in Ivdel is closed for repairs

- 11 -

I wrote a lot in my time about the tragedy at the pass, of course, God himself ordered me to go there. But still I can’t say that I cherished this dream and prepared every year for the trek. I did not prepare at all, and did not intend to go on a date with the mountains. For I understood that I was already quite a few years old, and having a tourist experience in my youth, I knew well all the dangers of the mountains, and I understood that in my current shape I might not reach it. I understood that I could lie down on the path like a shot black grouse. In addition, having broken my leg six years ago, I still have not been able to adequately recover.

But everything happened spontaneously. As if I heard the call of the pass. And suddenly everything became very real. And I went on the hike very determined. What is surprising is that at the beginning I was supposed to go at the exact time the Kuntsevich's group was hiking. The first group of tourists that I asked to go with was a little more expensive, was even more sporty, and was scheduled from August 3 to 9. If I went with them, I would certainly meet with the troubled group of "rocket" men. But I had to postpone the trip for a week.

I understood that in the Northern Urals it is better not to delay the deadlines. The earlier the better. Weather in those parts changes quickly and is unpredictable. But it turned out the opposite. The first decade of August was difficult in terms of weather, and by the time I arrived, it was as if the clouds had been specially dispersed. There was even a big bust in the heat. When I left the Urals, the temperature in Yekaterinburg approached 35 degrees, and forests were burning in Pervouralsk. I was also surprised that we did not meet a single mosquito for all the days of the trek.

I feel myself involved in the trek of Kuntsevich's group. Probably I was there in order to somehow balance these places with the presence of thoughts about the sacredness of the Dead Mountain and the pass, so that a different impulse to perceive this magical place could flow in there and so that the events of the death of the Dyatlov group were considered as a human mystery, and not as a materialistic theory with killing good tourists with a bloody KGB plot or a mysterious accident on a hike. The rather dramatic part of the of the Kuntsevich's group expedition, which under other circumstances could turn into a tragedy, is a hint to all of us that the time of rocket versions and other materialistic theories must come to an end.

Y. Kuntsevich, an incredibly kind person, passed away. He left this world, first of all, to free us space for a different understanding of the tragedy of 1959. Yuri Konstantinovich, having devoted many years to the incident of the pass, was first of all an example of a man of the Soviet era who was unable to get close to the primordial keys of the tragedy. To see that behind it is the manifestation of the spiritual world to humanity. The spirit of the pass itself answered the group to its challenge to launch rockets. And it can also be said that he affectionately slapped his guests on the loins. True, Kuntsevich had to pay for these pranks with his life. Covid is only the external reason for his departure. And interestingly, he left when his group reached the mainland - Yekaterinburg. While the group was thrashing and shaking, he spiritually kept them at a distance.

- 12 -

If I have to compare my trek and that of the Kuntsevich's "rocket" men, then in my version I repeated the path of Graham. Almost entirely. Probably Graham also had his feelings about the location of himself on the route. And he made his exit on time. By the way, as it turned out later, he arrived quite safely, although he walked 20 kilometers along the road of the jeeps. And he even posted his videos from quadro copters online. He didn't take risks, and neither did I. His intuition didn't let him down. Or maybe, like me, he "saw" and realized that he had to leave immediately, otherwise his strength would run out. And the quarrel has nothing to do with it.

Graham Phillips hitchhiking off the pass
Graham Phillips hitchhiking off the pass

It so happened that the trek of the group almost completely mirrored the trek of 1959. Only with the difference that then nine died, and one survived, but here everything is exactly the opposite - one died, and nine came back alive. And the exact number of women to men is 2 and 7. And the participants in the trek identified themselves with the Dyatlov group hikers. And during the whole trek they discussed analogies and parallels. So everything went like what if they damned themselves.

Athletes-tourists, curious onlookers, admiring romantics, idle revelers go to the pass, and in general, almost all of this audience seems to be turned off by the Spirit of the Pass from the game. They are also invisible to the Spirits that are on guard and on the outskirts of the place. It is much more difficult to walk to the pass in a state when they see you. When you have knowledge about this unique place and there is a feeling of the Mystery of the place. Then you become visible. It's time for people to know about all this.

The sincere Mansi, who live in harmony with nature, are well aware of the significance of this place, and, out of their modesty and knowledge, do not frequent the area. For they know that the beast will not run there and the bird will not fly. Serious silence reigned earlier in the area of ​​Kholat Syakhl and the Dyatlov Pass. Now there is such a circus multiplied by a tents on wheels that the spirits scatter in different directions as well as bears.

Perhaps the time has come for people to go to the Pass not out of idle curiosity, and not because the Pass became a brand in the media, but because when you leave you became another. So that you can restart your life in the right relationship to the Spiritual world.


On August 21, another incident happened on the pass. The guide of one of the tourist groups had a heart attack. At eleven in the morning Yekaterinburg time (6 UTC), tourists were sending SOS signals with the GPS tracker. Urgent evacuation needed for the guide. Heart stopped. We are located in the Europe-Asia module. SOS doesn't go through. Everything is ok with tourists. If no one flies in by 5 pm, we're going to Shtebenka modules.

Most likely, the leader's heart could not withstand the unimaginable heat that day. Once I flew from the Urals the temperature reached 35-37°C (95-99°F). Tourists are tough. The leader's heart stopped but they must not.



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