Diaries and chronology of events

65 years ago


Dyatov group diary Russian typewritten copy from the case files
Unknown diary (case files have it as "Kolmogorova's diary")    Russian typewritten copy from the case files
Zina Kolmogorova's diary Russian scanned pages
Lyuda Dubinina's diary Russian scanned pages
Rustem Slobodin's diary Russian scanned pages
Yuri Yudin's diary Russian scanned pages



23 January
Left Sverdlovsk

The area through which the hike route passed was not sufficiently studied. There are no detailed public maps of this area. Igor appeals for help to a familiar geologist and pilot. The geologist helps Dyatlov develop an optimal route. The sports club did not even have a map of the area where Dyatlov led his group. It turned out that Dyatlov did not agree with anyone about the exact route of the group. A route book was left without a route and a map showing the route of the group. Dyatlov group discussed various options for the route and Igor to send the final version for approval, but he did not.

The Dyatlov group consisting of 10 hikers left Sverdlovsk on January 23 by train №45 (№43 in the diaries) at 21.05 local time. They arrived at Serov station at 7.39. The journey took 10h 34m. Distance between Sverdlovsk and Serov is 388 km (241 mi). Until mid-1939, Serov’s name was Nadezhdinsk, but the name of the city's railway station had not yet been changed. The station would be renamed from “Nadezhdinsk” to “Serov” only in 1964.

Dubinina diary

23 january. It’s the last day of preparations and everything has been quite hectic. From eleven in the morning I was scampering between stores buying different bits and pieces. And I was silly enough to buy five meters of cambric which cost 200 rubles. I was packing in such a rush and of course I’ve forgotten at home my sweater. Everyone was busy with something, and we had so many things to do. Just before our departure, those who wanted to say goodbye came to meet us. We were really short of time, but arrived at the railway station with seconds to spare. Then we had to say goodbye to everyone. Before leaving we sang a few songs, but in the cart Blinov group joined and we continue singing together. Among all the most notable is Krotov's bass. This time there were a lot of very new songs that we were writing down with the help of an instructor A Zolotaryov, who came with us on the trek. At first nobody wanted this Zolotaryov, for he is a stranger, but then we all agreed, because you can't refuse. Thus, as we were ten, and remained ten, for Slavka was not released by the faculty bureau.

Dyatlov Group diary

January 23
We're on the road again! We are now sitting in room 531, or rather of course not sitting but frantically shoving into backpacks oatmeal, cans, canned meat. The head of provision distribution (zavhoz) is overseeing that everybody gets everything.
Where are my felt boots? Y. K. (Yuri Krivonischenko) Can we play mandolin on the train?
Of course! We forgot the salt! 3kg
Igor! Where are you? Where is Doroshenko? Why didn't he take 20 packs? Give me 15 kopeks (cents) to call. The scales, where are the scales? It doesn't fit, dam it. Who has a knife?
Yuri take this to the station.
Slav Halizov just got here.
Hello, hello! Can I get 15 kopeks?
Lyuda is counting the money, lots of 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 we encounter? The boys solemnly swore not to smoke the entire trip. I wonder how much will power they have to get by without cigarettes? Everybody is falling asleep, and behind the window Ural taiga is spreading in all directions.
Z. Kolmogorova


Dyatlov group Route by day

Route by day

Day Date Section of the road  Means of transportation Km Note
  Sverdlovsk – Polunochnoe Train  
Polunochnoe – Vizhay Truck
Vizhay – 2nd Northern Ski
----- " ----------- " ------ 55
Up Auspiya river
Pass in the upper Lozva river 38
Ascent to Otorten 14
Mt. Otorten - upper Auspiya 20
Pass to the upper Unya river 18
To upper Vishera river 18
To upper Niols river 22
Ascent to Oyko-Chakur 22
Along North Toshemka
         to the hut
Along North Toshemka – 25
– Vizhay.
Vizhay – Polunochnoe Truck
Polunochnoe – Sverdlovsk Train  



24 January

January 24, 1959. The Dyatlov group was in Serov for 11 hours (from 7.39 until 18:47). The train station, the incident - the detention of Yuri Krivonischenko, the 41st school, the story of tourism to schoolchildren of 1st and 2nd grade.

The Dyatlov group left Serov (Nadezhdinsk) at 18.47 local time by train №81. They arrived in Ivdel at 23.42. The journey was 4h 55m. The distance between Nadezhdinsk and Ivdel is 134 km (82 mi). Incident in a train with a drunk passenger. On the train from Serov to Ivdel, a drunk passenger came to the group, stating that they had stolen a bottle of vodka from him and demanded to return it. He was simply ignored, although the physically fit hikers could have easily confronted him. The drunken passenger insisted on his rights and initiated a scandal. As a result, the conductor had to take the loaded citizen causing the disturbance to the police at the station. This incident is interesting not only for what was noted in the diaries, but also for the record that the Dyatlov himself made when preparing list of provisions for the trek. Yuri Yudin could not get alcohol and Igor made a record; vodka, Indian tea, matches. If for some reason the hikers did not buy vodka, then it is possible that one of them could actually have stolen from the drunk passenger. This is just a speculation.

Dyatlov Group diary

January 24
7.00 (am) We arrived in Serov (town). We traveled with Blinov group. They have... things for hunting and other accessories. At the station we were met with hell of a hospitality. They didn't allow us into the building. The policeman stares at us suspiciously. There is no crime or vandalism in the city, as it suppose to be in times of communism. And then Yuri Krivo started a song, the cops grabbed him and took him away.
At the attention of citizen Krivonischenko, sergeant explained that the rules of §3 prohibited all activity that would disturb the peace of passengers. It is perhaps the only train station where the songs are forbidden, so we stayed without singing.
Finally everything is settled by end fo the day. We are leaving Serov to Ivdel at 6:30 pm. We were welcomed warmly in the school near the railway station. The steward (she is also a janitor) bolied some water, and helped us with everything we needed for the preparation for the trek.
We have the whole day free. We want to go to the city, to visit the nature museum or take a trip to a factory, but too much time is passed in distribution of equipment and cleaning it.
12.00 In the interval between 1st and 2nd shifts in school we organized meeting with pupils. The room crammed with so many curious children.
Zolotoryov: "Kids, I will tell you now... Tourism is, enables you to..." Everyone is still, quiet, engaged.
Z. Kolmogorova: Tra- ta- ta- ta, what's your name, you went where, awesome, you have been camping, she went on and on...
Questions didn't end. We had to explain and show to every kid everything, from torches to tents. It took us 2 hours, and kids didn't want to let us go. They sang songs to each other. The whole school saw us at the station. Everything ended as expected, when we were leaving, the kids yelled and cried, asking Zina to stay with them. They promised to behave and study well.
In the train cart a young drunk accused us of stealing his booze from his pocket. For the second time this day the cops were involved.
Discussion about love provoked by Z. Kolmogorova. Songs, reassessment, Dubinina under the seats (ed. note - this is confirmed by the number of train tickets found in Dyatlov's field bag with group's papers - 9, not 10), garlic with bread and no water, and we arrived in Ivdel around 12am.
Large waiting room. Total freedom of action. We took shifts to watch over our stuff all night long. Bus to Vizhay leaves early in the morning.

Unknown diary

January 24, 1959

Last night, about 9-00 we boarded the train №43. At last. There is 10 of us. Slavik Bienko [Slavik is short for Vladislav] didn't come, they didn't let him. We are going with 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 finds school number 41 (about 200 meters from the train station), where we were very well received.

Lyudmila Dubinina diary

24 january went to bed We arrived in Serov very early. We were not allowed in the station with the backpacks. We settled nearby the station. The boys cross the overseer, that's me, with accusations of stinginess and greed. Alas, the canteen at this point is a great luxury for us. There was one small incident - Yurka K. was taken by the police charging him with deception. Our hero decided to walk around the station handing a cap for change after singing a song. Yuri had to be rescued.
Then we managed to move to the elementary school together with Blinov group. After lunch we began to prepare the equipment. Decided to read talk to the children in 1st and 2nd grades about tourism. They liked our stories and things very much, and they became very attached to us. Time flew by till 6 pm in the company of our new young friends. The children bonded so much, especially to Zina, that they parted with tears.
In the train we all sang songs accompanied with a mandolin and just like that. Then out of the blue a young alcoholic came to the boys and accused them of stealing a bottle of vodka. He demanded her return and promised to punch them in the teeth. In the end, he did not prove or get anything and got lost. Yurka came and sang with us for a while and left. We sang and sang, and no one even noticed how we started to discuss love issues, talking about kisses in particular. We talked all kinds of nonsense, of course; everyone was interested, everyone wanted to speak out, eventually trying to out-shout each other and prove their own opinion. Sasha Kolevatov was the best in our debates. Probably he expressed not only his own thoughts but, anyway, he obviously won. We arrived at night in Ivdel and bunked at the station. We settled in the corner, spreading the tent, and laid down to sleep at once. I stayed watch. I used the time to sew overshoes and copy songs. Yurkina Olva from time to time shouted probably from boredom and hunger. I lasted till 3 am. At that time I lay down, only Borya continue to sew something for a long time, but he finally retire.
Zhenya (Yevgeny Zinovyev) often picks on me, sometimes he even says offensive things. He seem to consider me foolish. It's my fault that I like to add fuel to the fire, damn me.

Zinaida Kolmogorova diary

24.2.59. (note: the figure of the month is corrected, visible simultaneously, one on top of the other in an unknown sequence, the numbers "1" and "2")

Here we are on a trek again. Now in Serov. The entire evening yesturday till 3 AM we sang songs. With us is sr. instructor of the Kaurov sport base Aleksander Zolotaryov. He knows a lot of songs, it's just happy somehow that we are learning new songs. Especially some the Zumba and others. Today I feel little sad. But it's nothing. We are on duty with Rustik. We went and talked to the schoolchildren, then they all saw us off, even burst into tears, didn't want to let us go.

Zina Kolmogorova letter

The letter is written on Jan 24th 1959 in city of Serov and sent on Jan 26 from Vizhay

Zina Kolmogorova letter
Hello, my dear mom, dad, Tom, Galya and Lusya!
Greetings to you from Zina.
Well, I'm away from you again, now we are in Serov. We have a transfer here and I am writing to you. Well, how is life? Anything new? We are going camping, a group of 10 people.
The group is good. At the plant, everything is ok, they let me go. I have all the clothes I need, so do not worry about me. How do you live? Write to me in Vizhay, I am looking forward to it. Has the cow calved yet? I love milk. How's mom work? How is the dad's health? Moms? How are Galya and Lusya doing at school?
Zina Kolmogorova letter
Lusya, try not to have Cs this semester. And Galya turn Ds in sports to Cs. Spend more time on the skis and you need to run more. See you soon and goodbye.
Big kisses to you all
Your Zina.
Write to me, I am looking forward to it.

26 I 59


25 January
Ivdel - Vizhay

The Dyatlov group got off train №81 (Nadezhdinsk-Polunochnoe) in Ivdel-1 around midnight local time (21.42 in the timetable). They spent the night at the train station, taking turns on duty throughout the night. At around 6:00 am on January 25, they took a bus from the railway station to the city of Ivdel. They dropped at the post office to stamp their route books and at around 7:00 am a crowded bus GAZ-51 took them together with Blinov group on a 90 km (56 miles) trip to the village of Vizhay, where they arrived at around 2:00 pm. The group stamped the route books for the second time at the post office at Vizhay. Parted with Blinov group, watched "Symphonie in Gold", stayed at a guest house.

Dyatlov Group diary

25 january 1959.
We got up at half past five, quickly gathered and left for the city of Ivdel with the first bus. After an hour of waiting, we managed to grab a bus (such as GAZ-51). The twenty-five-seater bus was forced to accommodate a full twenty-five plus twenty backpacks packed to capacity and as many pairs of skis. We were full up to the ceiling. First layer passengers sat on the seats, on a pile of skis, on backpacks. Second layer passengers sat on the backs of the seats, finding a place for legs on the shoulders of comrades. It was not so tight, however, as not to sing, so we did it almost all the way to Vizhay.
The trip was not uneventful. The bus made a small detour away from the highway, in the village of Shipichnoe, and we were given the chance to step out, which we did with pleasure. Four of the most agile went far ahead to the settlement of Talitsa to see the power station. Suddenly the heard: "The bus." We rush out the door, but, alas, it was too late. The bus passed by and we were forced to chance after it as fast as we can, hoping fate would be merciful and, perhaps, we would catch up with it (I am part of the "agile" four). However, the first hundred meters clearly demonstrated the advantages of a fifty horse power engine. Our heels flashed far behind the bus, and the gap widened. The prospect to walk about thirty kilometers on the highway with no breakfast and lunch already seemed quite real, when suddenly ... I mentioned that fate is merciful. The mercy came in the form of a girl going to Vizhay that hailed the bus and stopped the object of our persecution. A minute later we were already safely sitting on the second floor of the seats and traveling to Vizhay. We arrived in Vizhay about two pm. It turned out that we can continue our automobile journey in the next morning.
Warmly said goodbye to Blinov's group, who went further (to the west of Vizhay in the deep forest area). After dinner, which was held in a warm "friendly atmosphere," we moved to the "hotel", which was the usual hut with three windows. We went to the cinema, leaving "home" Doroshenko and Kolevatov. We watched the "Symphonie in Gold", came back in "musical mood". Now we are busy getting ready the equipment. Tonight, according to the local commandant, we will leave on.

Zinaida Kolmogorova diary

25.1.59  arrived in Ivdel at midnight, spent the night at the train station pitching a tent on the floor. Yes, we have already been spotted 2 times by the police. Once Yuri Kriv was taken to the police station. He wanted to raise money for candy. It was funny. Then on the train Serov-Ivdel reached Ivdel, spent the night at the station, in the morning got on a bus, drove to a hotel in Ivdel. Then we took the bus and drove off. We are 20 people, backpacks and skis. Had to pile up on 3 levels, but we sang songs all the way. Arrived in Vizhay. First we stopped at the same club where we were 2 years ago. Then we were taken to the hotel. The whole evening there was a discussion about love about friendship, about dances and other things, etc. I talked a lot about things which are completely unfamiliar to me and I scarcely do, but I tried, sincerely. But this is all nonsense. But again the words of Volt come to mind. How well did he say it. We went to see "Symphonie in Gold" so powerful! So great!

Lyudmila Dubinina diary

25 january They woke us up, without really to have slept much. I told Rustic that I won't wash up due to lack of conditions. He agreed. The bus came right away, we climbed quickly. Had to travel on 3 levels. Kolka Tibo (Nikolay Thibeaux-Brignolle) had to push his body to the ceiling, Olva first stood in (illegible word) position, but soon she couldn't stand it anymore and got down on her knees.
We sang again, of course. I totally lost my voice. Zhenka was bickering again. He goes on and on. Things stated to make sence, it wasn't really a knew, but it is now clearer and better. But despite this, Yurka is still a good-natured person, at least, judging by his behavior. I'm still true to myself.
Zhenka and Zina sang "If you eyes hadn't been blue..." ("Если б были глаза твои не такие синие...")
When we arrived at а turn the bus went to a village and had to return for us in an hour.
We continue on foot. It was so nice to walk along the road in such good weather. We went a little nuts and roll in the snow.
During our walk there was an incident - a car coming from the forest got stuck in the opposite direction. Our guys rushed to the rescue. Finally they pulled it out in half. Then our bus came up and we hopped on it. The discussion now was about happiness. Basically our guys were the most active. They tried to give a definition of happiness, but everyone had it its own way.
Arrived in Vizhay at four two. Blinov group is going further to settlement 41, and we stay to spend the night. We had a tearful goodbye with Blinov group. The mood sank. At parting, we sang with Zina and Zhenya: "If you eyes hadn't ..." In general I am very very sad.
We are extremely lucky! The Symphonie in Gold was showing. We left all our things and packs at the hotel and went to the club. The image was a bit fuzzy, but it didn’t overshadow the pleasure at all. Yurka Krivo, sitting next to me, was smacking his lips and oohing with delight. This is real happiness, so difficult to describe with words. The music is just fabulous! The mood after the movie greatly improved. Igor Dyatlov was unrecognizable. He tried to dance, and even started singing: "O Jackie Joe"
We are on duty with Yuri today. We decided to cook noodles on the stove. But it was very difficult to heat the stove with such raw firewood, so it took a lot of time. Finally we began to eat. During the meal, a discussion arose about the rights of boys and girls to freedom, etc. In my opinion, such discussions lead nowhere. But we are doing it anyway, to vent the soul. We went to bed late. Had to lay down in beds by two, only Yurka Krivo and Sasha slept on the floor between the beds.


26 January

At about 10 am on January 26, they sent their last messages to their relatives and friends. Dyatlov wrote to Pervouralsk, Slobodin to Sverdlovsk, and Kolmogorova to the village of Cheremkhovo. Dyatlov was also supposed to send telegrams with mandatory checkpoint notification of their coming on the trek to the UPI Sports Club and the Routing Commission city committee for Physical Culture and Sport, but there is no evidence that he did. Perhaps he forgot to do that, as well. More information about Vizhay →
After lunch, at 1:30 pm, the Dyatlov group hitched a ride to the District 41 settlement 40 km (25 miles) north of Vizhay, on a Vizhay logging camp truck with ineffective brakes and broken springs. This is most likely the ride that makes Yudin sick. The departure from Vizhay is confirmed by the stamp of the Ivdel MVD corrective labor camp’s office from January 26 in the group's route book. Riding along with the hikers was one Aleksey Hatanzeev, head of the “Red Chum” division in the village of Sosva, who was in charge of cultural and propaganda work with the local population; he was traveling to District 41 to organize a film screening. Around 4:30 pm they arrived at District 41, where they were warmly greeted by civilian workers. In the evening they were treated to one more cultural program, including two Soviet movies, My Apprenticeship (1939), Est takoy paren (1956), and once again the Symphonie in Gold (1956). Then they spent the night at the District 41 dormitory.

Vizhay, wake up 9:00, the dining room, Zina Kolmogorova sends the letter home, Igor Dyatlov and Rustem Slobodin send home postcards. At 13:10 the group leaves Vizhay in truck Gaz-63 with no brakes and shock absorbers. They ride in the open back of the truck, covered by a tent. The hikers were exposed on this trip and Yudin fell ill. At 16:30 they arrive in the village 41st forest area. In the evening they see movies "On his own", "Est takoy paren" and "Symphonie in Gold" (again).

Dyatlov Group diary

January 26
We slept in so-called hotel. Two people per bed. Sasha K. (Aleksander Kolevatov) and Krivo (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 water in the morning, wood was damp. In the evening it took us 6 hours to boil the water. Had breakfast in the dining room, goulash and tea.
When they handed us the lukewarm tea, Gosya (Igor) Dyatlov said with a smirk: "If the tea is cold, then go drink it outside, it will be hot." Original thought. We negotiated to go to Settlement 41 by a truck.
We started at 13.10, and arrived at 16.30. We froze pretty good at the back of GAZ-63.
While traveling we sang songs, discussed various topics like love, friendship, cancer illness and cures.
In Settlement 41 we were greeted warmly, they gave us a separate room in the hostel. We talked a lot with the local workers. I remembered particularly the red- bearded man. The Beard, that's what his friends call him.
Ognev is an old friend, he is described in Lyuda Dubinina's private diary.
Lunch was served, we ate and now we are resting. Some of the group is watching a movie in the adjacent room. The rest of the group is rummaging through their backpacks. Rustik (Rustem Slobodin) is playing his mandolin, while talking with Kolya (Nick Tibo). I am going to do some adjustment to the equipment.

I can't, although I tried.
Nick Thibeaux

Zina Kolmogorova diary


We slept in beds. We got up late, very late. Rustik and I are on duty. We went into the dining room. And then we waited for the car and drove off. Today the road is not so beautiful, there is less snow. We are driving off road now. Drove for a long time. I, as always, was approached by some countryman. We arrived at the 41st settlement. Workers are simply working here, not prisoners, but recruits. There are many smart ones. We were accommodated in the small room of the driver. Today is the last day of civilization. Rustic plays the mandolin very well, I really enjoy listening to him. Today I wore Yuri's mittens, but how I did not want to! I was told that is not good not to accept them, so I took them. We talk. Not much.

Luydmila Dubinina diary

26 january In the morning Sashka jumped up from the cold and said that he had a cold night. Zina and I slept perfectly. Went to the dining room then began to gather.We go by car.Tried to sing, talked about 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 2nd North, but it was getting dark and we decided to stop at the 41st. At 4.30 we were met very hospitably. They stayed in the barrack, where the guys live. In general, here are all civilians, there are no women at all, except two. The guys are all young, as Igor noticed, there are even cute and generally interesting. Especially memorable among all is Ognev with a red beard and the nickname of his "Beard". In general, very rarely there are such people in such a hole. A true romantic, a geologist and generally developed. Many of the guys play the guitar.
We watched three movies right away: "On his own", "Est takoy paren" and "Sympnonie in gold" again. And again this music Co First in (illegible word) were divided into two groups one watched the movies, the other wrote diaries, and Rustik and Kolya reasoned a little about everything, about work, etc. I like these guys.
A big difference between them, graduated from the institute Rustik, Ko, Yura and us.
All the same, their judgments are more mature and smarter than ours. My God, I do not even talk about mine
After the cinema, everyone was very tired and wanted to sleep. We lay down with Zina on a spring bed. It's a dream come true. And the guys are all on the floor. Mood is bad and probably will be for two more days. Evil as hell.

Yuri Yudin diary

We arrived by truck with no brakes, broken shock absorbers, etc., (only in the taiga you can ride on any car.) in the village 41 quarter. Ognev, Nick? since 1931. - long beard. He knows the whole of the Northern Ural. I was a participant of many geological expeditions. Quite knowledgeable on many issues. He graduated from the Ufimskiy Technical College. In the truck (that) city we came, we brought 3 movies: "On his own" by Gorki, "Est takoy paren" and "Sympnonie in gold".
"In people" - under the usual circumstances, in the city, I would have never gone to see this movie. It seems nothing of interest in it for me, waste of time. Here - you start watching ... and from the very first frames you feel that the movie is new for you, you see it with different eyes than before and many new thoughts are rushing one after another under the impression of what's on the screen.
Grandma plays excellently. Above all, full penetration into the role. Wealth, depth, importance of thoughts, content, and all this follows by itself, without any imposition ... himself as in a life without words and simple ??? a person and there is another recently released picture. Paren (est takoy paren - there is such a guy) - the characters here, the artists portraying, are represented only by what they say at the moment and is not clear where and how did they originated, what they say and what they do. It seems like they (the characters) are created to say only these particular words, and there is nothing else for them to say, and to do. Roles like that are not clear, maybe I find the screenplay weak and superficial, bad stage director, bad artists and in short - it seems there are not living people on the screen full of thoughts, capable of creating stories themselves, but some automatic machines tuned to a spec. program, and that's why there is no performance in the whole movie. They could have said in advance what the movie is about, and how will it end. The whole movie in 5 mins. "Symphonie in gold" - austr. About ballet on ice. The ballet itself is a good show. Good skating rinks, skill, technical performance, but feelings, thoughts in dances - none. Maybe since music to me is only an income. It seems to me that way? The light music in places is excellent, it can't be better, but in general I couldn't feel the Person, his soul. Maybe that's why everybody that saw the movie was saying: "It feels so good, nothing is missing, they say "like life itself"
We are warmly welcomed here. they ride all kind of They gave us the only horse available here to take our backpacks tomorrow to 2nd Northern for free wood site about 200 150 km? from such a northern town as Ivdel. There is no radio, no newspapers. (They still can't check the lottery and I promised to send back the newspaper immediately from Sverdlovsk). They live in a dormitory. No order whatsoever, but people are everywhere. Read everything that they can get their hands on and do they sing ... Quietly, from the heart. The songs are old, long forgotten or never heard. Here they are ... It's so good!
Why don't we sing such good, already forgotten songs. And in general, we don't sing about the soul in places where there are some outsiders, it's not singing, not soulful, loud. We must fight for the culture of choral singing. Voices and change the repertoire. So that there were no empty screaming song-trinkets. Loggers are working poorly, work and life conditions are bad. Are they paying poorly? Strike. Everything is possible, but there is no good intelligent leadership. Master - once he studied and did not finish the Moscow Forestry Institute. The workers are very different. Recruits after the army, after serving time (to earn some money and stayed, or for free). Many don't last, - they quit They work The majority has primary school or no education at all. But there are widely erudite and even If you meet them in the city, you would never have thought that this person all his time in the taiga.
Uncle Slava. Funny, somehow people do not think how this or that name will sound after uncle or grandpa *... What a funny grandpa!
Until 1953, they threw in jail everybody that they could catch, innocent, then they figured it out and cleaned up, everybody was given rushed amnesty

*I think Yudin is referring to the fact Slava in Russian means Glory.

Igor Dyatlov last post card

On January 26, 1959, around 2 pm the group arrived in Vizhay. Dyatlov, as the leader of the trek, went to the local post office to send a telegram about their arrival at the checkpoint of the route. After checking in with AltaMater and the Sverdlovsk Political Bureau of extreme sports Igor asked the operator for a postal card form. He sent to his father Aleksey Alekseevich Dyatlov in Pervouralsk his last message written on the back of a postal card. Rufa (Ruffina Alekseevna) is Igor's sister, a pupil in school №12 in Pervouralsk.

Igor Dyatlov last postcard front
Where: Sverdlovsk Region
city of Pervouralsk, Sotsgorod
Sadovaya, 13.
To: A. A. Dyatlov
Sender's address: Vizhay
Igor Dyatlov last postcard back
Hello everyone.
Today, 26, we leave on the route, we arrived well.
On February 12-15 I will visit Sverdlovsk. I probably will not go home, so let Rufa bring linen to our room for a trip to Penza.
From there I will return on March 5-7.
Greetings, Igor.


Rustem Slobodin last post card

Rustem Slobodin last postcard front

Where: Sverdlovsk 9
Malyisheva St ,142 room 71
To: Slobodins
Sender's address: city of Ivdel, Sverdlovsk region
village of Vizhay

26/I-1959 10 am
Hello sedentary citizens of Sverdlovsk!
Yesterday we safely reached the village of Vizhay. Now we are taking a truck to the starting point  - 2nd Northern.
The weather is nice, warm (~ 10-15°). Everything is good. I am sorry I didn't say goodbye - got carried away.
All the best.
R Slobodin

Rustem Slobodin last postcard back


On the last photo published below Krivonishenko told the guys that he is about to make the last photo before he climbs into the truck so each of the guys reacted their own way. Dyatlov and Thibeaux-Brignolle leaned forward and and showed Yuri the fig sign. Apparently Zina Kolmogorova moved off the backpack on which she sat, her location was significantly lower than the previous shot. Yuri Yudin painted a grimace on his face and looks at Zina Kolmogorova. It may seem that he is making a grimace to Zina intending to scare her, but in fact, with his left hand he grabbed Zina Kolmogorova's back and tries to keep her from falling on her back. Igor, Nikolay, Zina and Lyuda are looking at Yuri, Zolotaryov waves his right hand, Aleksander is not visible behind Zolotaryov's back. Doroshenko and Slobodin, without reacting to Yuri's signal, remained in their seats without visible reaction.

27 January
District 41 - 2nd Northern

On January 27 1959 Dyatlov group was leaving District 41 and Ognev "The Beard", the hospitality, the warm bread, wrote Mansi words in their notebooks, and at 4 pm uncle Slava and his horse sled took the backpacks while the hikers were following on skis along Lozva river, cross Ushma river and to the 2nd Northern.

The head of the site Ryazhnev promised to help the hikers to reach the abandoned geological site 2nd Northern by finding means of transportation. Hikers mounted backpacks on the sled with a horse, got on skis and reached 2nd Northern which consisted from 24 houses only one of which was suitable to spend the night. The sled belonged to uncle Slava, convicted in Lithuania in 1949 for 10 years and released to the settlement in 1956.

In District 41 Yudin's condition worsened. He had inflamed back nerve, sciatica. To continue an expedition from 3rd degree of difficulty was impossible without becoming a burden, so Yudin decided to return. They discussed the matter and decided that Yudin will go to 2nd Northern and there will make the final decision. If his pain subsides, he can continue with the group, if his condition worsens, he will take the drilling samples from 2nd Northern and return to Sverdlovsk.

Zina Kolmogorova diary

27. Today is the first day of our journey. The backpack is not much but somewhat heavy. 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 on the last day we see some kind of civilization,stove, people, etc. Today we arranged out backpacks to go on horseback and we are waiting them to be ready, and we will go skiing. Everyone is singing, the workers living in barracks, did not go to work, they sing. We sit and write songs. Many workers are very talented, intelligent people. Especially "the beard", his beard is ginger, ginger, and his eyes are also ginger, and brown. The guys sing well. And Rustic plays the mandolin very well. Today was the last day me and Lyuda slept in beds. Tonight we are going to be in a tent, apparently. Now we are in the District 41, today our goal is to reach the 2nd Nortern. They say, there is a hut there, but no one lives in it. Hurry to the road, to the skis ... How about we go? I'm lately somehow very deeply affected by music, guitar, mandolin and other. Yesterday saw 3 movies here "On his own", "Est takoy paren" and "Sympnonie in gold" again. I want to see "Symphonie in Gold" even more times.

Talaya, a river, many huts

ya - river
sos - brook, together
paste/pache-rum - hello friend
nyor - stone, if there nyor is added to the peak - the peak is bare
oyka - man
yani hum - man big
mais - small
ekva - female
ekvat - alone
ayrish - a girl
From Burmantovo to Volen paul airplane
nyan - bread
emos -good
mol - bad
saka - good
(at)Sol - (not)truth
Solval - salt
Pud - pot
Vat - water
Vit - wind
Hul - fish
Neul - meat
sali - deer
Vazhenka - female
sohta - alpha male
sun - sled
sushep - look
yun - house
pyrya - scram (to the dog)
col - city
pisal - gun
topor - truck
kasay - knife
seranki mayen - give me the matches
atim - don't have
oli - have
Teynkvem - eat
ail - drink
eri - must
ergan - sing
Olna - money
tselkoviy - ruble
akvat - 1
kita - 2
hurum - 3
nila - 4
at - 5
hot - 6
sat - 7
vovel - 8
nevel - 9
pul - 10
tinalil - eat
yuvtilum - sell
sup - pants m
gacha - f
sapaki - slippers
yelsup - dress
neks - sable
kutya - dog
pis-pis - mouse
suy - pine
paul - village
vor - forest
vorhum - bear forest man
vas - duck.
kat - hands.
layal - legs.
pum - head.
punki - teeth.
palin - ears of
ayemun - large
saam - eyes
nyel - nose.
ayserm - cold
polem - freezing
kur - stove
paltin - heat
chuval - stove
osemsau - good bye
nan - you, tav - he
am - I
nanki - you
amki - me


Tyumen region
Berezovsky district
village Nyaksimvol
(sable slope)
Ognev Nikolay Grig.

Rudik Ivan Ivanovich

The whole day went, in front of the horse, behind the horse on the river Lozva. They often flew to ice, cleaned skis. They came already in the dark for a long time looking for a hut with windows and doors. 2nd North is an abandoned village, nobody lives here at all, and what beautiful places! It's just Chusovaya. The stones on the banks are some cliffs, limestone, white. Today we go a few km along the Lozva River, and then we pass to the Auspiya river.

> (note: the arrow from "Today" is drawn down to "Auspiya River" and to the following date "28.2.58")


Lyuda Dubinina diary

27 january Temperature is 5°. Warm, skis are useless. We are getting ready since the morning. Today is the first day of the route. Now we sit and wait for the horse to carry the backpacks, and we go on skis. Fortune smiles at us. Yuri Yudin got sick, something with a nerve of his leg, in general he radiculitis and he is going home. So, there are nine of us in the future. At the moment we are sitting and singing songs. Guys play the guitar, Rustic plays along with the mandolin. Catches your heart. This is the last place of civilization, and it is rare that we met people like that. Overall I love the guitar and I adore all musical people. And the guys in general are all good, they dance, they are musical. We talked with Ognev. He knows a lot and is interesting with him, now he talks about where we are going and more like this. This, in my opinion, is the most interesting object here on the site. He has such a long red beard, although he is only 27 years, he looks older. And then there is Valya, who plays the guitar well (many play) and about whom I jokingly said that I like him. Now most of the guys sit here and sing songs to the guitar, on the occasion that they do not work today. It seems this is the last time we heard so many good new songs. But we hope that Rustik will live up to the challenge. We learn some Mansi words from the guys.

ya - river
neul - meat
sali - (illegible)
vazhenka - female deer
sohta - male
sun - sled
sushep - look
nyan - bread
yun - house
col - city
pyrya - scram (to the dog)
pisal - gun
sairep - axe
kasay - knife
matches - seranki
atim - don't have
oli - have
son - truth
tenkvem - eat
olna - money
ail - drink
at eri - have to (don't)
ergen - sing
tselkoviy - ruble
akva - one

(a turn seems missing? - note.)


Rustem Slobodin diary

To the restless mechanical Rustik
   for his diary

Northern Ural
Sverdlovsk – Vizhay –

Airplane ticket
Ivdel - Saranpaul 250 rubli
(cargo free)

Mansi words

Oyk If in the name of the mountain there is nyer - means the top (stone) is bare
oyka - muzhik, man, husband
ushnik - Mansi hunting house for warming
Tol - ya - talaya creek
sos - stream, together
ruma - friend
nache (nashte) - hello
hum - muzhik
yani - big
mais - small
ekva - woman
ekvat - alone
ayrish - girl
nyan - bread
emas - good
saka emas - very good
mol - bad
sol - true
solval - salt
at - negation
at-sol - not true
pud - pot
vat - water
vit - wind
hul - fish
neul - meat
sali - deer
vazhenka - deer doe
sohta - alpha male
sun - sled
sushep - look
pyrya - scram (to the dog)
pisal - gun
sayrep - axe
mayen - give me
atim - don't have
oli - have
teynkvem - eat
aim- drink
huem - sleep
eri - must
ergen - sing
alna - money
selkoviy - ruble
akvat - 1
kita - 2
hurum - 3
nila - 4
at - 5
hot - 6
sat - 7
vovel - 8
nevel - 9
pul - 10
tinalil - eat
yuvtilum - sell
sup gacha - pants
yelsup - dress
neks - sable
kutya - dog
suevat - pinery
suy - pine
vor - forest
vorhum - bear forest man
ul - fish
kat - hands
layal - legs
pum - head
pumk - teeth
palin - ears
ayemun - disease, large
saam - eyes
nyel - nose
ayserm - cold
polem - freezing
kur - stove
paltem - heat
chuval - open chimney in the corner


Dyatlov Group diary

The weather’s really good. The wind is at our backs, and the lads made a deal with the locals for a horse to drive us to Second North settlement.
But it will be about 24 km from the District 41. We helped Uncle Slava unload hay from a carriage and waited for the horse (it went to get more hay and wood). We waited until 4:00 PM.
The boys started copying some songs. One man sang beautifully. We heard a number of illegal prison songs (Article 58 counter-revolutionary crimes).
Before that we bought four loaves of bread. Soft warm bread. We ate 2 loaves.
Horse is slow. What a pleasure to go without backpacks.
We covered 8 km in 2 hours. (River Ushma).
It's getting dark. The horse is causing the delay. Yuri Yudin is still with us. He suddenly fell ill and he can't continue with the trek. He wants to gather few minerals for the University and return.
Second North is an abandoned geological site consisting of 20-25 houses. Only one is suitable for living. In complete darkness we found a village and the house. We started a fire with wood boards. Smoke came form the stove. Several people hurt their hands on old nails. Everything is well. Then the horse came. We were talking and joking till 3 in the morning.


Yuri Yudin diary

27 We spent the night in the hut of the 2nd Northern settlement. There so much - many houses, warehouses, premises, forgot old vehicles, machine tools. Everything was abandoned since 1952. Here worked geological expedition what they could took out, the rest was exhausted and thrown. The houses are all destroyed, there is only one with a stove and glass on the windows. The place is picturesque. Lozva river is wide. Lots of lime rocks. Uncle Slava says that in the summer you can cross the river, many warm, hot springs. Sagebrush and water is not entirely frozen and there are places under the snow where water is not frozen after which we need to brake the ice from the skis.
Village Vizhay - camp (???) you can buy products. Apothecary - artist Herzen ?. German, wife is German. Idyll in the family. On the walls, relief paintings with filigree decoration, very masterfully, unusually finely executed. Thousands of Chests - a view of Lozva in the summer and the same in the winter, more jewelry boxes, paintings - everywhere. Big ones. In the pharmacy - wax from red rose, fluorescent compound, Kremlin - from test tubes with fluorine. compositions, glowing. Built in wrist watch "Pobeda". It works fine.
An unusually polite gentle, kind person. Wife, German, very affable, hospitable They really care about the medicine. For children, the best medicines are taken care of. They beg me to send them penicillin in tablets from Ivdel, he has very little (for children), it is difficult to get good medication. Boring, all tired of the lecture and something After all, it's so good from time to time to introduce a new thought, a new direction in the conversation ... especial


28 January
Left 2nd Northern

On January 28, 1959, Dyatlov group sets off from 2nd Northern settlement on their last journey.

Dyatlov group diary

January 28
We were awaken by the rumbling voices of Yurka Kri and Sasha Kolevatov. Weather so far is smiling at us. It's only -8C outside.
After breakfast, some of the guys lead by Yuri Yudin, our well- known geologist, went to look for local minerals. They didn't find anything except pyrite and quartz veins in the rock. Took them long time to wax their skis and adjust the mounting. Yuri Yudin goes back home today. It is a pity, of course, that he leaves us. Especially for me and Zina, but nothing can be done about it.
Started at 11.45. We go up the river Lozva. We take turns to head the group for about 10 minutes. Snow cover is significantly less than last year. We have to stop and scrape the wet, melting snow from the bottom of the skis. Yurka Kri is behind and makes sketches of the route. The bank of the river near Second North (especially the right bank) are limestone cliffs that rise high at places. Overall the terrain becomes flatter, entirely covered by forest.
We stop to rest at 5:30 pm on river Lozva. Today we spend our first night in the tent. The guys are busy with the stove, sewing curtains out of sheets. With some thing completed and others not, we sit at dinner. After dinner we sit for long time around the campfire and sing heartfelt songs. Zina even tries to learn to play mandolin under guidance of our musician Rustik (Rustem Slobodin). Then 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. Conspiring, we started going into the tent two people at a time. The suspended stove radiates heat and divides the tent in two sections. The further section is occupied by me and Zina. Nobody wants to sleep by the stove. We agree that Yurka Kri (Krivonischenko) will sleep there. On the other side sleeps the person on duty (Sasha Kolevatov). Yurka couldn't stand the heat and after laying down for 1-2 min, he got up and moved to the second section cursing and accusing us of treason. After that they still argued about something for a long time, but at the end all was quiet.
Lyuda Dubinina - this entry is not signed, but can't be anybody else but Dubinina.

January 28 - Yuri Yudin departs from a 2nd Northern settlement. Another depressing abandoned place on vast stretches of Siberia. Some of the houses ("izba" in Russian) are abandoned and began to fall apart.

Zina Kolmogorova diary


Uncle Slava is leaving today on his horse, and Yura Yudin is leaving too. He took a few samples. I saw this type for the first after the drilling. There is a lot of chalcopyrite and pyrite. Last night the boys made stupid jokes. In my opinion, if we don't pay attention to them, maybe they will be less rude. And so far, nothing. It's time to go out, but they are still digging and digging. I do not understand what's taking so long. The first 30 minutes are over. Of course, the backpack is somewhat heavy. But it's possible to go. The first day is always difficult.

left forward
Sasha Kolevatov tested his device, then quit.
Second halt.
It was much easier to go yesterday without backpacks
snow, snow, snow, snow
on the banks frozen river snow snow
Boundary stone.

Lunch was an hour at 4 pm
After lunch we did just one more hike and stopped to rest.

I mended the tent. We lay down to sleep. Igor was rude the whole evening, I just couldn't recognize him. I had to sleep on the wood near the stove.

Lyudmila Dubinina diary

28 january Woke up at 8 o'clock in the morning to someone's talk. It turns out to be Yuri Krie and Sasha Kolya. The weather is as warm as yesterday (t ° -8 °) Eat, h
After breakfast, some of the guys Yura Yudin, Kolya and Yura Doroshenko went for the rocks in the core storage, where they decided to collect minerals for the collection. Nothing but pyrite, and there were no quartz veins in the rock.
Gathered for a long time, prepared rations, greased the skis then

Dyatlov group pitched their tent at 17:30 on 28 January 1959 - 10 km from their starting point in 2nd Northern and 7 km to Auspiya river.


29 January
Auspiya river

On January 29, 1959, the men of the group took turns to cut a trail for 10 mins, and the group was taking a break after all 7 rotated. They stopped every 70 mins (2-3 km). They turn on Auspiya river tributary. The group stopped for lunch at the fourth halt. They followed a Mansi ski trail and soon started seeing Mansi signs and labaz. Dyatlov group spent the night at the river Hoysipulsos (Хойсиспалсос) tributary. It's Yuri Doroshenko's birthday. He turned 21.

Zina Kolmogorova diary


Today is Yurka's birthday. We go first to Lozva then we turn to Auspiya. Surroundings are beautiful. Along the Auspiya Mansi have passed. A trail is visible, grooves, a path is visible. We often see Mansi signs on the trail. I wonder what they write about? Now the Mansi trail goes South.

(note: the turn is the sketch of the notch, the initials with the date Oct. 5, 1958, the drawing of the ax?)

Now we sit the three of us: Rustik, Yurka and I Waiting for the rest. For the night stopped near the ski tracks. We are burning firewood with Yurka. We talked about the past. Such a playboy.

Dyatlov group diary

Second day of our hike. We made our way from the Lozva river to the Auspiya river. We walked along a Mansi trail. The weather is –13C. The wind is weak. We often find ice on the Lozva river. That's all.
Nick Thibeaux


30 January
Auspiya river

On January 30, 1959, Dyatlov group starts at 8:30-9:30 along Auspiya river, Mansi signs, 14:00 lunch break, 17:00 stop for overnight.

Dyatlov group diary

30 January 1959
Diary is written in the cold on the go.
Today is a third cold night on the bank of Auspiya river. We are getting used to it. The stove does a great job. Some of us (Thibeaux and Krivonischenko) think we need to build steam heat in the tent. The curtains in the tent are quite justified. We get up at 8:30am. After breakfast we walk along the Auspiya river, but the ice again doesn't allow us to move forward. We went on the bank on a sledge-deer trail. In the middle of the road the saw Mansi shed. Yes, Mansi, Mansi, Mansi. This word comes up more and more often in our conversations. Mansi are people of the North. Small Khanti-Mansi nation located in Salehard with 8 thousand population. Very interesting and unique people that inhabit the Northern Polar Ural, close to the Tyumen region. They have a written language, and leave characteristic signs on forest trees. 

Weather: temperature in the morning - 17 С
day - 13 С
night - 26 С.
The wind is strong, south-west, snow begins to fall, heavy clouds, drop in temperature. The temperature is normal for Northern Ural.
This is a story about the forest. Mansi signs tell about animals they saw, resting stops and other things. It is particularly interesting to solve its meaning for the hikers as well as historians.
Deer trail turns into а trodden path, and then ends. To go without a trail is very hard, snow is 120 cm (4 feet) deep. The forest gradually thins and trees get smaller. Lots of dwarf birches and pines. You can feel the altitude. It is impossible to walk on the river. It is not completely frozen, there is ice and water under the snow. We have to go back on the bank of the river. The day is over and we have to find a place for bivouac. That's the stop for the night. Strong west wind. It blows the snows off the cedar and pine trees, creating the impression of a snow fall.
As usual we quickly start a fire and pitch the tent on fir branches. We are warmed by the fire and go to sleep.

Unknown diary

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 slowly to rise. 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 trek, "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 5 pm 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.


Lyuda quickly got tired and sat down by the fire. Nick Tibo 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. Lyuda remained seated. And we sewed the hole (and there were so many that there was enough work for all except two attendants and Lyuda. Guys are terribly outraged.
Today is the birthday of Sasha Kolevatov *. Congratulations. We give him a tangerine, which he immediately divided into 8 pieces (Lyuda went into the tent and did not come out until the end of the dinner). So another day of our trek went well.

* Aleksander Kolevatov is born on November 16th.

Zinaida Kolmogorova diary

30.1.59 We go on Auspiya
cold (ayserm). Mansi trail ended. Pine forest. There was sun in the morning, now is cold (ayserm). All day long we walked along Auspiya. Will spend the night on a Mansi trail. Kolya didn't get to be a watchman so me and Rustik will stay on duty today. Burned mittens 2 and Yurkin's quilted jacket. He cursed a lot. Today, probably, we will build a labaz.


31 January
Auspiya river

The sequence of frames in film №1 is questionable. The film is cut and it is hard to tell which frame follows which. According to the sequence of frames it turns out that Krivonischenko's quilted jacket was burned on the night of January 31 to February 1. However, it Zina Kolmogorova writes in her diary that the jacket was burned on the night of January 30 to January 31. There is a contradiction between the sequence of the film frames or entries in the diary, only one of many in this case.

There is also the question about the stove, if it was used on the night of January 31st. They lit a fire to cook their meal. Dyatlov's stove was used to heat the tent, not cooking. Whether they used the stove or not on the night of January 31st is not clear from the diaries, but in this photo taken on the morning of February 1st Yuri Krivonischenko is dusting ashes from the stove, so most likely they used it. Nothing is definitive on this case. You have to use your own judgement. Is Krivonischenko cleaning it because it was used or just putting it away - we will never know.

Dyatlov group diary

31 January 1959
Weather today is a bit worse – wind (west), snowing (probably from the pines), since the sky is perfectly clear.
Started relatively early (around 10 am). Got back on the Mansi trail. (Up to now we are following a Mansi trail on which not so long passed a hunter with deer.)
Yesterday it seems we stumbled upon his resting stop. Deer didn't go any further. The hunter took the beaten trail by himself, we are following in his steps.
Had a surprisingly good overnight, air is warm and dry, though it’s -18C to -24C. Walking is especially hard today. We can't see the trail, have to grope our way through at times. Can’t do more than 1.52 km (1 mile) per hour.
Trying out new ways to clear the path. The first in line drops his backpack, skis forward for five minutes, comes back for a 10-15 minute break, then catches up with the group. That’s one way to keep laying ski tracks non-stop. Hard on the second hiker though, who has to follow the new trail with full gear on his back. We gradually leave the Auspiya valley, it’s upwards all the way but goes rather smoothly. Thin birch grove replaces firs. The end of forest is getting closer. Wind is western, warm, piercing, with speed like the draft from airplanes at take off. Firn, open spaces. I can't even think of setting up a labaz here. It's nearly 4. Have to start looking for a place to pitch the tent. We go south in the Auspiya valley. Seems this place has the deepest snow. Wind not strong, snow 1.22 m deep. We’re exhausted, but start setting up for the night. Firewood is scarce, mostly damp firs. We build the campfire on the logs, too tired to dig a fire pit. Dinner’s in the tent. Nice and warm. Can’t imagine such comfort on the ridge, with howling wind outside, hundreds of kilometers away from human settlements.

Dyatlov Pass: 31 January 1959, Death is not far behind...

Photo by Yuri Krivonischenko. In the foreground, without a backpack, stands Igor Dyatlov and looks somewhere to the left of the photographer. His left knee in the snow, obviously Igor was kneeling when he took off his backpack. From the left, behind Igor, is Nikolay Thibeaux-Brignolle, he took off his ski boot and looked at the photographer. Resisting the force of the wind, Igor and Nikolay inclined their bodies forward. In the background is Lyuda Dubinina, she turns away from the wind and looks around, looks at the one who follows her. She has a small backpack on her back. The presence of a small backpack on the back of Lyuda Dubinina. She had a leg wound, so the guys tried to make the weight of her backpack as easy as possible. Behind her another figure is visible, most likely it's Aleksander Kolevatov. The group came to the foot of the pass and stopped at the edge of the forest. Around the small crooked birches and spruce. The weather is very different from what it was in the valley of the Auspiya river. On the pass there is a strong wind, blizzard, low visibility is bad at 100 - 200 m.

...We gradually leave the Auspiya valley, the rise is continuous, but quite smooth. Fir trees are replaced by wispy birch-wood. We came out of the tree line. Wind is western, warm, penetrating. The speed of the wind is similar to the air draft created by a taking off airplane. Firn, open spaces. I can't even start thinking of setting up a labaz. It's close to 4.


Dyatlov Pass: 31 January 1959, Death is not far behind...

Photo by Yuri Krivonischenko. In Russian this photo is dubbed "Совет в Филях" or Council of Fili after a famous painting by Aleksey Kivshenko. It seems like there were members of the group that were sent out to scout the pass, and they just came back. Very interesting shot - it recorded one of the important moments in the fate of the group. The hikers stopped at a halt, on the border of the forest, to put on warm clothes and prepare for further ascent in the mountain. While the group was gathering firewood, Dyatlov and Kolevatov went further up to assess the conditions. Igor Dyatlov on the left, talking to Semyon Zolotaryov. Igor is on the skis, Aleksander Kolevatov listens to what Igor is saying and looks at Semyon or at some of the guys behind him. To the right is Semyon Zolotaryov, he threw a jacket on his shoulders and listens attentively to what Igor is saying with a serious expression on his face. Behind Semyon is Yura Doroshenko, he goes to his backpack. In the background on skis is Rustem Slobodin with a heavy backpack, with boots on top of it. On the previous photo there was an ax sticking out of his backpack, now it's not there. They are cutting wood for the night. Rustem warms his hands in his pockets and looks at Lyuda and Nikolay. Next to him on the ski is Zina Kolmogorova. She is slightly bent forward and puts her left arm on her shoulder strap from the backpack. Near Zina on the right, stands Nikolay Thibeaux-Brignolle on skis, on his shoulders hangs a heavy backpack. With his right hand Nikolay is helping Zina to put her backpack on her shoulders. In the foreground, with his back, next to the dwarf birch, stands Lyuda Dubinina. She warms her hands in the pockets of her trousers and looks at the guys. On the snow there are two backpacks, one is Yuri Doroshenko's, and the second must be Semyon Zolotaryov's. To the backpacks are attached brush and firewood for the stove. The group stands in a small hollow on the edge of the forest. From the right of the group is a small hill, on which grow dwarf, ugly birches. Strong headwind, blizzard, visibility no more than 100 m. This photo captures a key moment. What happened here? It may seem that Igor, as the head of the group, made a gross mistake, led the hikers to a radial ascent without having made a cache site and the group was in extremely unfavorable conditions. Here everything depended on the further choice of the route. ...Today, probably, we will build a labaz. ... Apparently, there was no certainty, Igor himself did not know exactly where they would build the labaz? If the group was going to follow the route; the river Auspiya - the river Lozva - mountain Otorten, they should overcome a pass and go down to a valley of the river Lozva. The ascent to the Mt Otorten, by plan, was supposed to happen from the valley of Lozva river, but then they would not need need the brush and firewood before going through the pass. The group reached the pass early, and during lunch, Dyatlov decided to stack up with firewood and go up the pass for an overnight on the ridge. There was still enough bright time of day to continue the trek for the day. Igor intended to raise the group with full equipment to Mt Kholat Syakhl. There he planned to spend a cold overnight, then to cross the northern peaks of the Kholat Syakhl and descend to the valley of the Lozva river, build a labaz and continue to Mt Otorten.

After careful consideration Igor decided that the exercise to spend the night on the pass will make more sense if they leave the extra load here. On this photo is captured the moment when Igor is explaining to Zolotaryov his change of plan:

  • go back to Auspiya river for a warm and sheltered campsite
  • make a cache site, leave an extra load
  • next day continue to Mt Otorten without descending from the pass. They would have already built the labaz and left the extra load on Auspiya river. The standard route to go up Mt Otorten was from Lozva river. Dyatlov had a different idea in mind - once on top of the pass to continue on the ridge light from extra weight, trek easily on firm ice on the ridge of Mt Kholat Syakhl without loss of altitude, and spend a warm night on the lake, the source of Lozva river
  • make an ascent to Mt Otorten and set off on the return journey.


1 February

The official version is that on February 1 the group started out late, covered 2 km only and pitched a tent on the open ridge for a "cold" overnight i.e. without firewood.

Dyatlov group had to prepare a note for the ascent to Mt Otorten, but instead they write Evening Otorten №1, a satirical propaganda leaflet.

The hoax

  • In Discovery "Russian Yeti: The killer lives" Libecki quotes a cryptic passage written in a newspaper the students brought with them “From now on we know that the snowmen exist”.
  • Numerous sites plain misquote Evening Otorten №1 paragraph. Here is an example:
    In the trek “newspaper”, where they typically “reported” humorous events, was this: “From now on we know the Snowmen exist. They can be found in the Northern Ural, next to Mt Otorten”.

The reality
The only written piece where snowman (or Yeti) is mentioned is in Evening Otorten №1, the satirical propaganda leaflet Dyatlov Group put together at the night of the incident. The case file does not contain a photo of this flyer, only a transcript of its content. You might think that researchers would want to consult the original document in order to independently authenticate such an apparently important clue, but they do not.

Dyatlov Pass: Evening Otorten
Dyatlov Pass: Evening Otorten


We have to guess what their plans were.

  • They were carrying the stove and even though they did not used it that night it means that they were planning on using it at least once before their return back to the labaz.
  • They pitched the tent on the ridge although they had the time to go down to Lozva river. The only reason to do that is to continue in the morning on high grounds towards Otorten, where it is easier to ski on firm snow.

The conclusion is that they planned to have more "warm" overnight on February 2 at lake Lunthusaptur (Лунтхусаптур) under Mt Otorten where the source of Lozva starts. They must have planned to make the note for the ascent then.

On the morning of February 3 make an ascent to Mt Otorten, and replace the note that was there with their own. Then they pack their tent and start their way back.

They allegedly spend another "cold" overnight on February 3 on Kholat Syakhl.

On February 4 the group was supposed to go back to their labaz on Auspiya river.

From the campsite on February 1 to Mt Otorten is about 18 km. Taking into account the return journey, that makes 36 km. The group planned to leave on February 1 and return on February 4 to the labaz, the group had to take products for 3 days.
The upcoming route was r. Auspiya - lake Lunthusaptur - Mt Otorten - r. Auspiya. They started late on February 1 because they waited for the weather to clear out. They wrote Evening Otorten №1, built a cache site (labaz), gather firewood for the return back. Then after lunch, Dyatlov took the risk and lead the group up the the mountain Kholat Syakhl.

Dyatlov Pass is not where the group was headed (look at the map). The pass is the place to go over Kholat Syakhl if you are going to come down. Some people speculate that Dyatlov got lost and didn't find the pass. This is not true. The group didn't intend to go though the pass. They wanted to gain altitude and stay on the ridge for a "cold" overnight i.e. without firewood. They went 2 km and about 3 pm setup a camp site - see the photos below.

On February 2 the group was supposed to cover 14 - 14.5 km on a firm snow, reach lake Lunthusaptur and to have a "warm" overnight. That's way they took the stove with them and was found in the tent, not used on the tragic night of February 1.


What happened on the night of February 1, 1959 is haunting us till this day.

We have our own theory of how the tragedy went down published in "1079 - The overwhelming force of Dyatlov Pass".



Dyatlov Pass Contact
Dyatlov Pass Newsletter
Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion