There was never any labaz


3 February 2023. All rights reserved

Digging up the labaz
Digging up the labaz. The supplies are loaded in backpacks.

There are many that do not believe that labaz was made the Dyatlov group. If we look at the route of the group - they did not plan to climb to the sources of the Auspiya river. Further, the group's camp site was not found nearby where the labaz was found. No cut trees were found for the said labaz. Remember how clearly sawn stumps from fir trees were found near the den (where the four bodies were found in May). There were logs of 5-6 centimeters, and here, we see in the photos trees 10-12 cm thick. And there are at least a dozen of them.

To find the "cache site" of the Dyatlov group command was given to the searchers immediately (dropped in a canister to the Slobtsov group on February 25). It is understandable - after the tent, the labaz is one of the most important search points.

Did they find it? No. But if Dyatlov built a labaz he should have noted its location on the maps ("Yurka Kri is behind and makes topos of the route"). All maps, drawings and diaries are in Maslennikov's hands, but he does not give an order to look for the labaz on neither 27th, nor on the 28th of February, nor on the 1st of March. At this point of the search someone could still be alive at the the labaz. Many argued with me that Igor Dyatlov did not mark anything anywhere, therefore Evegeniy Maslennikov did not give the order to find it. But we read in Maslennikov's testimony (case files 71):
"In the maps of the route of the group it is marked that the hikers left cache of products (labaz) in the upper sources of Auspiya river. On 2 March 1959 the group of Kurikov and Slobtsov found the storage site. It was constructed in the upper Auspiya river, 100 m from the river bank, 500 meters below the end of the forest."

At the found labaz
At the found labaz
Ivanov in the base camp on Auspiya
Ivanov in the base camp on Auspiya

The searchers have four Mansi, tree of which are sober (at least in the first days), that took part in the search. Here is a photo of Mansi Anyamov at the labaz buried in the snow. For them, to find traces of a group of 9 people in the forest would very easy. Any hunter will say that in winter, traces in the forest always remain. Supposedly dozen cut down trees in a familiar forest to help them. And then there are teh drawings of the hikers! The only explanation is that the order to search for it was not given because they would have found it in half an hour, or even less. Why? Because the labaz was not there yet, food, mandolin and teh rest of it. Until March 1, when a helicopter brought all this with Ivanov, and Captain Chernyshev's group quickly buried it in the snow. During the night, a little snowfall "powder", and on March 2 Maslennikov (Ivanov) gave the go-ahead.

- 2 -

Radiograms (case files 159):
Received by Temnikov 28.2 1315
"Maslennikov is not here, he is in the mountains will be back in about an hour. I was at Dyatlov tent there are backpacks 9 pcs a few storm jackets, 3.5 pairs of felt boots, eight pairs of boots one pair is missing and - other personal items and food supplies but not all the products some of it should be somewhere else. Nevolin"

First photo of the labaz
The first photo of the labaz. Not dug up yet. Marked with one ski and torn gaiter.

In the photo above, click on it for a larger size picture, I clearly see how something, like a wide shovel, was raking snow over the labaz. Take a closer look in the lower right corner, it is clearly visible, and in the center. Covered recently.

And for a month these traces were not even covered with snow and the wind did not sweep them up? This means the traces are recent. It's my opinion. "Vadik Brusnitsyn and I were given the task to find the damn labaz, since it was mentioned in the diary. Of course, we found it a few days later with all the things and food left behind." From an interview with Boris Slobtsov "Rescue work in the Northern Urals, February 1959, Dyatlov Pass", EX magazine, №46, 2007

From Chervyakov and Sazonova interview with Boris Slobtsov, Moscow, August 17, 2014:

  • Then you start looking for the labaz. Did you know about the existence of the labaz from some documents?
  • From a diary...
  • According to the diaries that are now known, it’s just not clear. Because Zina writes in 2 days we are going to make a labaz, and the last entry from Igor is that they don’t even want to think about what to do about the labaz. From the diares that we access to it is not clear whether they made a labaz or not, and if they did, then where was it. Maybe there were more diaries that were not included in the case files?
  • Perhaps.
  • Also they had to mark on the maps they drew on the route where they made the labaz?
  • Well maybe...
  • And when you were told to go look for the labaz, did you have any documents? Maps? Or did Ortyukov or Maslennikov tell you where to go?
  • We were told, I don't remember who told us.

Mansi Aleksey Alekseevich Anyamov and Stepan Nikolaevich Kurikov in the base camp on Auspiya.
I am confident that the Mansi were fully capable to find anything in their forest.

- 3 -

Akselrod recollections:
"In the far corner of the tent was a diary with the date of the last entry - February 2, 1959. That is, the hikers just started the route. In the valley of Auspiya, they built a labaz - laying food and equipment that is unnecessary above the border of the forest. This indicated that the guys went to the ascent light, intending to return to the base camp in a couple of days. The diary entries of that evening are perfectly calm and do not indicate any drama, nothing foreboding. The time is not so late, the guys are having dinner slowly, remembering past trips, someone is already making plans for the future and going to bed." Wait, what February 2?

The labaz from the diary is above the edge of the forest. And the labaz they found is in a hole in the ground in the forest!

Or, maybe after all, there were entries about the labaz (there must be) in other diaries that we have not seen, or Akselrod is mistaken. In my opinion Moisey was quite an experienced sportsmen, already a master who graduated from the UPI, psychologically stronger than Maslennikov, and "ready for contact". The Bodies notice such people. I am sure that Akselrod not only slept in the same bag with Ivanov on the Pass, but also saw all the true diaries of the group in his office. And even saw the "Evening Otorten".

Sheet from Maslennikov's notebook from February 27, 1959.
Sheet from Maslennikov's notebook from February 27, 1959.

How many pairs of skis, being the property of the UPI, returned according to the inventory to the UPI? - None. Moreover, Kolmogorova's sister claims that the skis are not theirs at all. It is known from Krivonischenko's letter that he had his own skis, which does not exclude the fact that he could have received state-owned ones.

The Great Five. Radio operator Egor Nevolin in the center.
"The Great Five". Radio operator Egor Nevolin in the center.

Gennadiy Kizilov:
"It's amazing how smoothly is teh task executed. They had just reached the left bank of the Auspiya, when the "almost imperceptible" ski trail was already waiting for the searchers. Wasting no time, they split into two units, and the unit, which went down the Auspiya, after 5 kilometers discovered the "previous" camp of the Dyatlov group. Like a fairy tale….
But for the labaz they had to search for a long time, and didn't find it ... Because it was not there ... .. (a hole in the snow filled with food) didn't have time for more. And when it was made and filled, then on the same day they "found" ....
Clearly there was a rush: a hole was dug in the snow instead of building at least a small raised platform (it is no longer possible to build a whole scaffold because there is a large camp of searchers nearby, people will definitely notice the construction, and rumors will start and nothing can stop them form reaching the regional committee of the CPSU). They indiscriminately pushed things of the Dyatlov group into this pit. Sugar, salt, mandolin were placed in the snow. Ersatz-labaz (a substitute of the real thing) was created in pursuit of time. They searched for it for many days in clear weather, but did not find it. And then they suddenly found it in a snowstorm on March 2. Isn't it strange?"

- 4 -

Maya Piskareva interview with Vladimir Androsov from Vizhay (
"MP: What can you say about the labaz of the Dyatlov group in the photo?
VA: I don't see any labaz.
MP: This one, where a ski is stuck in the snow, and a gaiter are on it ....
VA: If the labaz is in the snow the animals will destroy it, or people themselves can have hard time finding it. Labaz should be on a high place, so animals can not reach it and it is visible from afar. It is usually built between two adjacent trees, crossbars are installed - thick tree trunks, with a diameter of 12-14 centimeters. For strength. And they put on them what they wanted to leave: food, something extra from clothes, spare skis, etc. A large burnt rag is tied nearby, the smell of the rag will scare away the animals. Or spent shotgun shells, they smell like gunpowder, anything that smells, a piece of rag doused with gasoline, something like that. And only desperate idiots who don't know anything about the taiga, amateurs, could make a labaz in the snow, and such people should not hike in the taiga. All of them must first take an exam like "Fundamentals of Survival in the Taiga", and only then let them go along the route. So they can survive...
MP: Building is not like digging a hole in the snow, is it?
VA: The word "labaz" itself implies the installation of a stock of something in the trees, but not in the snow. They couldn't do that..."

"At the labaz. When we arrived (in May) there was already a very trampled track to the labaz on Auspiya. We reached it without difficulty, by the way, knowing in advance that there was already nothing there, that it had been empty for a long time. Therefore, we didn't hang around for long. As for the exact reference to the terrain, I did not find a single decent scheme (or better, maps) to try to put a reference point for the labaz." says Vladimir Askinadzi in an interview with Maya Piskareva (

Photo from May 1959
Photos from the archive of Vladimir Askinadzi with comments by Vladimir Mihaylovich himself. Photo by Tolya Mohov.

This photo is made in May, 1959. Do you see birch bark on the ground anywhere?



The storage site where Dyatlov group left provisions for their way back and lighten their backpacks for the ascend. In different sources they call the site "labaz". Mansi rise platforms to store their game to pick it up later. Dyatlov group labaz seems to be constructed in haste – in a snow pit, rather than in trees beyond the reach of animals, as it was more common. In last entry of the group diary on January 31 Dyatlov wrote "I can't even start thinking of setting up a labaz". That can explain why the labaz was in this pitiful state. One item in particular raises questions: Dyatlov’s boots. Why continue on ski without his boots? Yudin’s answer was that, with this particular straps over the ski boots it was possible to ski in valenki and, moreover, Krivonischenko, for one, preferred to ski in his felt boots as well. Then, presuming they will be on their skis the whole time an extra ski boots will make uncomfortable extra weight. Their cache was found marked with one ski propped in the snow and a gaiter slipped onto it. See Protocol inspection of the storage (labaz).

Dyatlov Pass: Dyatlov group storage site
Dyatlov group storage site more photos »
Dyatlov Pass: Mansi labaz
Mansi labaz



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