Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova (Zina)


Music Yuri Vizbor, "Dva Kogutaya". Colorization by Steve Halliday.


Zinaida Alekseevna Kolmogorova (Zina)

Born on 12 Jan 1937, USSR, in village of Cheremhovo, Kamenskiy district, Chelyabinsk region (since 1942 - Sverdlovsk region).
Kolmogorova was a 5th year student at the UPI University as a Radio Engineering Major. She was an experienced hiker who had her share of difficulties. During one of her trips Zina was bitten by a viper. Despite pain and suffering she refused lighten her load, unwilling to cause hardship to others. She was very outgoing and energetic. People who knew her said that she was the "engine of the University". She was always full of ideas and was liked by everyone. As a result people were naturally drawn to her, especially children. Zina had exceptionally sociable character, and despite her popularity in school, she treated everyone with fondness and respect.

Her father, Aleksey Ivanovich, had been disabled at the front; he worked at Kamensk-Uralsky non-ferrous metal works. Her mother, Varvara Vasilyevna, was a disabled person of group III. From childhood, Zina was a responsible and diligent girl, used to help her parents and sisters. After graduating from a vocational school at the Kamensk-Uralsky radio factory and then an evening secondary school for working youth, Zina was admitted to the UPI. In 1959 she was a 5th year student of its radio-engineering department. She had an experience of eight hikes, in the two of which she was the group leader. As a member of the bureau of the UPI hiking club, she had earlier been elected as a member and chairwoman of the Qualifying Commission of the UPI hiking club.

Zinaida Kolmogorova diary Zinaida Kolmogorova diary

Zina Kolmogorova had gone to six expeditions. Four were of the 2nd degree of difficulty – an intermediate level – and she was a always going to the treks leaded by Igor Dyatlov. Like Igor himself, Zina was interested in radio and studied Radio Engineering at the UPI. The two were always seen together. A photo of her was found later in his notebook. If she had any romantic feelings towards Igor, however, there’s not the slightest clue in her personal letter to him (dated 16 January 1959) from Kamensk where, she worked at a radio plant. In her letter, she only asks Igor to update her on how things were going with regard to the preparations for the expedition.

"Everywhere she went, she filled the place with the pleasant breath of her soul." – Yuri Yudin

Kolmogorova died at the age of 22. She is buried on March 9, 1959, in Mihaylovskoe cemetery, Yekaterinburg, Sverdlovsk Oblast, Russia. The funeral »

Zina Kolmogorova letter home January 26, 1959

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

Zina Kolmogorova letter home

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

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Valentina Tokareva (Baldova) January 24, 1959 sent from Serov city

Valentina Tokareva Baldova
Valentina Tokareva (Baldova)

My dearest Valya! Here we are on our way to the mountains. You want to hear a surprise? Yuri Doroshenko is coming with us. I really don’t know how I’ll feel. I am treating him like anyone else, but it’s really hard, because we are together and yet we’re not together.

Everybody is asleep now. Next to me are Yudin, Krivonischenko, Kolevatov, and they send their greetings to you. And Rustem Slobodin, too. The train is going, in 3 hours we will be in Serov. Behind the windows stands the Ural taiga. All the same it feels great to be alive in this world, my dear. You know, this mood, when you are sad and happy at the same time. Somewhere Kamensk is waiting for me to go to work. So far I’m finishing writing, since we just left and, it seems, the controller came, and we, as always, do not all have tickets.

Live, Valyushka, rejoice in the good. What if there is sadness sometimes? After all, one must live! True? We need to see only the good in life, and then it will be more fun to live. I give you my word that everything will be all right. (Today I am very sad, because he walks hand by the hand with one of the girls. I am jealous.)

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva January 22, 1959

Zina Kolmogorova and Lidiya Grigoryeva on a trek to the Northern Ural in 1957

More photos from this trek to the Northern Ural in 1957

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva - page 1

My dear Lida!
I arrived today at the institute, went to the post office and got your letter and was so happy. I came from Kamensk where I had several days of practice, and here I am again at the institute, I came to take part in a hike. I am going with Dyatlov to the Northern Ural. And you understand, Lida, Yurka is coming with us too. I didn’t want him to come. Can you imagine how the healing wounds will be opened again. I was very calm in Kamensk, although not a day passed that I didn’t think of him, but I managed to remember without pain in my heart, only sadness.
Yes, Lidushka, who to believe after all this? And here we are again, together on an expedition. He asked to join the group. They took him, but they didn’t tell me to the very end. He settled the whole thing with the backpacks and he was allowed to go hiking. Liduska, this is going to be a very hard trip for me, you understand that, right? I think I can treat him like everyone else, I will at least try. After all, he was able to go with a group where I am, which means I must also pull myself together. I’ll try, but it is going to be difficult, because I love him, Lida!

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva - page 2

Here we are together again, but not together. I will be fastened, Lida! Just give a word that I will. Our composition is as follows:

1. Dyatlov
2. Thibault N. - he works in Sverdlovsk
3. Krivonischenko Yurka
4. Yudin
5. Vishnevskiy
6. Bienko
5. 7. Kolevatov
6. 8. Dubinina
7. 9. I 9. Slobodin
8. 10. Doroshenko 10. Zolotaryov

(note: Grigoryeva deleted Vishnevsky and Bienko and added Slobodin and Zolotaryov)

The group is ok, I don't know how will it be the moment we go. Will we quarrel. After all, Kolevatov is with us. Gosya Dyatlov works in the laboratory, completes the diploma project in practice, not much of a life, not friends with anybody (of the girls of course). Zhenya Ch. leads a group, they have a very late vacation now, they didn’t ask to do anything together. Kolya Tregubov is still the same, he has matured, though he doesn’t go on a hike, he has gone home.

Yes, Lidushechka, I have to deal with the instructors and for this I need bunch of references.

1) As a person, from the Komsomol.
2) As a hiker from the section office
3) Fill in the instructor card and certify

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva - page 3

and I forgot what else. Not done it yet.
Five-year students went single (Bartolomey) and two (Petya Shtiglitz). We went well. Now very, very! many groups are going. Valya Baldova is working in Kamensk. Not much of a life, goes skiing. Look, Lidochka, what do I look like after cutting my hair. It's not the best photo, but have it for keepsake.
Well, that's all for now. Write me back, Lida, how is work, do you like it at the factory, is it difficult to organize a section? How are your personal affairs? What's new, tell me everything. Okay? And now here is my address:
Sverdl.obl. Kamensk-Uralskiy 9
Poste restante Z. Kolmogorova

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva - page 4

I wish you the very best to be happy, unlike some. Thank you very much for the New Year greetings. You made me so happy. In April and in the evening we’ll come up with something. I, too, will not be at the institute until June 1, and we have practical certification in Kamensk. - Well, for now, Lidusenka, write, I am really looking forward to it. Though I don't write very often.
Is it true Lida? I am already missing the institute team at the factory. After all, I think to work there. There is no section there, I have to organize it, it will be difficult.
So far, dear, write about everything. Kiss tight Zina
Many greetings from everyone, the whole group to you, warm greetings from UPI to you and your new friends.

added across the text: - Lida, we are going camping now. Someone will write to you now.

on the back of the photo: - A friend of my hiking days! In memory of a good past and in honor of a beautiful future Liduska
from Z. Kolmogorova Sverdlovsk

Krivonischenko and Thibeaux-Brignolle notes January 23, 1959 sent together with Zina's letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva

Krivonischenko note to Lidiya Grigoryeva

Lidka! Salute!
It's me, Yurka, who happens to be whiskered! Where are you now? Write, dear! I'm waiting!
I will be in Sverdlovsk until March in after I come back from the expedition. I am going with Dyatlov, and then I will go to Krasnoyarsk. Come to meet us when we come from the hike! Aw! Engineering! Ho-ho-ho Well, okay, greetings from Kolka Popov, mustachioed and gloomy! (signed G. Krivonischenko)

Thibeaux-Brignolle note to Lidiya Grigoryeva - page 4

Hey, Lida!
Greetings from a room full of bags, tents and all sorts of food. We go camping for Chistop.
I listened to your letter with great attention - you describe the situation quite correctly. It's good.
That's all.
Hello from our roaming fraternity.
23.I.1959 (signed K. Tibo)

← Text on the note showing to the left:

Lidka! Salute!
It's me, Yurka, who happens to be whiskered! Where are you now? Write, dear! I'm waiting!
I will be in Sverdlovsk until March in after I come back from the expedition. I am going with Dyatlov, and then I will go to Krasnoyarsk. Come to meet us when we come from the hike! Aw! Engineering! Ho-ho-ho Well, okay, greetings from Kolka Popov, mustachioed and gloomy! (signed G. Krivonischenko)

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Dyatlov January 16, 1959

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Dyatlov

Hi, Igor!
Belated happy birthday, wish you all the best, great and challenging treks, and very successful defense of your dissertation.
I am in Kamensk, I’m sitting at the factory now, today is the second day, I’m in the North-Kazakhstan region, I read the frequency response and blueprints, they will give me something to draw soon.
Igor, you know what. Write as soon as possible when we leave. I can come on the 22nd in the morning, but I would very much like to stay here longer, because my family will arrive only on the 21st. And I would like to get a diploma topic. And without them they won’t give me anything. I want to practice here until the 20th, i.e. in SKO, and where I will go after that I don't know yet. Today or tomorrow I’m going to look for Valya Baldova. I think I'll find her. In fact, it’s boring here somehow right after the institute, there isn’t the usual noisy crowd of hikers here, at least I don’t know them yet, if any; Say hello to all of our "Khibiny". How is the preparation going?

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Dyatlov

How can I help here? What's new at the institute? How does the 4th course from our group pass? Has Nikola Popov arrived or not? Is Verkhoturov coming with us? (it doesn't matter that the last name was correctly written). In general, Igor, write immediately so that I know when to leave. After all, today is already the 16th.
That is all for now bye.
Many, many greetings to all our hikers, I’m bored here without you.
Looking forward to your prompt response Zina
Yes, my address:
city Kamensk-Uralskiy, St Zhdanova 9,
house 23 room 7
Z.A Kolmogorova

Zina Kolmogorova letter to Lidiya Grigoryeva December 1958

Здравствуй, Лидочка!

Вот видишь, я тебе тоже не сразу отвечаю. Сначала как-то все хотела сделать и послать, но все было некогда, и вот, наконец, собралась. Я оформила тебе карточку, где что недописано, так ты напиши сама. Посылаю тебе руководящие материалы. Наверное, надо тебе для начала работы.

Я так рада, Лида, за тебя, что ты так быстро, так здорово освоилась с коллективом, смогла повести людей в нужном направлении. Мы тоже кончаем, тоже скоро придется с этим столкнуться, т.к. туризмом заниматься я думаю и дальше. Здесь все так же идет жизнь, куча новичков, очень много, около спортклуба все шумят, кричат. Провели агитпоход в Смолинские пещеры. Просто здорово было! А ходили, в основном, новички. Мы сдаем экзамены сейчас. Нынче зимой идут 2 тройки на Припол. и на Сев.Урал.

Игорь Д. ведет тройку на Северный, но не в наши каникулы. В это время у нас практика, не знаю, как все получится, смогу ли пойти с ними. А хочется. Ведь это последняя возможность пойти в зимнюю тройку.

Лида, а с Юрой мы больше не дружим. Удивилась, наверное. Да? Все удивляются. Даже не разговариваем, не здороваемся, он уже с другой девчонкой ходит везде. Я сначала здорово переживала, похудела, извелась вся, а теперь уже как-то успокаиваюсь. Прошло уже 2 месяца, как мы не дружим. Летом он все время приезжал ко мне в Каменск, каждую субботу.

Приехала я сюда после практики тоже все хорошо было, а потом я стала замечать, что он очень ко мне изменился. Видишь ли, он написал про меня своей маме, она ответила ему, чтобы он не дурел, не сходил с ума, что я старше его, ведь он еще молод, да и друзья это же говорили. Вот он и начал говорить, что хочет свободы (как будто бы я его держала), что я ему мешаю. Ну вот так и поссорились, вернее даже не ссорились, а просто перестали замечать друг друга. Он сейчас очень изменился, очень просто. Ходит все время на танцы, вначале совсем не показывался в секции, т.к. я старалась найти там свое утешение, а сейчас ничего. Ходим иногда вместе в походы, но старательно не замечаем друг друга. Об одном я, Люда, жалею, что он был много-много раз у нас дома. Знаешь ведь, деревня, все уже так и думали, что мы, если не поженились, так поженимся. А сейчас просто стыдно домой ехать.

Сейчас одна просто не могу ни с кем быть после него, даже смотреть не могу ни на кого, а с ним больше не будем вместе, я это уже точно знаю. Вот такие личные мои дела, Лида.

Как у тебя дела на этом фронте? Знаешь, 5-ый курс, свадьбы, свадьбы. Грустно немного, но ничего. Рита Митр. вышла замуж за Толю? Мур. Была туристско-групповая свадьба. Подарили байдарку им. Здорово, правда? Так вроде бы особенно нового ничего нет, вернее все новое, в то же время, как и всегда все бурлит, кипит, пенится.

Наш отчет прошел здорово хорошо. Всем понравился. Группа Меникеса прошла маршрут Шустовской группы. Сейчас о них ни слуху ни духу.

Никто не пишет, не пишет и Ослонов(?). Скоро Новый Год, все собираются идти в поход, а у нас в группе свадьба. Люба Сок. выходит замуж и не придется идти в поход поэтому. Так жаль, так жаль.

Лидочка, хоть и заранее, но поздравляю тебя с новым годом, желаю тебе всего, всего самого хорошего, какое только можно придумать в работе, в спорте, в любви и вообще во всем. Желаю большого большого счастья.

Целую крепко. С приветом Зина.

Привет твоим новым товарищам и тебе от всех наших туристов УПИ.

Hi, Lidochka!

You see, I don't answer you right away either. At first I wanted to do and send everything, but there was no time, and now, finally, I got ready. I made you a card, where something is left unfinished, you write it yourself. I am sending you the guidelines. You probably need them to get started.

I am so glad for you, Lida, that you so quickly, so coolly got used to the team, and were able to lead people in the right direction. We also finish, too soon we will have to face it, because I think to continue hiking. Life is still going on here, a lot of newcomers, a lot, everyone is noisy and shouting all around the sports club. Qent on an agitation trek to the Smolinskie caves. It was just great! And there were mostly new members. We are taking exams now. This winter there are two 3rd category treks going to Subpolar and Northern Ural.

Igor D. leads a 3rd category to the North, but not during our holidays. At this time we have practice, I don't know how everything will turn out, if I can go with them. And I want to. After all, this is the last chance to go on a 3rd category in winter.

Lida, we are no longer friends with Yuri. Surprising, isn’t it? Everyone is surprised. We’re not even talking, not saying hello to each other. He’s already going everywhere with another girl. At first, I was heartbroken, I lost weight, I was exhausted, but now I've somehow calmed down. It’s two months now that we haven’t been together. Last summer, he would come to see me in Kamensk every Saturday.

When I came back here after practical training, everything was still fine, but then I began to notice that he had changed. You see, he wrote to his mother about me, she replied that he would be a fool and fall for me, that I was older than him, and he was still young. His friends were saying the same. Then he started telling me that he wanted freedom (as if I was holding him down!), that I was standing in his way. Well, that's how we parted company, without quarreling: we simply began to ignore each other. He has changed a lot. He’s going to dances all the time; at first, he wouldn’t show up at the club at all, as that was where I was trying to find comfort, but now it’s all over. We sometimes go hiking together, but we take care to avoid each other. One thing I regret, Lida, is that he visited our place so many times. You know, in the village they all thought that if we weren’t married yet, we would soon be. And now I’m ashamed to go home.

After him I can’t be with anyone else, I can't even look at anyone, and he and I won't ever be together again, I know that for sure. That’s is the current state of my private affairs, Lida.

How are you doing on this front? You know, 5th year, weddings, weddings. It's a little sad, but nothing. [Marga]Rita Mitrofanova married Tol(?) Mur. There was a hiking group wedding. Gave them a kayak. Great, isn't it? So it seems that there is nothing particularly new, or rather everything is new, at the same time, as always, everything is boiling, seething, frothing.

Our report went pretty well. Everyone liked it. Menikesz's group passed the route of the Shustov group. And no more news about them.

Nobody writes, nor does Oslonov(?). New Year is coming soon, everyone is going to hike, and we have a wedding in our group. Lyuba Sokolova gets married and does not have to go camping therefore. I am so going to miss her.

Lidochka, albeit in advance, but I wish you a Happy New Year, I wish you everything, all the best that you can think of in work, in sports, in love and in general in everything. I wish you great happiness.

I kiss you with all my heart. Best, Zina.

Greetings to your new comrades and to you from all UPI hikers.


Zina wrote to her friend Lidiya Grigoryeva. The letter was written during the exams "We are taking exams now", that is, in the period December 13-27, 1958. The dates of exams and tests in December 1958 are known from Zina's record book - see below.

Personal archive


Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi visited Svredlovsk in June 1955. It looks like in the 38 sec the camera caught Zina in the crowd. See only the frames with Zina.

Zinaida Kolmogorova in color

Zinaida Kolmogorova documents


Dyatlov Pass Contact
Dyatlov Pass Newsletter
Dyatlov Pass: Open Discussion