Dyatlov Pass

HEIGHT 1079

Around 5 PM on February 1, 1959, nine skiers from Ural Polytechnic Institute club, hurried by a snowstorm and the fall of darkness, set up a tent on a slope of Mount Kholat-Syakhyl.

It was the fifth day of a ski trek. The last populated places, Ivdel, Vizhai, 41st Sector, 2nd North, had been left far behind. Lethargic snowy stillness of Northern Urals stretched for miles away in all directions.

Igor Dyatlov’s group’s main hike for the trip out to Mount Otorten is scheduled for tomorrow. After a supper of hardtack and jerky, the “Dyatlovs” are ready to call it a night: they shed their boots and jackets, and wrap themselves in cotton blankets.

The tenth skier injured himself and withdrew from the trip in a village near 2nd North. He will live an ordinary life of an official in a small Northern town and will safely retire. A different fate, of rare and darkly sort, is awaiting the nine hikers on the mountain slope. In mere hours, they will die incomprehensibly bizarre deaths...