Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Historical Nonfiction Bestseller, True Story Book of Survival) Info

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A New York Times and Wall Street Journal Nonfiction
Bestseller! — What happened that night on Dead
Mountain?

The mystery of Dead Mountain: In February
1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains
died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects
of the mountain climbing incident—unexplained violent injuries,
signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or
shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and
elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have
led to decades of speculation over the true stories and what really
happened.
As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the
Skin Walker:
This New York Times bestseller, Dead
Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident,
is a
gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the untold story
of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers' own
journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of
interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in
the Russian winter.
You'll love this real-life
tale:
Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young
adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the
hikers' narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's
investigations. Here for the first time is a historical nonfiction
bestseller with the real story of what happened that night on Dead
Mountain.

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Historical Nonfiction Bestseller, True Story Book of Survival):

4

Aug 05, 2016

How’s this for a mystery?

In February 1959, nine Russian hikers ventured into the Ural Mountains and never returned. When searchers went looking for them, they discovered a distressing scene. The hikers’ tent had been cut open. Despite ample supplies, the hikers’ bodies were found outside the tent only partially dressed. Six of the hikers had succumbed to hypothermia, but others showed signs of head trauma. One of the corpses had a missing tongue. Of course, since this was the Soviet Union – How’s this for a mystery?

In February 1959, nine Russian hikers ventured into the Ural Mountains and never returned. When searchers went looking for them, they discovered a distressing scene. The hikers’ tent had been cut open. Despite ample supplies, the hikers’ bodies were found outside the tent only partially dressed. Six of the hikers had succumbed to hypothermia, but others showed signs of head trauma. One of the corpses had a missing tongue. Of course, since this was the Soviet Union – land of nuclear mishaps – some of the hikers’ clothing showed signs of radiation.

It presents as quite a puzzle. Like something you might hear on Coast to Coast A.M., when you’re driving cross country late at night, and all the rest of the world is asleep.

Unsurprisingly, there have been many different theories as to the fate of young Igor Dyatlov and his eight companions. They range from the mundane (avalanche) to the insane (aliens). In between people have posited that the hikers were attacked by wild animals; that they were murdered because they saw some sort of secret weapon being tested; or that the radiation on their bodies somehow ties into a vast web of interlocking plots that coalesced on the slopes of the Holatchahl Mountain and required the slaughter of the seven men and two women, all of whom were students at the Ural Polytechnic Institute, and who belonged to a hiking club seeking their Grade III certification.


23 year-old Igor Dyatlov, who lent his name to one of mountaineering's enduring mysteries

Dead Mountain is documentarian-turned-investigator-turned-author Donnie Eichar’s attempt to solve a riddle that has fascinated people for years.

Eichar tells his story in alternating chapters that toggle between the Dyatlov group’s final excursion into the Urals, and Eichar’s own search for answers. Both the present and latter day sections demonstrate Eichar’s commitment to his project. He twice traveled to Russia; he retraced the footsteps of the hikers; he got hold of the complete police files and had them translated; he spoke with local experts; and he even scored an interview with Yuri Yudin, the tenth member of the Dyatlov group who had to turn back before his friends marched off into snow and death and the queer immortality that springs from certain tragedies.


One of the last photos of the group. They seem to be appearing from a storm. Another photo shows them, perhaps more accurately, disappearing into a white shroud

No one survived those final terrible moments on the Holatchahl. Yet the hikers left behind just enough evidence for amateur sleuths to pore over, analyze, and extrapolate from. Since Dyatlov’s group was going for their Grade III hiking certification, the hikers kept a diary that was inscribed daily by various members. There was also their camera, found intact, with a number of pictures of happy young people unaware of their own looming deaths, of the sand running silently through the glass of their lives. It’s hard to look at the pictures now with any kind of objectivity. They are old, in black and white, and tinged with foreboding, so that even a relatively normal frame of skiers skiing in a line takes on a haunted aspect. (It should be noted that Dead Mountain is generously illustrated with photos that are interspersed throughout the book).

Eichar’s book promises to reveal the “untold story” of the so-called Dyatlov Pass Incident, and he fulfills that promise by carefully presenting his own version of what happened.


Investigators at the scene of the Dytalov group's final campsite

I will pause here to state an abiding principle of mine: that true-life events are not spoilers. This is something I believe in strongly. People do not live their lives, they do not strive and struggle and sometimes die, in order to fulfill the entertainment needs of voracious, on-demand media consumers. To append spoiler tags to the dramas of actual human beings strikes me almost as immoral, dehumanizing.

Now, with that said (and after that extra-special glimpse into my thought processes), I will break my own rule and avoid any more discussion of Eichar’s conclusions. Since this book is carefully structured to build to the reveal, it’s unfair to give any indication of where its heading. Suffice to say, UFOs are not involved. Yet Eichar’s hypothesis is just weird enough to be a perfect fit for this strange tale. Best of all, Eichar provides a final chapter in which he speculates, in narrative form, about exactly what he thinks caused the hikers’ deaths. It is really a rather brilliant intertwining of forensic evidence and educated guesswork, and makes for a powerful denouement.

There is something that draws us to unexplained death. Just recently, I came across a long-form article written about Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers, two young Dutch girls who went missing in the Panamanian jungle. Ten weeks after they slipped out of our reach, bone fragments and a backpack were discovered. The backpack, in eerie echoes of doomed Dyatlov, held a camera. It contained time-stamped images of a hike that started with smiles and sunlight. By the end, eight days after the girls were swallowed by the jungle, the camera's subject has changed dramatically. Now there are photos taken in complete darkness, photos that are trying desperately, unsuccessfully, to tell us something very important.

We have this collective idea that the world has gotten very small. That we are always connected and never alone. That we have solved every last enigma, answered every last question. But that’s not true at all. Especially when it comes to death, what Shakespeare called the “undiscovered country.” We can go to Mars and to the bottom of the deepest sea, but we cannot look a second past the moment of death. I wonder if in the compulsion to seek answers to the deaths of others, we aren’t actually looking to answer those questions about ourselves. ...more
4

Jun 18, 2019

A couple months ago I came across this article from Atlas Obscura titled the 10 Must-Visit Spots for Mystery Lovers which immediately piqued my interest:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles...

I was completely unfamiliar with what has become to be known as The Dyatlov Pass Incident and I immediately wanted to find out what I could about this chilling unsolved mystery so I began to Google any and all information and that search brought me to this book which just happened to be available at my A couple months ago I came across this article from Atlas Obscura titled the 10 Must-Visit Spots for Mystery Lovers which immediately piqued my interest:

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles...

I was completely unfamiliar with what has become to be known as The Dyatlov Pass Incident and I immediately wanted to find out what I could about this chilling unsolved mystery so I began to Google any and all information and that search brought me to this book which just happened to be available at my local library.

Nine Russian professional hikers, 7 men and 2 women, set out to hike into the Ural Mountains. On February 1st, 1959 it appears these hikers escaped into the night without so much as shoes on their feet in -25 degree weather and 40 MPH winds only to be found dead within a mile radius of their tent. Six of their deaths are proven to be from the elements and hypothermia but the remaining four? Well this is where it gets interesting. All are victims of blunt force trauma, internal hemorrhaging, and one unfortunate victim even has their tongue removed. Upon further investigation it appears that their tent, which remained secure, was found to have shreds in the back made by knives, but not from the outside, it's as if they were trying to escape from the inside. High levels of radiation were also found in their clothing

The theories ranged from Mansi killers, military cover-ups, fire orbs, snowmen, aliens but ultimately no theory has yet to be proven. The families were left with this explanation:

" “an unknown compelling force.” For the next forty-plus years, the families and friends of the hikers would have nothing more than this cryptic summation to explain the secretive behavior of their government and the harrowing deaths of the people they had loved."

The author here presents his theory for what he believes happened and it's definitely plausible but like all great mysteries we really will never know and I find that so fascinating! Worth the read! ...more
4

Jan 05, 2020

"Why would nine experienced outdoorsmen and women rush out of their tent, insufficiently clothed, in twenty-five degrees-below-zero conditions and walk a mile toward certain death? One or two might have made the unfathomable mistake of leaving the safety of camp, but all nine?"

That really is the question in this book. In 1959 a group of nine experienced (7 men/ 2 women) hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously in an area known as Dead Mountain. Their deaths have remained a mystery. "Why would nine experienced outdoorsmen and women rush out of their tent, insufficiently clothed, in twenty-five degrees-below-zero conditions and walk a mile toward certain death? One or two might have made the unfathomable mistake of leaving the safety of camp, but all nine?"

That really is the question in this book. In 1959 a group of nine experienced (7 men/ 2 women) hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously in an area known as Dead Mountain. Their deaths have remained a mystery. Many have come up with theories (the military, light orbs, infrasound induced panic, avalanche, katabatic winds, a local tribe, and in this book the Author presents his own theory which makes a lot of sense and seems logical.

I found this to be an interesting read. The pictures, taken from the cameras the hikers left behind, were and added bonus as was information taken directly from the hikers journals. Their day to day activities have been described and the Author spoke to those who had contact with them, were related to them, or were part of the investigation.

When the hikers did not return on the date they specified, people began to get nervous but knowing delays can happen they waited a little longer until a volunteer team was assembled to go looking for them. Later the military would become involved sending in investigators and helicopters.

"Their bodies were eventually found roughly a mile away from their campsite, in separate locations, half dressed in subzero temperatures. Some were found facedown in the snow, others in fetal position; and some in a ravine clutching one another. Nearly all were without their shoes.

I found this to be a well written and well researched book. The mystery of what happened to these hikers is compelling and thought provoking. What would cause them to cut through the back of the tent and go out into the freezing night? These men and women were experienced and strong. They were in good health and had youth on their side. Something horrible must have made them flee the safety and warmth of their tent. This book presents its theory and it is a sound one but again, we may never know.

"With no eyewitnesses and over a half century of extensive yet inconclusive investigations, the Dyatlov hiking tragedy continues to elude explanation." ...more
4

Dec 03, 2013


This is one creepy-ass unsolved mystery, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the inexplicable deaths of nine experienced hikers is one of those strange but true tales that leaves a person shuddering from the heebie-jeebies.

Remote and inhospitable Ural Mountains, Russia. February 1959.

A group of nine university students -- 7 men, 2 women -- set up their tent for the evening.

The experienced hikers begin the ritual of settling in for
This is one creepy-ass unsolved mystery, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the inexplicable deaths of nine experienced hikers is one of those strange but true tales that leaves a person shuddering from the heebie-jeebies.

Remote and inhospitable Ural Mountains, Russia. February 1959.

A group of nine university students -- 7 men, 2 women -- set up their tent for the evening.

The experienced hikers begin the ritual of settling in for the night ahead, removing packs and boots and outer layers of clothing.

The stove in the middle of the large canvas tent remains unlit. Whatever happens next, occurs before the evening meal.

For reasons unknown to this day, all nine hikers suddenly abandon their tent and go running out into the frigid night improperly clothed and in sock feet. So desperate were they to get away, some of the hikers cut their way out of the back of the tent rather than go out the front.

When the bodies are later recovered some have died from hypothermia, others are found in a deep ravine with violent injuries such as crushed ribs, fractured skull, and one of the hikers is missing her tongue.

What force or event could have possibly compelled nine seasoned hikers to all lose their shit at the same time and act in such an erratic and life-threatening manner? To leave the sanctuary of their tent and flee into the frozen night barely dressed to certain death?

It has been established that it was no avalanche. So what else does that leave?

Over the years, theories have abounded, from the plausible and sane to the completely nutty. Donnie Eichar goes on a quest halfway around the world to retrace the steps of the Dyatlov group searching for the truth of what happened that night. In his quest he meets some colorful Russian characters, including a tenth member of the Dyatlov group who turned back at the last minute, a decision that saved his life.

This book is really three narratives woven together -- 1) the Dyatlov Incident pieced together from photos and journals the doomed hikers painstakingly kept along the way 2) the search and rescue which followed and 3) Eichar's trips to Russia and his own trek to Dead Mountain.

As I followed in the hikers' footsteps, reading their journal entries, seeing their smiling faces in the photographs, I couldn't help become emotional for the horror I knew was waiting for them. It's a story that's as sad as it is unsettling.

After three years of research and exhaustive interviews, Eichar is able to put forth an interesting theory about what exactly happened that night, one that certainly has more substance than UFO's or the Abominable Snowman. Yet, it's still only a theory. The maddening, pull your hair out aspect of this story is that we will probably never know what happened that night. It is a secret that the young hikers took to their untimely and tragic graves.



Photo: Yuri Yudin hugging Lyudmila Dubinina as he prepares to leave the group because of illness, as Igor Dyatlov looks on smiling


...more
3

Jan 06, 2019

/5
It was interesting, but I didn‘t really care about research. Theories were intriguing and his explanation was fascinating and easily understandable. ★★★/5
It was interesting, but I didn‘t really care about research. Theories were intriguing and his explanation was fascinating and easily understandable. ...more
5

Apr 23, 2019

I must write about this because people need to know what it is about!
I'm the Ural mountains, a group of students from the college mountaineering club plan a trip to a bed secluded place for their school break. They bring many supplies including a tent large enough to share and resistant to the down sweeping winds.
When the ten day trip ends, they have arranged a pickup by helicopter and truck.
However, none came off that mountain. They were found in several different locations far enough from the I must write about this because people need to know what it is about!
I'm the Ural mountains, a group of students from the college mountaineering club plan a trip to a bed secluded place for their school break. They bring many supplies including a tent large enough to share and resistant to the down sweeping winds.
When the ten day trip ends, they have arranged a pickup by helicopter and truck.
However, none came off that mountain. They were found in several different locations far enough from the tent to cause investigation. Some were naked, some partially clothed, ma y Seth both severe and mild injuries.
The tent was a first thought to be ripped but was proven to be cut from the inside. No one had shoes on.
There were many theories on what happened. They weren't prepare, a bear attack, a nuclear test.
The final answer came from an A.Erica scientist who went to the scene. The cause was an inaudible low sound that causes vibrations in the inner ear.
These vibrations cause temporary insanity. These poor young students had pitched their tent be hind a large boulder for added wind safety. But the inaudible low sound of wind sweeping around this boulder had caused erratic behavior, fear, running into the dangerous temperatures of the Ural mountains, attempting to escape. They were killed by an actual and proven physics phenomenon. This is a MUST READ! ...more
5

Nov 02, 2014

An Excellent Read.

Thank you to Mr Donnie Eichar for finally satisfying my curiosity on the Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I had come across this story on a couple of occasions but had very little information on it and was so glad to have located this book while searching for a completely different book on the internet

" In February 1959 a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident An Excellent Read.

Thank you to Mr Donnie Eichar for finally satisfying my curiosity on the Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I had come across this story on a couple of occasions but had very little information on it and was so glad to have located this book while searching for a completely different book on the internet

" In February 1959 a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident included violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes has led to decades of speculation over what really happened.
This gripping work of literary nonfiction delves into the mystery through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.

When I started reading this book I just couldn't put it down as the research and information supplied by the author was excellent. I love how he set the scene from page one and engrossed the reader with straight forward details and facts so much so that I felt I was hiking along with these young people and I felt a connection with the story throughout. I love how Donnie explores all the theories put forward throughout the years and how he finally manages to give a credible and excellent explanation for the deaths of the hikers.

This was one of those books that had me totally engrossed and when I finished it I must admit I spent an hour researching the Internet for photos of the mountain and places named in the book. The book does have photos and a map which I always find so useful. I just couldn't stop thinking about the Incident or the book and for me thats a 5 star read.


This is an extremely interesting and well written account of the Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and for anyone interested in reading true life adventures.
...more
3

Jun 18, 2019

3,5* - overall this was a really interesting read. I enjoyed the writing style and the way Eichar covered his story, the one of the investigators and the one of the hikers (as far as that was possible). That made it easy to understand and kept up the suspense.

But I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with the conclusion of his theory. And I'm a little disappointed that he spent all that time laying out the timelines but his actual theory on what happened was only discussed in the last 20 pages or so. 3,5* - overall this was a really interesting read. I enjoyed the writing style and the way Eichar covered his story, the one of the investigators and the one of the hikers (as far as that was possible). That made it easy to understand and kept up the suspense.

But I'm not sure if I'm satisfied with the conclusion of his theory. And I'm a little disappointed that he spent all that time laying out the timelines but his actual theory on what happened was only discussed in the last 20 pages or so. He didn't really spend much time on explaining and convincing the reader of his theory. ...more
5

Nov 08, 2014

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

In this riveting and informative non-fiction read, Documentary Filmmaker and Author, Donnie Eichar, pieces together the mystery of WHY nine young experienced Russian hikers left their tent after dark without shoes or proper clothing in sub-zero temperatures back in 1956. It was determined that six died of hypothermia, the remaining three of brutal injuries......one even missing a tongue, but.......WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

Eichar does a great job of investigating and

The Dyatlov Pass Incident

In this riveting and informative non-fiction read, Documentary Filmmaker and Author, Donnie Eichar, pieces together the mystery of WHY nine young experienced Russian hikers left their tent after dark without shoes or proper clothing in sub-zero temperatures back in 1956. It was determined that six died of hypothermia, the remaining three of brutal injuries......one even missing a tongue, but.......WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

Eichar does a great job of investigating and succinctly outlining the day-to-day activities of the group with the use of old case files, journals and interviews plus provides diagrams and interesting photographs of the hikers throughout their journey taking the reader to an eerie, frightening and believable theory.

An excellent read!

...more
5

Mar 30, 2013



We are fragile beings. The camaraderie of a group, their emotions, their smiles only last so long: Through photographs, the eternal message of latter days.

When a book stays on your mind continuously for several days, you have to then try to reason why. Why am I still thinking about this? Why does it seem to affect me more in the long run than when I initially read it?

Humans, as a whole, are curious; the search for knowledge is innate and a troublesome curmudgeon, never letting go. When there is

We are fragile beings. The camaraderie of a group, their emotions, their smiles only last so long: Through photographs, the eternal message of latter days.

When a book stays on your mind continuously for several days, you have to then try to reason why. Why am I still thinking about this? Why does it seem to affect me more in the long run than when I initially read it?

Humans, as a whole, are curious; the search for knowledge is innate and a troublesome curmudgeon, never letting go. When there is a situation that we can't understand, can't reason out inside our minds, the mystery haunts us until we can come to a reasonable rationalization...

This is what Donnie Eichar has done with Dead Mountain.

When nine hikers go missing on Holatchahl Mountain in Sverdlovsk, Russia (now known as Yekaterinburg) in 1959 and are found shortly later with an undeniable set of questionable circumstances, the enigma unfolds into conspiracy theories (UFO sighting, military testing, local indigenous murders) to an initial conclusion of the hikers had died as a result of "an unknown compelling force".

Eichar takes years of records and interviews, first person accounts, and his own mission to visit the site of the incident to present not only a rational conclusion, but one that could've alluded investigators at the time due to a previous unknown circumstance that has only now been researched in recent years.

We may never know the complete truth, but from everything I've read on this subject, this seems the most realistic outcome.

Recommended.

UPDATE 02/04/19: The case has been reopened: https://www.rt.com/russia/450501-dyat... ...more
5

Dec 28, 2016



"In savage winter conditions, and over a vast stretch of ground, all nine fought for their own and one another's lives with the bravery and endurance worthy of Grade III hikers. It was a distinction they would never earn, but one that each of them so rightly deserved."

In January 1959, ten young but seasoned hikers set off from Yekaterinburg, Russia, where most of them were engineering students at a local college, on a trek through the treacherous Ural mountains. One came home early due to heath

"In savage winter conditions, and over a vast stretch of ground, all nine fought for their own and one another's lives with the bravery and endurance worthy of Grade III hikers. It was a distinction they would never earn, but one that each of them so rightly deserved."

In January 1959, ten young but seasoned hikers set off from Yekaterinburg, Russia, where most of them were engineering students at a local college, on a trek through the treacherous Ural mountains. One came home early due to heath issues. The remaining nine never returned.

Whatever happened at Dyaltov Pass (so named after the leader of the doomed hiking group, Igor Dyaltov), it remains an intriguing case for unsolved mystery buffs and conspiracy theorists the world over. Not because 9 people died in the Siberia in February but because of the condition in which they are found. Their tent is discovered abandoned, with all necessary supplies for cold weather survival still stored neatly inside. Something caused the 9 hikers to cut the tent from the inside and flee into the cold night. None were wearing proper shoes, having left their ski boots lined up inside the tent. Some of the bodies are discovered wearing little more than long underwear, their clothing instead found on some of the other hikers' bodies. One of the hikers is found wearing two watches. One woman's body is missing its tongue. The bodies look orange and radiation is detected on their clothing. At least one of the hikers seems to have been trying to climb a tree. That night there was no moon until 3 am and temperatures would have dropped to 40 below.

So why did they leave the tent when it meant almost certain death?



Like many others before him, author Donnie Eichar became fascinated with the Dyaltov Pass tragedy and traveled to Russia in an attempt to recreate that fateful hike. In Dead Mountain he tells not only the story of the hikers but that of his own journey in Siberia. While Eichar does not identify himself as a skeptic, it's fair to say he is one. Thank goodness. If this book had ended with any suggestion that Yeti, aliens or the Soviet government had killed the hikers, I would have burned it (these, sadly, are actual and popular "theories" of what happened). What Eichar proves is that a lot of details about this case that seem nefarious at first glance in fact have easy and obvious explanations.

Where this book missed the mark a bit was when the author deviated from telling the hikers' story to trying to solve the mystery of why they left the tent that night. His final explanation does not really hold water. That said, his detailed reconstruction of what happened afterwards, in the few minutes and hours between abandoning the tent and the hikers' tragic deaths seems very plausible. Eichar seems to have no background in accident reconstruction, crime scene investigation, or investigation journalism, and I give him a lot of credit for his efforts, even if I think he was perhaps a bit misguided.

One of the reasons I loved this book is that I'm just such an unsolved mysteries junkie (both the concept and the TV show, which was my absolute favorite growing up). I do wish this book had been more. More about the hikers, more details about how they were found, more discussion of alternate theories (real ones, not involving aliens). 4.5 stars. ...more
4

Nov 29, 2018

Rating: 4 stars

In February of 1959, a group of young but experienced hikers embarked on a track through the Ural mountains in Russia, never to return. Over the months that follow, their bodies are located one by one, painting a confusing and horrifying picture of the events that affected the group. A frenzied escape from the safety of their camp wearing little more than underwear, curious evidence like clothes emitting radiation and injuries that seem to defy explanation… All of this has made Rating: 4 stars

In February of 1959, a group of young but experienced hikers embarked on a track through the Ural mountains in Russia, never to return. Over the months that follow, their bodies are located one by one, painting a confusing and horrifying picture of the events that affected the group. A frenzied escape from the safety of their camp wearing little more than underwear, curious evidence like clothes emitting radiation and injuries that seem to defy explanation… All of this has made this case the subject of much speculation over the years. Theories range from accidents to foul play, from Soviet soldiers to Russian Yeti’s, and from secret weapons testing to extraterrestrials.
In Dead Mountain; the untold true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident , investigative journalist Donnie Eichar sets out to explore all theories and find the truth among the speculation.

Investigative true crime can be a tricky genre; these are real events, with real people, who often still have real (living) relatives. To me, treating the case and people at hand with the due respect is always one of the first things I look for in books like this. I’m happy to say that Donnie Eichar handles this very well.

People come before sensationalism in this book.

Quite literally the books opens with introducing us in depth to the people in the group. I really did appreciate this. The hikers become real people to the reader, not just faceless puppets in a sensational mystery. Although some of this information may be a little too much for some readers (this really depends on taste), I enjoyed this part and I think it shows how dedicated Eichar is as an investigator. He has talked to the people involved, and thoroughly did his research.
This also applies to his investigation of the theories, and the final conclusion he comes to. Eichar addresses many of the popular theories with an open mind and argues why he feels one is more or less likely than the other. Afterwards he presents his own (well researched!) theory, which in my opinion is the most plausible yet.
This is not a definitive plea for his case: in the end the reader is left to draw their own conclusions, which can feel a little unsatisfying. Then again: what other way can you feel about a case that will probably never be definitively solved.
My biggest criticism of the book was the pacing. As mentioned: the start goes very in depth on all the hikers backstories, and although interesting, is quite slow. There were moment here where I found myself a little bored, especially around the (first) description of the group embarking on their trip.
This was in stark contrast to the final chapters on the theories. Some of those were quite short and fast. I would have liked a little more depth here, possibly at the expense of some of the earlier parts.

It’s 2018 as I’m writing this review, and in all honesty: all theories described in this novel can be found with a quick google search. It really is the story of the people and the in depth explanation where this book shines. If you are mildly curious and just want a quick glance of this case, this book may be to in depth and you might be satisfied just by reading some articles online. If you know a little about it and (like me) were fascinated by what you learned, this book might be for you. ...more
3

Jun 14, 2018

Found myself skimming a lot of the boring stuff coz i just wanted to know what happened!!!
3

Nov 08, 2014

In 1959, 9 experienced hikers disappear in the Ural Mountains. What becomes a search and rescue mission, unfortunately becomes a recovery one. It takes months before all of the bodies are located. Speculation and theories surround the mystery of what happened to make them leave the security of their tent, in subarctic temps, scantily clad, and bring them to their death. It was well researched and fascinating. This is Eichar's take of what he suspects happened to them. We may never know exactly In 1959, 9 experienced hikers disappear in the Ural Mountains. What becomes a search and rescue mission, unfortunately becomes a recovery one. It takes months before all of the bodies are located. Speculation and theories surround the mystery of what happened to make them leave the security of their tent, in subarctic temps, scantily clad, and bring them to their death. It was well researched and fascinating. This is Eichar's take of what he suspects happened to them. We may never know exactly but this seems to be the theory that comes closest to the truth. However, that being said, I'm still left with a feeling of not being satisfied. As they say, proof is in the pudding. I give it a 3.5. ...more
4

Dec 21, 2016

This was an excellent nonfiction. I think this is as close to a true crime book I've read - due to the mystery surrounding the deceased Dyatlov hikers - and I enjoyed myself so much I think I'll have to start reading true crime! Eichar is foremost concerned with humanizing the nine hikers who died at the foot of Dead Mountain in 1959. This is not only humane, but very effective for storytelling as soon I was as invested in learning what happened to Igor and Zina and Georgy and the rest of the This was an excellent nonfiction. I think this is as close to a true crime book I've read - due to the mystery surrounding the deceased Dyatlov hikers - and I enjoyed myself so much I think I'll have to start reading true crime! Eichar is foremost concerned with humanizing the nine hikers who died at the foot of Dead Mountain in 1959. This is not only humane, but very effective for storytelling as soon I was as invested in learning what happened to Igor and Zina and Georgy and the rest of the hikers as Eichar and everyone else investigating the incident was. The book is split into three timelines that eventually converge at the end of the book: following the hikers in 1959 whilst they are alive, following the ensuing investigation in 1959 once they are missing, and following Eichar as he investigates the mystery. This creates suspense at each of the timelines throughout the reading experience, which made me not want to put down this book. It is highly readable, full of important photographs and fairly short. A perfect foray into nonfiction, and especially atmospheric if you read it during cold weather! ...more
4

Dec 27, 2017

I’d been wanting to read this nonfiction for ages but never really felt in the mood for it. Just before Christmas I picked it up, and it did take me a couple of weeks to read, but it was worth it! An emotional and insightful look at the mysterious Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I’ve always been interested in mysterious happenings, at the ripe old age of 10 I was receiving books about poltergeists, spontaneous combustion, missing people cases and so on, so when I first heard about the Dyatlov Pass I’d been wanting to read this nonfiction for ages but never really felt in the mood for it. Just before Christmas I picked it up, and it did take me a couple of weeks to read, but it was worth it! An emotional and insightful look at the mysterious Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I’ve always been interested in mysterious happenings, at the ripe old age of 10 I was receiving books about poltergeists, spontaneous combustion, missing people cases and so on, so when I first heard about the Dyatlov Pass Incident, of course my interest was piqued! Then, when I found out there was actually a novel ‘solving’ the case, I was even more interested in it.

I haven’t read any other novels on the case, but I can imagine most of them get straight to the nitty-gritty of what they think happened to the unfortunate hikers, Eichar, however, builds his conclusions very slowly. At times, I felt a little bit annoyed about this – I really would just love to know what the hell you think happened! – but on the other hand I loved the way he made the hikers more than just an unfortunate accident. He breathes life back into them. Eichar takes diary entries, photographs, and interviews to build an intricate and honest look into each of the hikers days that lead up to their deaths.

As for Eichar’s theories on what really happened to the Dyatlov hikers, I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a sad story, rather than a spooky serial-killer-ghost one. While I love mysteries of the unknown, when it comes to something as tragic as this incident, it’s nice to have an answer to “what happened?”… I think Eichar’s theories seem legitimate and well researched, so when the book claims to have the “true story” I can believe it.

I don’t want to say too much about this novel because it’s the sort of book that needs to be read to be appreciated, hence my almost mini review, but I think this was a very good and well written nonfiction novel. At times I found some of the goings-on a little tedious, but overall it was an interesting read. ...more
4

Sep 29, 2019

I've first heard of the Dyatlov Incident years back, after boringly searching for horror movies. I found the one entitled The Dyatlov Pass Incident, which was released in 2013, and I actually enjoyed it *i'm a sucker for horror movies, no matter their imdb rating*. I saw the "based on real events" marker and found myself curious of what had really happened.
A few hours later, I was googling non-fiction books about the incident and found this one. Dead Mountain written by the american author I've first heard of the Dyatlov Incident years back, after boringly searching for horror movies. I found the one entitled The Dyatlov Pass Incident, which was released in 2013, and I actually enjoyed it *i'm a sucker for horror movies, no matter their imdb rating*. I saw the "based on real events" marker and found myself curious of what had really happened.
A few hours later, I was googling non-fiction books about the incident and found this one. Dead Mountain written by the american author Donnie Eichar seemed to be one of the best, so I figured I should try it out.
Currently I am only 35% in, but can't wait to read the rest! Very well written and documented book! I am quite sure I will love this.

Full review coming after it's finished!

I finished it! And gods, was this beautiful!
The Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident is made of 3 different timelines:
1. We follow the author, Donnie Eichar, in 2012 - 2013, on his travels around Russia, in order to find as much information as possible on the case.
I believe, this has the biggest consistency, the book seems to solely focus on this part. Which is ok, I was not disturbed by it, even tho' in the review section I can clearly see not everyone had the same attitude towards it.
2. We are introduced to the discovery of the 9 bodies by the search team, a few weeks after the Dyatlov Pass Incident happened.
and 3. *the most heartbreaking* we see the preparations and the journey of the 10, later 9, hikers.
It was very beautifully written. *It makes you want to turn page after page and it felt nothing like a non-fiction. I had to check it. *
And it was sad, a very sad truth. Even though I had read the case on google days prior, I was not expecting to feel like this: Heartbroken.
You see... Eichar shows you how beautifully they prepared for the trip and how they would sing every night and laugh, take hilarious photos, even hours before their deaths! He showed us how unprepared and how NOT ready to die the 9 hikers were.
Their ages were between 20-25, with only Sasha being of 37. 20 years old! They had the whole life ahead of them, they had dreams and expectations, and they lost them in one night. All of them!
It haunts me even today... the thought of how they might have died. How they would be calling to each other, trying to see through the dark. How some of them had to see their friends die, how the cold crept in, slowly, through their feet and up their whole body.
It is terrifying to even imagine the pain they had to endure, because they wanted to survive! Zina tried to get back to the tent and died trying.
I had no problem whatsoever with his ending theory, it can work, it is a great possibility, but we might still never know. Their surviving relatives deserve to know how it happened, but they better know that these children, students, were brave and tried to live.
I highly recommend it! Though, you should expect for it to haunt you for the following days. I know it's happening to me.

...more
4

Oct 17, 2018

Damn, I do hate writing reviews anymore! Sometimes though the book, author or subject matter almost grabs me by the ears and demands a review. Well, shit fuzzy, crikey, and dang it..here goes! Mr. Eichar had me worried from the start, and it all started with his winter footwear! Sure, he's sunshine, I'm clouds and snow. I don't know anyone up here in Montana who doesn't break in their boots before actually using the bastard things! We so crazy....we go around in shorts, tees and our new boots Damn, I do hate writing reviews anymore! Sometimes though the book, author or subject matter almost grabs me by the ears and demands a review. Well, shit fuzzy, crikey, and dang it..here goes! Mr. Eichar had me worried from the start, and it all started with his winter footwear! Sure, he's sunshine, I'm clouds and snow. I don't know anyone up here in Montana who doesn't break in their boots before actually using the bastard things! We so crazy....we go around in shorts, tees and our new boots for 3 hours a day, just breaking those barstards in. Sheesh, what a pain in the butt. I seldom start books like this without knowing anything about it. The few things I had heard kept me far, far away from it. Aliens, abominable snowmen/women, killers in woods..blah, blah. So, with no knowledge at all about this incident, I started reading. Absolutely fascinating! 60% I did what I always do, I went on Bing and studied the death photo's, which were interesting, but then I found the autopy results. I'm just one of those people who can't take the word of others. I have to see for myself. By the way, if you're so inclined, the autopsy findings are more extensive than I'd hoped. I do like an external and internal. Also, I want to know what is in their pockets. I don't understand what the big mystery about this case is. While I think the authors theory is compelling, I dont quite agree. The internal damage of some of these students could have indeed been caused by a fall onto rocks as they were running away. And I do believe that in some few cases. Yet, the bruising was so extensive that it suggests to me they may have recieved the internal damage hours before they died of hypothermia. (Foam and blood in lungs/stomach.) The clothes were shredded and burned. This wasn't satisfactorily explained for me. Shredding from running and falling? Sure. Burns? Nope. Yet, for me the oddest thing was the missing tongue. I might have, "yet not really" been able to accept the explanation of that damn tongue except for the fact that a freaking tongue is not going to dissolve in wet circumstances like this. Not in subzero temps with face in snow. The tongue is a muscle, and it's stringy and strong. It's not going to melt away in 3 months. There was also quite a bit of blood in her stomach. If you bite off your tongue, you'll end up swallowing blood, but if it's dissolved in a snowbank of freezing water, you are already dead. No blood will go or build up in your stomach. So, where did the blood come from? Jeezum crow, this review is rambling. I hate to say anything about the book because of spoilers. O.K., so here is my opinion. It's not the authors opinion, I'll let you read that on your own! I believe that the Soviet Union may have been testing something that night. Some local reports claim the testing came later that month. However, the very last photo taken was telling. Obviously when you look at it there is some refraction of light from the lens midscreen. To the left is an object in motion. The author explains this away as a photo taken by mistake by the "tourists" or the recovery team. But, look to the right, and the snow covered mountain is quite obvious. Not blurred nor smudged. Still as life. Yes, I know...ramble, ramble, ramble! I believe that a concussive force, and possibly the heat, noise and fear of it led them to cut their tent to escape. I believe that's how some sustained their injuries. Falls in snow, rock and deep gullies would also explain the damage on hands, knees, feet and skull fractures. To heck with it. I have 101 reasons why I think this was a concussive force. 1959 in the Urals? Government conspiracy? I personally don't think so. What if it was something as simple, yet completely strange as a meteor? Light, noise, explosion and heat. That's a big arsed concussive force. Meteor or Soviet weapon test? My conclusion is one or the other. I'm personally on the side of meteor. Either/or, I'm satisfied with my conclusions. ...more
2

Jan 25, 2017

I zipped through this book because I found the subject matter fascinating, but the presentation of the material definitely disappointed me. I had two major problems with the book:
1. A LARGE chunk of the book was devoted to the author telling his own story about traveling to Russia, preparing to hike the Ural Mountains, and other stuff not too related to the mystery surrounding the Dyatlov Pass incident. The reason I read this book, and probably the reason a lot of other people read this book, is I zipped through this book because I found the subject matter fascinating, but the presentation of the material definitely disappointed me. I had two major problems with the book:
1. A LARGE chunk of the book was devoted to the author telling his own story about traveling to Russia, preparing to hike the Ural Mountains, and other stuff not too related to the mystery surrounding the Dyatlov Pass incident. The reason I read this book, and probably the reason a lot of other people read this book, is to read about the mysterious deaths of the hikers and the theories surrounding their deaths. I don’t much care about some guy’s recent, uneventful trip to Russia and hike through the mountains.
2. I was disappointed with the way he presented the various theories on what happened. I’ll spoiler this part, in case people don’t want to hear my opinion on his theories until after they’ve read the book.

(view spoiler)[
Before presenting his theory as to what happened, Eichar discredits seven other theories. Some of his discredits are legitimate (since the tent was upright and its contents were undisturbed, an avalanche does seem unlikely), but some of them I think are a little too dismissive. For instance, he doesn’t think it’s Russian military or classified government information because he thinks the government would have declassified such information by now. That’s pretty much his only reasoning, which seems a pretty weak reason to dismiss entire theories, particularly given the Russian government’s reaction to the deaths and efforts made to keep the incident away from publicity.

He dismisses UFOs and alien activity as utterly absurd, and here I feel compelled to go on a small tangent. When a group of nine people flee a tent in -20 degree weather without even wearing shoes, we are already in the realm of the absurd. And what really irritates me about these proud, “rational” skeptics is the way everything is either “absurd” or “proven by science.” Seriously? You really think the most rational way to view the world is to dismiss everything that hasn’t been scientifically proven as absurd? You do know that we don’t understand every single thing about this world, right? And that maybe there’s certain things that you can acknowledge are within the realm of possibility, despite the fact that science cannot yet dissect and explain it.

Anyways, the theory he puts forth is the theory of infrasound waves. The basic concept behind infrasound waves, is that there are certain sounds that are at a frequency too low for human ears to hear, but can still be sensed by the brain, and these feelings can cause anxiety, depression, etc. And the way Eichar treats this theory is crazy. After neatly dismissing the other theories, he then proceeds to ignore the problems with his theory. For example, he cites a study showing that when an audience listened to four songs, and two of them had infrasound notes in them, about 23% of the audience confessed to feelings of unease, racing hearts, etc. during the songs. To recap: 1/5-1/4 of people exposed to these sound waves feel unease. To then propose that 100% of people exposed to these sound waves would delve into pure madness and insanity is a huge jump in logic. Also, one of his reasons for dismissing the avalanche theory is that there have been about one hundred expeditions to the same area since the Dyatlov incident, and no avalanche ever occurred. Well, similarly, in those one hundred expeditions since, no infrasound waves caused people to become lunatics, either. (hide spoiler)]

To summarize my review: This book was written as three intertwined stories: the story of Eichar’s experience writing the book in Russia, the experience of the hikers on the hike, and the experience of the search party looking for the hikers. The theories on the incident are tucked in at the end, and only one theory is explored at any length.

I would have preferred for the book to be written like this: keep in the story of the hikers, keep in the story of the search party, and remove the modern day story. Instead, replace all that content with expanding upon and exploring multiple theories in depth, writing out maybe a few alternate histories, and exploring the strengths and weaknesses of each one, rather than proposing one theory as the most likely one.
...more
5

Feb 27, 2019

I'm learning that people either know about the Dyatlov Pass incident and are obsessed with how creepy and inexplicable it is, or they have never heard about it. This is going to be a spoiler free review, since the author presents what I think is the most plausible explanation for the occurrence, but I'm not going to give that away. So if you are one of those people who have never heard about this strange case, feel free to read on. I'm going to bet you will want to know more after you do.

In I'm learning that people either know about the Dyatlov Pass incident and are obsessed with how creepy and inexplicable it is, or they have never heard about it. This is going to be a spoiler free review, since the author presents what I think is the most plausible explanation for the occurrence, but I'm not going to give that away. So if you are one of those people who have never heard about this strange case, feel free to read on. I'm going to bet you will want to know more after you do.

In February 1959, ten college students, friends, and experienced hikers set out for the Russian Ural mountains to earn Grade III hiking certification. They needed to cover 186 miles of ground, with a third of of those miles in rough terrain. The duration of the trip must be a minimum of 16 days, with eight of those days spent in non-inhabitable regions, eight of which in a tent.

It took them a number of days to reach the wilderness, and by then the tenth member of the group, Yuri Yudin, was in considerable pain from rheumatism and decided to turn back at the last sign of civilization. He would never see his friends alive again.

After bidding their friend farewell, the group of nine hiked through snow for an entire day, then set up camp for the night. On February first, they set out again, and once it started to become late in the day they decided to stop and set up camp again. They kept a group diary that contained no entries past that day, and took a total number of 10 photos on their final day alive. Nothing in the diary or photos would give any indication as to what happened to the students that night.

After the hikers failed to return to their university an extensive search and rescue operation began that would soon end in tragedy. All nine of the hikers were eventually found dead, and their bodies and campsite left more questions than answers as to what happened to them the night of the first.

At some point in the dark that night all nine friends would flee the tent suddenly, with someone actually cutting the back of the tent from the inside in order to escape faster. All of them were not dressed for the freezing cold weather, and none of them were wearing shoes. They were found buried under snowfall in groups of three, most of them having succumbed to hypothermia, but three of the hikers had fatal injuries, and one of the women was missing her tongue. It would take rescue workers two months to find the final four hikers.

For decades people have speculated on what could possibly have caused nine experienced hikers to flee their tent in the middle of the night with little clothing and no means to find their way back in the dark. All of the theories, from the ridiculous (aliens, a yeti), to those that seem more likely (an avalanche) have all been deemed unlikely.

This book is divided into three parts. The actual details of the hiker's trip as documented in their group diary and photographs, as well as Yudin's testimony as to what happened on the trip before he left. Then there are alternating chapters of both the search and recovery expedition, and the author's research and trips to Russia in order to retrace the steps of the hikers and learn as much as he could about the incident. The book is full of eerie photographs and heartbreaking anecdotes about how lighthearted the trip was at first for the students, and how they would stop in the evenings and sing while one them played a mandolin.

At the conclusion of the book, the author presents his theory, and how he went about testing it. Out of the large number of theories and speculation surrounding the case, Eichar's seems the most plausible to me. I don't think we will ever be able to say with certainty what happened that fateful night, but the author of this book comes as close to the truth as we may ever get.

This is a sincerely readable non-fiction account of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I ended up reading the whole thing in less than a day. If you are interested in the case and Eichar's theory, I highly suggest picking this one up. ...more
5

Jun 26, 2017

I read this book over a weekend and found it impossible to put down! Since then, I have been devouring any piece of information I can find on the Dyatlov Pass Incident. That alone is testament to the passion and infectious enthusiasm for the case that Donnie Eichar has put into this book. Trying to solve the mystery behind “an unknown compelling force” kept me gripped throughout!

One of the first things you notice is the respectful tone of the book. Each chapter follows the story of the hikers, I read this book over a weekend and found it impossible to put down! Since then, I have been devouring any piece of information I can find on the Dyatlov Pass Incident. That alone is testament to the passion and infectious enthusiasm for the case that Donnie Eichar has put into this book. Trying to solve the mystery behind “an unknown compelling force” kept me gripped throughout!

One of the first things you notice is the respectful tone of the book. Each chapter follows the story of the hikers, the searchers/investigation and Eichar’s own adventure to the Urals. While the timeframe jumps around slightly, the book soon finds a nice rhythm and Eichar manages these different narratives brilliantly – it results in a book that never treads water.

The use of photographs throughout really brought the story and hikers to life, making me feel like I was standing witness to their 1959 journey. Each member of the Dyatlov group is introduced and brought to life by Eichar’s attention to detail – all of a sudden, these are not merely 9 people who mysterious perished, but individuals I felt a personal connection to. It made the tragedy seem so much more upsetting and unsettling.

The author’s adventures and investigations in Russia itself were some of the most exciting. I couldn’t help but wish that Eichar had created a documentary about this (he’s a filmmaker too). His interactions with Yuri Kuntsevich (President of Dyatlov Foundation) and his wife, were equally parts heartwarming, intriguing and gripping – especially when Yuri Yudin (the only surviving Dyatlov member) starts making an appearance! Donnie’s interactions with the Russians often interjected some humour into what was otherwise a tragic story – the image of Oleg and his “Russian snow bath” still makes me laugh!

The book seemed to bring about even more questions involving the mystery: What made the experienced hikers abruptly abandon their tent? What was the bright rocket, thundering sound and bright orbs witnessed in the area? Why did the authorities treat the victims’ families so badly in the aftermath? Why did the KGB attend their funerals? Why did the lead investigator suddenly go to Moscow, then return and abruptly abandon his inquiries into the orbs, lights and UFO theories?

Things just got stranger as the book progressed and high levels of radiation were found on the hikers’ bodies. Stranger still, was Lev Ivanov (lead investigator) being convinced the orbs in the sky were connected to their deaths.

The book took a fascinating turn towards the end as scientific explanations behind the mystery were explored. It was fascinating when the author met with atmospheric physicists at a high-security research location in the U.S! Without spoiling anything, the scientific theories made a lot of sense – and I never would have thought reading a Lemmy Kilmister biography years ago would help me understand it!

It seems the infamous “unknown compelling force” really was the closest conclusion (given science and technology) at the time that investigators could have concluded. The author’s final chapter recreated events on the hikers’ final day (based on conclusions drawn from other parts of the book). It gave the mystery as much closure as it probably ever will and most importantly, ended very respectfully. One of the best books I’ve read this year!

Rest in Peace Igor, Yuri, Zina, Alexander, Sasha, Lyuda, Rustik, Georgy, Kolya and Yuri. You were the Grade III hikers you aspired to be and so much more.
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5

Feb 21, 2016

I heard about this incident a while back, through a youtube video and it intrigued me ever sense.
I researched the story on the internet, but unfortunately all I got were crackpot theories about UFOs and Yetis. The lack of hard facts annoyed me and that's why I was so eager to read this book.
And I have to say, this was a rare case for me when a book did meet my expectations.


So here it goes....


Nine experienced hikers die in the Ural Mountains. What's really unusual though, is that they cut their I heard about this incident a while back, through a youtube video and it intrigued me ever sense.
I researched the story on the internet, but unfortunately all I got were crackpot theories about UFOs and Yetis. The lack of hard facts annoyed me and that's why I was so eager to read this book.
And I have to say, this was a rare case for me when a book did meet my expectations.


So here it goes....


Nine experienced hikers die in the Ural Mountains. What's really unusual though, is that they cut their way out of their tent ( their only safe heaven in the subzero temperatures of the Russian winter) in the middle of the night , most of them lightly dressed and with no shoes on. So what happened that night?




The author becomes obsessed with this story ( I mean who wouldn't) and travels to Russia in the middle of winter to retrace the hiker's final journey.

The book has three timelines
1) The hikers POV, reconstructed from their journals and photographs.
2) The Search party's POV, also well documented.
3) His own journey and quest to solve the mystery.

I have to say, he did a very good job, and his final explanation and reconstruction of the events did satisfy my curiosity. ( although we will probably never know with a 100% certainty what happened)

The book also contains a lot of photographs of the hikers. Their smiling faces make it even harder to read the book.








5 stars and a recommendation for everyone, whether they are familiar with the story or not.
...more
5

Jun 28, 2018

I don't normally bust through non-fiction so quickly, but I liked this so much I ended up reading it in less than 24 hours. I did have some trouble keeping the Russian names straight, but this problem was minor overall. The topic was really interesting to me, and I was super satisfied with the theory the author presented at the end after eliminating the other possibilities. Recommended!
4

Dec 01, 2014

Reminder to self: self, write a proper review for this. Twas a damn good book.
4

May 27, 2016

Wow. Wow. I have read some GREAT books as part of my 2015-2016 adventure themed read (which, btw is going on much longer than it was intended to because books just keep falling into my lap), but this book definitely stands among the best.

If you are familiar with alpining and rock climbing stories, then you’ve most likely heard about Dyatlov Pass. It’s a damn modern ghost story that backpackers and alpiners alike spook themselves with sitting at a campfire. In almost any backwoods or alpining Wow. Wow. I have read some GREAT books as part of my 2015-2016 adventure themed read (which, btw is going on much longer than it was intended to because books just keep falling into my lap), but this book definitely stands among the best.

If you are familiar with alpining and rock climbing stories, then you’ve most likely heard about Dyatlov Pass. It’s a damn modern ghost story that backpackers and alpiners alike spook themselves with sitting at a campfire. In almost any backwoods or alpining survival-story you read, the Dyatlov incident is just always on the periphery. In Soviet Russia, in the 50s, 9 HIGHLY QUALIFIED hikers set out to try a new route in the Ural Mountains, they were eventually found miles from their slashed tent, frozen to death in various states of undress, shoeless, spread in clusters apart from one another, three with grievous impact injuries suffered prior to death, and a later autopsy revealed, some with high levels of radiation. What could have possibly driven 9 professional hikers from their tent in the middle of the night without their winter gear and shoes when temperatures were around -30 degrees F? Theories have since abounded, as at the time the case was closed as “unknown compelling force”, was it mountain gnomes or a yeti? An ancient curse? Was it the local indigenous tribe? Was it the military covering up something the hikers shouldn’t have seen? Did it have to do with the strange bright lights dashing across the sky and reported by local herdsmen and other climbers? Nothing made sense- there were no signs of an avalanche, it couldn’t have been winds as the tent stayed in place, and what’s more, it had been slashed from the inside, yet there were no signs of a struggle or of alcohol or drug abuse.

To his credit, Eichar pursues this story through all avenues, dispelling internet rumors and misunderstandings about the name of the mountain- which is named Dead Mountain as an indication by local indigenous people’s to the lack of game and vegetation rather than their belief that the mountain is cursed in any way, to visiting NOAA to inquire about weather phenomenon in the region. This is the definitive English-language book on the subject, and Eichar’s findings leave you with the satisfied feeling of a case solved, and a story well-told.

Note: The audiobook was so-so. The narrator was very slow and there was almost no intonation in his reading, every sentence had a very predictable up then down cadence that could leave one feeling bored. Not to mention, how are you going to know how to spell any of the Russian names if you don’t actually see them in print.
...more

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