Dyatlov Pass Mystery

Jacob Agashe, Staff Writer

If you’re an unsolved mystery fan like I am, then you have probably heard of the Dyatlov Pass, where 9 hikers died, without explanation, in the Soviet Union 62 years ago. There were many theories, the most popular being an avalanche, but some people assumed it could have been anything from a nuclear explosion to aliens. For some Russians though, this has become somewhat of a legend, called “Dyatlovmania”, after the group leader, Igor Dyatlov. However, based on new research by two scientists in Switzerland, it could have been an avalanche after all. Even with this shocking information, this case still isn’t 100% solved. The co-author of a recent New York Times article admits that not all of the questions have been answered. This doesn’t explain the amounts of radiation found on the bodies, although some theorize that it could have been from the sun, and it also doesn’t explain why many of the bodies were found naked. That being said, there is a phenomenon called “paradoxical undressing”, where victims of hypothermia begin to feel incredibly hot as their nerves get damaged, and they begin to undress. Even with those questions solved, the timeline is still unknown. Here is what I, as well as Dr. Gaume, a avalanche researcher, believe went down on that fateful winter night. The theory is that when the hikers were suddenly hit by a slab avalanche, they struggled their way out of the tent, using a knife to slash their way out. The fact that this happened in the night would have explained their lack of clothes, and the location of their bodies. Even though they were expert hikers, due to the amount of snow and the cold, they would have been disoriented, and it would have made sense for them to get lost. The lack of clothing could have been attributed to either “paradoxical undressing”, which was mentioned earlier in this article, or simply the survivors taking the clothes from their dead fellow hikers for more warmth. As Dr. Gaume said, “It’s the story of nine friends who fought together against the force of nature.” No matter what actually happened during that fateful night in the Dyatlov Pass, we know that this was a story of survival and tragedy that took nine lives from us.