Dead Mountain

Dead Mountain

The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

Book - 2013
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The author delves into the mystery of what happened to nine experienced hikers who died in 1959 in the Russian Ural Mountains. Eichar retraces the hikers' journey and provides an account, aided by access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, government records, and dozens of interviews.
Publisher: San Francisco, California : Chronicle Books, ©2013
ISBN: 9781452112749
Branch Call Number: 947.43 EIC 2013
Characteristics: 288 pages : illustrations, map
Additional Contributors: Gabel, J. C.
Jacobs, Nova

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Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar

In February 1959, nine experience mountaineers trekked into the Russian Ural Mountains on a multi-day wilderness trip during a break from university. They never returned. Their bodies were found miles from their tent in separate groupings. None of them were wearing shoes. Some bodies demonstrated evidence of a blunt force. One’s tongue was missing and one piece of clothing had high levels... (more)


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A chilling tale that woke me from my sleep with a feeling of isolating anxiety-this was the perfect book to curl up with when you are safely indoors on a cold, winter evening.

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SurreyLibraries_Reads Nov 19, 2018

In February 1959, nine experience mountaineers trekked into the Russian Ural Mountains on a multi-day wilderness trip during a break from university. They never returned. Their bodies were found miles from their tent in separate groupings. None of them were wearing shoes. Some bodies demonstrated... Read More »


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RebelBelle13
Mar 23, 2019

I remember hearing about this incident for the first time about ten years ago, and I was fascinated with it. I wasn't aware of all the particulars- just the highlights: 9 hikers found in the Ural Mountains in 1959, dead under questionable circumstances. Speculation ran the gamut from UFOs and the Abominable Snowman, to Nuclear testing and "classified" information. There was no solid answer based on science, until now.
There are three main narratives in this story, and they bounce around frequently: following Dyatlov's hiking group, the search team, and the author Eichar himself retracing the group's steps from 50 years ago. Getting to know the hikers, their camaraderie, and their motivations was key in helping us to identify with their situation. The maps, photos and diagrams are a fantastic edition to the story, and I spent a long time poring over them. Following the search party was also interesting and important; as the reader discovers information piece-meal, just as the team did in 1959. The sections I found myself skimming over were the sections of the author himself retracing the exact steps of Dyatlov's group. It felt extremely repetitive, and like the author was placing more importance on himself than was necessary. He could have boiled down his journey to a single chapter, pointing out the differences in modes of travel, the change in buildings and/or landscape. It would have been much better if he expanded on the fates of the hikers proposed by others; as it stands, they are related to only a paragraph each.
Without giving away the conclusion, I will say that it completely satisfies my rational, skeptical mind, and I sympathize greatly with Dyatlov and his hiking companions.
This is a fascinating read, and I will certainly be keeping my copy of this book to refer back to, and lend out to others who are also interested in the subject.

s
shelbski
Mar 10, 2019

Interesting read on a tragic incident of which I was unfamiliar. Intriguing story of adventure about the group of young hikers who meet their untimely demise. Interesting to read not only about the courage and curiosity of these hikers, but the current and historical political climate in which it was taking place. The journey of the book was interesting and hard to put down, but in the end, the conclusion drawn by the author left me puzzled. Would I recommend? Yes, but with the disclaimer that you may find just another conspiracy theory; however, if you are interested in taking an armchair adventure and learning about the brave hikers, then, this book is a good choice and a quick read.

d
DASTardlyGal
Jan 27, 2019

I had seen this incident on the www about three years ago, just sort of read a paragraph about it, and forgot about it. Found it again last year. Became really interested this time. Saw that there were a few books written, and this seems to be the only one our library carries. But, I originally bought it on Amazon for my Kindle. I checked it out just so I could see the maps, if any, and the photos in a larger size. I asked my husband if he wanted to read it as a change from the military and history nonfiction he reads. He did, didn't say much about it. I read it after him. Found it well written, and I liked how he went through all the theories and conspiracies and addressed them all. I may not agree with his version of why the hikers died, I believe a medium's version of what happened that I read on Keith McCloskey's website, makes more sense to me and answers the mystery for me, but, his book is excellent and recommend it. I am now re-reading it since this week is the 60th anniversary of when they set out on their trip and find it poignant to do so. So sad what happened to them.

In February 1959, nine experience mountaineers trekked into the Russian Ural Mountains on a multi-day wilderness trip during a break from university. They never returned. Their bodies were found miles from their tent in separate groupings. None of them were wearing shoes. Some bodies demonstrated evidence of a blunt force. One’s tongue was missing and one piece of clothing had high levels of radiation. What happened to the group has been a mystery for decades. American writer Donnie Eichar became obsessed with finding out the story. This book is the culmination of his research, interviews, and personal trek to follow in their footsteps. I found it a fascinating, terrifying journey into the unknown and a stark reminder of the dangers that lurk in the wilderness. A chilling tale that woke me from my sleep with a feeling of isolating anxiety-this was the perfect book to curl up with when you are safely indoors on a cold, winter evening. (Submitted by Meghan).

a
AnneCarolineDrake
Nov 11, 2018

Why? The author answers why college students would find mountain hiking in February a fun adventure in 1959-era Russia. Life was grim, and the beach wasn't an option. It was as close to the sensation of freedom as they'd get in their lifetimes.

It was haunting and sobering to discover that the students were so consumed with their grand adventure that they didn't anticipate the danger they'd likely encounter. A forester tried to warn them, but they pressed on.

Spoiler alert: Maslennikov's assessment was somewhat accurate. I stopped reading a few pages later and skipped to the end of the book. The final experiences of the hikers are akin to reports from people who survive near-miss tornadoes. It's terrifying, and the urge to escape is powerful yet deadly. It is highly doubtful that Russian hikers in 1959 would be aware of this phenomenon.

I thought the book was depressing.

SCL_Tricia Sep 27, 2018

This book skyrocketed onto my favorite nonfiction books. I really enjoyed the way it was written and the suspense that kept you going until the end. It was a short read but fascinating. Definitely will recommend!

m
mlharr
Jan 22, 2017

This book was spooky good! It's about a group of college students who went hiking in northern Russia in the 1950s and never returned. Their bodies were found many yards away from their tent, in odd positions and only half dressed. The tent was found with a large slash cut from the inside out, as though the hikers cut a "back door" into their own tent in sub-zero temps before walking away in nothing but their socks.

What the hell happened?

That's what the author sets out to discover. Along the way he meets a few very interesting Russians and learns some pretty cool science.

You might not think there was much to write about. A group of kids decides to go hiking in northern Russia in January and dies. Of course. But it turns out that there really is quite a few different reasons for everything that happened! You'll need to read the book to find out. There's some science near the end that I hadn't ever heard of!

Book includes photographs taken by the group and by the search-and-rescue teams.

bibliotechnocrat Jun 12, 2016

An American documentary film maker becomes obsessed with the 1959 deaths of nine Soviet hikers who mysteriously fled the shelter of their tent without proper clothing, only to die of hypothermia. Speculation ranging from aliens to secret Soviet weapons tests has swirled around this case for decades. Eichar painstakingly pieces together the events as they occurred and - taking a cue from Sherlock Holmes - tries to eliminate all the possible causes in order to leave the one explanation (however improbable) that addresses all the strange pieces of evidence. A well-written page turner.

s
SuzeParker
Dec 15, 2015

Donnie Eichar's exhaustive research and fine storytelling made this book an excellent read. I'd never heard of the Dyatlov Pass incident, but it's one of those riveting, "can't look away" stories. Eichar's theory about what happened to the hikers on the fateful night of their deaths is certainly not an obvious one, but it's plausible.

w
weedfish999
Oct 26, 2015

I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys non-fiction adventure books, with a heavy dose of mystery. I had a hard time putting it down.

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