It froze in 20 minutes. Found the first evidence of the death of the Dyatlov group under an avalanche

In January 2021, Swiss scientists Johan Gaume, head of the Snow and Avalanche Modeling Laboratory of the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne, and Alexander Puzrin of the ETH Zurich Geotechnical Institute, using a mathematical model, said that the death of the Dyatlov group in the Ural mountains in February 1959 may have been an avalanche. . The authors estimate that the avalanche may have occurred 9-13 hours after hikers cut the snow to protect their tents from the wind. The researchers carried out a three-dimensional numerical simulation of the damage such an avalanche could cause to humans, and their results corresponded to the injuries recorded in the research materials.

The death of tourists has been controversial for many years, among the possible causes were both avalanches and a number of conspiracy theories – from the attack of gunmen to testing a new type of weapon or the crash of rocket stages. While the Swiss version seemed vindicated and found support among a number of scientists, something was missing – documentary evidence that avalanches occurred at the site of his death, which was thought not to be avalanche-prone.

During one of their transit expeditions on March 29, 2021, participants noticed an unusual dark formation on the neighboring slope, which they first thought was the shadow of a cloud, and then found it in footage shot by director Matteo Born. To find out the nature of the dark spot, in January 2022, another expedition, which witnessed an avalanche for the first time, set out for the transition, the first proof of the version of Swiss scientists who have published new results in a paper. diary Communication World and Environment. How this avalanche was discovered, Oleg Demyanenko, head of the Ural Expeditions company, a member of this expedition, told

— Who was the initiator of the new expedition?

— It was a common idea with the Swiss, we helped each other. When these photos were taken a year ago, there was intense interest in them. Our 2021 photo was taken from afar and it wasn’t clear what it was. Decided to go there again this year and have a look at this place.

– How far is this place from the place of death of the Dyatlovians?

“About three kilometers. On the scale of the mountains – this is nothing, almost the same place.

How was your trip?

– My assistant, guide Dmitry Borisov and I, choosing a weather window, set off from Vizhay on two snowmobiles. In total, we traveled 240 kilometers with a two-night stay.
We drove along the Lozva but had to drive through the forest for about 20 kilometers as there were springs in the river. The weather was fine but the day we reached the pass the conditions deteriorated sharply, rather than a possible avalanche. But still, after spending the whole day, we came to this place at a speed of 3 kilometers per hour with a view of 50 meters. We only have approximate coordinates of this location as determined from satellite images. We actually walked by touching the funnel formed by the avalanche after we reached the point where the snowmobiles could no longer move.

I train as a geologist, have extensive field experience, so I can judge something from my own position in terms of geomorphology. This place, which is a kind of circus, is quite interesting in terms of geomorphology. Apparently, it snows there so much that it occasionally rains avalanches. And we got there so well that 15-20 minutes before our arrival a micro avalanche fell and we managed to record the trace of its convergence. Literally half an hour later there was no sign of avalanche because there was a blizzard and we documented all this. Due to the special aerodynamics of the ground, the snow on the funnel flies away at great speed, and in this place, it seems, some kind of sparseness occurs and is densely settled.

– How did you realize that an avalanche had fallen in front of you in 20 minutes?

– We were there for a long time, and during this time we could guess that the snow had almost completely filled the funnel.

– Have you taken any measurements on site, including snow depth?

— We had good equipment, quadcopters and good cameras, but the weather did not allow us to do more than we had. We measured the depth of snow at the top and foot of the slope, in some places it was two meters, in one place a meter, in another place it was more than 4 meters. At the bottom of the funnel, the depth is only 40 centimeters, the stones come out, burst and do not linger there. We had to make a mathematical model of this funnel using a drone, but we couldn’t due to the weather conditions.

– Is the slope in this place clearly greater than where the Dyatlov group died?

Yes, this place is bigger. But it was important for us to understand that in principle an avalanche is possible here. Of course, the chances of simulating the same conditions at the tent site are 1 in 10 thousand. After all, they said for a long time that this cannot and will not be here. We have proven that the area is potentially avalanche-prone. And although everyone always says it will never happen, there are avalanches out there.

I myself am a supporter of the avalanche version, and looking at topographic maps of this region there are many similar places where avalanches are possible. Previously, they did not pay attention to them, but then, by chance, this strange phenomenon was seen in one of the photos. By the way, when glaciologists saw the first picture in 2021 they said, “Oh, that’s 99% avalanche.”

The avalanche version of the death of the Dyatlov tourist group in the Ural mountains received documentary evidence for the first time. A member of a recent expedition told that avalanches occur in these places and are very rare.

Source: Gazeta


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