- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Chronicle Books (October 22, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1452112746
- ISBN-13: 978-1452112749
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 1,109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,813 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ $5.32 shipping
Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident Hardcover – October 22, 2013
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
The mystery of the bizarre deaths of elite Russian hikers in a 1959 tragedy on a deadly Ural mountain is the subject of Eichar&'s extensive investigation. Eichar, a film director and producer, tries to make sense of the puzzling tale of the dead students from Ural Polytechnic University; he sets off to interview the hikers&' relatives, investigators, and even a lone survivor. Following the search party&'s retrievals of the bodies, the questions deepen when the victims are discovered, insufficiently dressed for the frigid weather, shoeless, with violent injuries, including a horrible skull fracture, a leg torn away, and a tongue ripped out. With expert analysis of the remaining evidence, Eichar tries to answer why the hikers, seven men and two women, would go out into the bitter cold without warm clothing to meet certain death; curious, too, is that the contents of the tent were intact. Possible causes for the panic, according to Eichar and officials, are: an avalanche; mysterious armed men; even a fatal tiff by the males over the women. As the elements of this complicated tangle are compiled, the final wrap-up of the mountain tragedy is overwhelming, befitting a case defying explanation. (Nov.)
The Dyatlov Pass incident is virtually unknown outside Russia, but in that country, it’s been a much-discussed mystery for decades. In 1959, nine Russian university students disappeared on a hiking expedition in the Ural Mountains. A rescue team found their bodies weeks later, nearly a mile from their campsite, partially clothed, shoeless, three of them having died from injuries that indicated a physical confrontation. What happened here? There have been a lot of theories, ranging from misadventure to government conspiracy to freak weather to extraterrestrials, but no one has managed to get to the truth. Drawing on interviews with people who knew the hikers (and with the lone survivor of the expedition, who’d had to turn back due to illness), Russian case documents, and the hikers’ own diaries, Eichar, an American documentarian, re-creates the ill-fated expedition and the investigation that followed. The author’s explanation of what happened on Dead Mountain is necessarily speculative, but it has the advantage of answering most of the long-standing questions while being intuitively plausible. A gripping book, at least as dramaticas Krakauer’s Into Thin Air (1997). --David Pitt
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys mysteries and/or outdoor adventure or is simply looking for a engaging true story...just don't try and read it before your next ski trip!
At the height of the Cold War and Soviet Union power, ten students of the Ural Polytechnic Institute Hiking Club took off on an expedition to Otorten Mountain in the northern Urals. All were experienced winter hikers and mountaineers, especially their leader, Igor Dyatlov. When they failed to return after three weeks, a search was launched. The initial search party found their empty tent and no sign of the hikers. All indications were that the tent had been abandoned in panic. Then, after some weeks of searching, the bodies were found.
"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." (p 23)
One of their group, Yuri Yudin, had turned back, well before the tragedy occurred, due to a bout of pain from his chronic rheumatism, making him the only survivor.
So what could have happened to drive these young people out into a dark night of howling winds in below-zero temperatures? That’s the mystery that has prompted horror stories about the incident and that drives the narrative of Dead Mountain.
I have to admit that the mystery as outlined in the book blurbs grabbed my imagination. I had never heard of the incident and so wanted to know what it was all about, and why it was little known in the West. The book’s author, Donnie Eichar, is a director and producer of film work for MTV. He also became enamored with the story and determined to resolve the mystery. His research led him to literally retrace the hikers’ steps into the Urals in winter. He was the first American to do so.
Mr. Eichar’s prose is well-written and keeps up the tension of the mystery as he takes us with him on his investigation. The narrative alternates between his research and the story of the hikers as recorded in their group diary and photographs. These photographs are readily found on the Internet and I referred to them often as I read Dead Mountain. Many of them are included in the book.
Through the diary and photos the hikers are revealed as smart, well-adjusted young people with a love for life and the outdoors. Their last hike was to earn them a certification that would allow them to teach mountain hiking. So they knew what they were doing. There was one 37 year-old among the group, but the rest were all under 24. They were interested in two-way radios (the geek equivalent of personal computers for the time), hard science (they were engineering and physics majors), and the possibilities for love and romance (especially the two young women). The photos show a lot of college-student clowning and the diary indicates their excitement for their adventure. Accounts from the people that encountered them along their way are all positive as to their demeanor and attitudes.
Tension builds as Mr. Eichar recounts the groups’ final expedition. He tells us enough of the hikers’ personal lives that we get to know them as individuals. We feel their youthful friendships, hopes, and concerns. We struggle with them as they work out the logistics of their trip, and feel the pathos in Yuri’s early parting with them, expecting to reunite in a week’s time.
Tension also builds in the account of Mr. Eichar’s own journey to retrace the hikers’ steps and so gain clues as to what happened to them. He has to deal with a language barrier and his own journey logistics. Being from Florida, he has little experience of mountains and none of sub-zero cold. On top of all this, he makes a search for the lone surviving member of the Dyatlov group, Yuri Yudin.
I found Dead Mountain to be engrossing and hard to put down. Mr. Eichar keeps his prose moving, interesting, and relevant. Internet photos enhance the book, but I found the autopsy photos disturbing. The driving force of the book, however, is the mystery: what happened to hikers? UFOs? Yeti? Bandits? All have been proposed as solutions. After examining all the evidence he could gather, Mr. Eichar comes up with his own idea about what happened.
The last chapter of Dead Mountain is Mr. Eichar’s reconstruction of the events of the hikers’ last night. The scenario he describes is, in my opinion, probably very close to the truth.
I think Dead Mountain is a good exercise in how to approach and to think about a stubborn mystery, especially one with paranormal overtones. It indicates the kind of open-minded work required to get to the bottom of things (whether you think Mr. Eichar did or not). In the end, it is a reminder of the tragedies in this world, and of nine promising young people who were taken out of it much too early.
darkness. It's just not credible. One or two, maybe, but all nine? Nobody flees blindly into certain death unless something more immediately threatening is there, and these folks obviously left in a big hurry, all at once. I don't know what did happen, but I'm not buying this theory. Sorry.
Most recent customer reviews
on recent science. Combination of 1959 events and 2000 plus
Investigation increased intrigue.