Still an avalanche: Swiss scientists have published their version of the drama on the Dyatlov pass
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Still an avalanche: Swiss scientists have published their version of the drama on the Dyatlov pass

29 January , 15:51Science
The authors of the new study believe that a combination of several factors at once led to the death of tourists: the unusual topography of the area, strong winds and an avalanche.

Two Swiss researchers, Johan Gaum from the Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research (Davos) and Alexander Puzrin from the Institute of Geotechnics (Zurich), have provided evidence that the avalanche was to blame for the death of Dyatlov's group, writes New Scientist.

This hypothesis is not new, it was once again confirmed in 2019 by the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, but it did not convince the public and the relatives of the victims. Swiss scholars have attempted to break the main counter-arguments against the version.

Those who do not believe in the avalanche believe that the angle of the slope was insufficient for its descent, and this is confirmed by the fact that it did not leave any traces. The authors of the study explain this by the unique local topography: the ground under the snow was located like steps, so that the average angle of inclination was 28 degrees. At this angle, an avalanche can pass without a trace.

When setting up the tent, the tourists cut off the snow layer, this can be seen in their last photo. Usually, with such damage, the snow settles immediately, but in this case, it stood for another 9-13 hours. Subsidence required an additional load, such as snow. There was no snow that night, but there was a very strong wind - a cold front from the Arctic. The wind blew and pressed snow, which concentrated on the slope just above the tent, and then fell on it.

Снежный пласт над палаткой был срезан таким образом, что стал триггером для схода лавины

The authors of the study also created a computer simulation and showed that the strongest impact of a snow slab could very well have caused the severe chest and skull injuries with which some bodies were found.

Скорость, с которой шла лавина, могла привести к тяжелейшим травмам

The work was published in the journal Communications Earth & Environment.

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