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Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
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Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

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3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  5,423 Ratings  ·  829 Reviews
In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on ...more
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published October 22nd 2013 by Chronicle Books
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Dem The wonderful thing about Donnie Eichar's book is that he explores all theories and gives reasonable explanations for some of the unexplained…moreThe wonderful thing about Donnie Eichar's book is that he explores all theories and gives reasonable explanations for some of the unexplained happenings. His theory and explanations at the end of the book left me satisfied that this was probably what did happen on the night.(less)

Community Reviews

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Matt
Aug 05, 2016 Matt rated it really liked it
How’s this for a mystery?

In February 1959, nine Russian hikers ventured into the Ural Mountains and never returned. When searchers went looking for them, they discovered a distressing scene. The hikers’ tent had been cut open. Despite ample supplies, the hikers’ bodies were found outside the tent only partially dressed. Six of the hikers had succumbed to hypothermia, but others showed signs of head trauma. One of the corpses had a missing tongue. Of course, since this was the Soviet Union – lan
...more
Trudi

This is one creepy-ass unsolved mystery, and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. The true story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident and the inexplicable deaths of nine experienced hikers is one of those strange but true tales that leaves a person shuddering from the heebie-jeebies.

Remote and inhospitable Ural Mountains, Russia. February 1959.

A group of nine university students -- 7 men, 2 women -- set up their tent for the evening.

The experienced hikers begin the ritual of settling in for
...more
Dem
Nov 02, 2014 Dem rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
An Excellent Read.

Thank you to Mr Donnie Eichar for finally satisfying my curiosity on the Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I had come across this story on a couple of occasions but had very little information on it and was so glad to have located this book while searching for a completely different book on the internet

" In February 1959 a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident i
...more
Josh
Mar 30, 2013 Josh rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, high-five


We are fragile beings. The camaraderie of a group, their emotions, their smiles only last so long: Through photographs, the eternal message of latter days.

When a book stays on your mind continuously for several days, you have to then try to reason why. Why am I still thinking about this? Why does it seem to affect me more in the long run than when I initially read it?

Humans, as a whole, are curious; the search for knowledge is innate and a troublesome curmudgeon, never letting go. When there is
...more
Carol
Nov 08, 2014 Carol rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Dyatlov Pass Incident

In this riveting and informative non-fiction read, Documentary Filmmaker and Author, Donnie Eichar, pieces together the mystery of WHY nine young experienced Russian hikers left their tent after dark without shoes or proper clothing in sub-zero temperatures back in 1956. It was determined that six died of hypothermia, the remaining three of brutal injuries......one even missing a tongue, but.......WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?

Eichar does a great job of investigating and succinct

...more
abby
Dec 28, 2016 abby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction


"In savage winter conditions, and over a vast stretch of ground, all nine fought for their own and one another's lives with the bravery and endurance worthy of Grade III hikers. It was a distinction they would never earn, but one that each of them so rightly deserved."

In January 1959, ten young but seasoned hikers set off from Yekaterinburg, Russia, where most of them were engineering students at a local college, on a trek through the treacherous Ural mountains. One came home early due to heath
...more
Jen
Nov 08, 2014 Jen rated it liked it
In 1959, 9 experienced hikers disappear in the Ural Mountains. What becomes a search and rescue mission, unfortunately becomes a recovery one. It takes months before all of the bodies are located. Speculation and theories surround the mystery of what happened to make them leave the security of their tent, in subarctic temps, scantily clad, and bring them to their death. It was well researched and fascinating. This is Eichar's take of what he suspects happened to them. We may never know exactly b ...more
Amanda
Dec 21, 2016 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This was an excellent nonfiction. I think this is as close to a true crime book I've read - due to the mystery surrounding the deceased Dyatlov hikers - and I enjoyed myself so much I think I'll have to start reading true crime! Eichar is foremost concerned with humanizing the nine hikers who died at the foot of Dead Mountain in 1959. This is not only humane, but very effective for storytelling as soon I was as invested in learning what happened to Igor and Zina and Georgy and the rest of the hi ...more
Petra
Feb 21, 2016 Petra rated it it was amazing
I heard about this incident a while back, through a youtube video and it intrigued me ever sense.
I researched the story on the internet, but unfortunately all I got were crackpot theories about UFOs and Yetis. The lack of hard facts annoyed me and that's why I was so eager to read this book.
And I have to say, this was a rare case for me when a book did meet my expectations.


So here it goes....


Nine experienced hikers die in the Ural Mountains. What's really unusual though, is that they cut their
...more
Noeleen
Dec 29, 2014 Noeleen rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of the Dyatlov Pass Incident before and it was only through another Goodreads friend that I even came across this book, thanks Dem! What a great first read of 2015 to get the New Year off to a fabulous reading start, a five star read!

I decided not to buy the kindle version of the book as I knew it contained a lot of photographs, so I ended up buying it for my Ipad which displayed the photographs excellently. I would suggest that if you are considering reading this book you buy
...more
Ellen Gail
Dec 01, 2014 Ellen Gail rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reminder to self: self, write a proper review for this. Twas a damn good book.
Myrna
Nov 19, 2016 Myrna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-ebook
I picked this book up without reading the title properly. I thought I was going to read about the Donner Party but no it was about a different tragedy, the Dyatlov Pass Incident. I've never heard of this catastrophe - nine Russian skiers died in terrible and strange circumstances in 1959. Needles to say, there are countless of conspiracy theories out there and the author, Eichar, did address quite a few. In Eichar’s investigation, he used diaries, interviews, government reports, and photos to de ...more
Rowan
Jun 26, 2017 Rowan rated it it was amazing
I read this book over a weekend and found it impossible to put down! Since then, I have been devouring any piece of information I can find on the Dyatlov Pass Incident. That alone is testament to the passion and infectious enthusiasm for the case that Donnie Eichar has put into this book. Trying to solve the mystery behind “an unknown compelling force” kept me gripped throughout!

One of the first things you notice is the respectful tone of the book. Each chapter follows the story of the hikers, t
...more
MountainShelby
Aug 23, 2013 MountainShelby rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
Received through GR First Reads. I haven't been this wrapped up in a survival story since reading Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster years ago. I knew a little about the 1959 tragedy of the 9 "hikers" (translation aside, "expeditioners" is more accurate), mostly through the online videos and websites touting various theories, many of which are steeped in Cold War-era conspiracy theories and even alien intervention. This book retraces their fateful journey, interwoven w ...more
Becky
Wow. Wow. I have read some GREAT books as part of my 2015-2016 adventure themed read (which, btw is going on much longer than it was intended to because books just keep falling into my lap), but this book definitely stands among the best.

If you are familiar with alpining and rock climbing stories, then you’ve most likely heard about Dyatlov Pass. It’s a damn modern ghost story that backpackers and alpiners alike spook themselves with sitting at a campfire. In almost any backwoods or alpining sur
...more
Gina
Nov 11, 2016 Gina rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting story. I was engaged in all the characters. This was a smooth and very informative read. I loved learning about the ways of the times in Russia in 1959. This author's writing was very detailed and made me feel as though I was there with them. It was clear that he had done extensive research and actually took the very steps of the 9 students. An excellent writer and great book.
Markus
Nice to start a year with 5 star book.

'In February 1959, a group of nine experienced hikers in the Russian Ural Mountains died mysteriously on an elevation known as Dead Mountain. Eerie aspects of the incident—unexplained violent injuries, signs that they cut open and fled the tent without proper clothing or shoes, a strange final photograph taken by one of the hikers, and elevated levels of radiation found on some of their clothes—have led to decades of speculation over what really happened.'

I
...more
David
Aug 09, 2015 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Soviet hikers, obsessed American journalists, conspiracy theorists
The Dyatlov Pass Incident has all the ingredients necessary for a creepy, enduring mystery: back in 1959, nine Russian college students went for a hike in the Urals, an inhospitable, avalanche-prone region, and never returned. Search parties eventually found their bodies, scattered, unclothed, with body parts missing, their tent mysteriously torn open. Add in the predictable Soviet cover-up, unnatural radiation levels found in the bodies, and UFO sightings, and it's a virtual buffet for conspira ...more
Christopher
Here the basic points about the Dyatlov Pass incident: on the night of February 2, 1959 a group of ten Russian hikers in the frozen Ural mountains left their tents (or cut there way out, in one case) without cold weather gear or even shoes. None of them survived the night. Their bodies were found weeks later, buried in snow, showing signs of struggle and physical trauma. One body missed a tongue. Tests showed that their bodies and belongings contained high levels of radioactive contamination. Th ...more
Daphne
Jul 27, 2015 Daphne rated it liked it
Shelves: own-audio
Super creepy story. I admit that I learned about this incidence first from the rather wonderfully horrible movie called Devil's Pass on Netfix.

After that movie, I went through the dark places of the internet to explore the topic. The pictures you can find on there are not for the faint of heart. There are many images available of the dead hikers after they were found and their autopsies. It's fascinating and disquieting.

I then found this book, and decided to give it a try. I went with the 3 sta
...more
Ruth Turner
Dec 02, 2014 Ruth Turner rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction

Trying to write about, and solve, a 50-year-old mystery that occurred in a foreign country must have been a daunting task, but the author has done a brilliant job.

The book is well written, and the subject well researched, which makes it a compelling read.

Included are photographs taken by the hikers themselves, and also the rescuers which made the story so much more real.

I wasn’t particularly interested in the author’s 2012 journey to retrace the steps of the hikers, and I skimmed parts of it.

I a
...more
Lucille
Nov 10, 2016 Lucille rated it really liked it

Thank you, Donnie Eichar, for not writing a kooky book. Or, more precisely, a book with a kooky theory proffered in "solving" the mystery (truly!!!) of the nine Dyatlov Pass hikers, who perished under bizarre circumstances. The story of these hikers and their demise was so inexplicable, compelling and disquieting, that it's no surprise that the theories surrounding the manner of their deaths to date have been disputable, unlikely, implausible, or outright nutso. This is a mystery that begged for
...more
Rori Rischak
Jan 25, 2017 Rori Rischak rated it it was ok
I zipped through this book because I found the subject matter fascinating, but the presentation of the material definitely disappointed me. I had two major problems with the book:
1. A LARGE chunk of the book was devoted to the author telling his own story about traveling to Russia, preparing to hike the Ural Mountains, and other stuff not too related to the mystery surrounding the Dyatlov Pass incident. The reason I read this book, and probably the reason a lot of other people read this book, is
...more
Dawn
In 1959, in the remote Ural Mountains of Russia, near Siberia, ten college students set out on their winter break to earn their Grade III hiking level, the most difficult. Ten days into their trip (and minus one hiker who turned back to head home a few days earlier because of the pain from his chronic rheumatism), the hikers set up camp on Holatchahl Mountain (which is native Mansi tribe for Dead Mountain). That night, an unknown event sent the nine very experienced hikers (7 male, 2 female) fle ...more
jeremy
Apr 19, 2014 jeremy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gen-nonfiction
donnie eichar's dead mountain, the true story of the mysterious and compelling dyatlov pass incident, is as riveting a tale as they come. for over a half-century, this infamous tragedy has remained inexplicable yet endlessly intriguing. eichar's impressively-researched book may well become the definitive account of this fateful event.

in january 1959, ten russian hikers - led by engineering student igor dyatlov - set out on a trek into the ural mountains while on winter break. nine of these exper
...more
Jill
Jun 14, 2014 Jill rated it really liked it
Probably the most emotionally exhausting thing I've read all year, but worth it for anyone who's read about the mysterious Dyatlov Pass incident on the Internet and wanted to learn more. Eichar, having exhausted every conspiracy website about the tragedy, makes it clear that he's not interested in entertaining tales about aliens or government assassinations or anything of the sort. His prosaic approach seems uninspired and unimaginative at times, but in retrospect, he took the most respectful ap ...more
Kirsten
Mar 07, 2014 Kirsten rated it liked it
If you're like me and you have spent insomniatic nights going down the rabbit hole of conspiracy sites, you've probably heard of the Dyatlov Pass Incident. In February 1959, nine Russian hikers perished under strange circumstances in Russia's Ural Mountains. Their bodies were found scattered from their tent, most having died of either blunt trauma or hypothermia. The incident's been dogged with rumors of KGB hits, infighting, attacks from outsiders, and even UFOs or secret weapons testing. Donni ...more
Veronica
Jan 19, 2016 Veronica rated it really liked it
I wanna give this book a million stars because (let's get real sappy and real a propos for the events in the story itself) it felt like it opened up the skies of reading for me. THE SKIES. (yes i'm aware that there are more than a million stars).

So why did I give it only 4 stars?

First of all, I would like to say that am such a sucker for journalists writing books. I feel as though because they have just learned about this expansive subject matter themselves they make everything super simple, e
...more
Grumpus
Dec 31, 2015 Grumpus rated it liked it
Do you hear that?

This book offers a plausible solution to a 50-year old mystery involving the death of nine very experienced Russian hikers found in sub-zero conditions in various stages of undress all scattered in different directions from their tent.

C’mon, quit messing around. There’s something out there.

All died from hypothermia and many did not bother to put on shoes or jackets before running from the tent to escape. Something.

There, there it is. Do you see it? Now it’s over there. No
...more
Reeda
Jan 20, 2015 Reeda rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction, mystery
I first heard about this mystery sometime last year when someone posted something about it on Facebook. I was fascinated with this mystery and read what I could find online and have watched several documentaries about it. With that in mind:

The author did an outstanding job with the research for this book, going so far as to hiking the trail taken by the fateful group so long ago. Besides all of the information gathered, he also did a phenomenal job in bringing the lives of the 9 hikers (original
...more
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Author Donne Eichar is an acclaimed director, producer and writer of film and television.
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“Siberia,” historically, has been less a geographical designation than a state of mind, a looming threat—the frozen hell on earth to which czarist and Communist Russias sent their political undesirables. By this definition, Siberia is not so much a place as it is a hardship to endure, and perhaps that’s what Vladimir means when he says that we are in Siberia. I trudge on.” 2 likes
“In his 1973 “literary investigation,” The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitsyn exposed the practices of the Soviet penal system: “If the intellectuals in the plays of Chekhov who spent all their time guessing what would happen in twenty, thirty or forty years had been told that in forty years interrogation by torture would be practiced in Russia; that prisoners would have their skulls squeezed within iron rings, that a human being would be lowered into an acid bath; that they would be trussed up naked to be bitten by ants and bedbugs; that a ramrod heated over a primus stove would be thrust up their anal canal (the ‘secret brand’); that a man’s genitals would be slowly crushed beneath the toe of a jackboot; and that, in the luckiest possible circumstances, prisoners would be tortured by being kept from sleeping for a week, by thirst, and by being beaten to a bloody pulp, not one of Chekhov’s plays would have gotten to its end because all the heroes would have gone off to insane asylums.” 2 likes
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