The seemingly obvious answer to this mystery is that it was an avalanche. Why don’t people believe that this is the case?
The answer to this question has been compiled by a combination of review, first hand testimony and personal investigation. The evidence against an avalanche is as follows:
At the time of discovery, the specific location of the incident did not have any obvious signs of an avalanche having taken place. Many people have assumed that because the search and rescue party seen in old photographs had snow prods there must have been considerable movement of snow. In actual fact the snow prod is merely standard rescue equipment.
A study of the area using up-to-date terrain-related physics has revealed that the location is not conducive to the formation of snow build up of the kind that causes an avalanche.
"More than 100 expeditions to the region have been held since the event took place and none of them have ever reported conditions that might create an avalanche in this location."
The first bodies were found within ten days of the event and only covered with a shallow layer of (atmospheric) snow. Had there been an avalanche of sufficient strength to sweep away the second party then these bodies would have been swept away as well.
The condition of the tent when it was discovered indicated that it had not been impacted with any form of snow flow of sufficient strength to knock over the poles. Put another way – it had collapsed laterally not horizontally. This is clearly visible in the photographs.
An avalanche would have left “Flow” patterns and other “debris” distributed over a wide area. Neither of these indicators were ever found.
An avalanche of sufficient strength to “sweep” four people into a ravine – beyond the tree line – some 1.5 kilometres from their tent should have produced two results. Firstly it would have caused far more serious and different injuries and secondly it would have damaged the tree line at the point of impact. Neither of these conditions were ever observed.
The "dangerous" conditions sometimes referred to by proponents of the avalanche theory were observed in April and May when the snow falls of winter were melting. During February, when the incident occurred, there were no such conditions. In addition, the so called conditions were observed in a different location with significantly steeper slopes and cornices.
An analysis of the terrain, the slope and the incline indicates that even if there could have been a “miraculous” avalanche, its trajectory would have bypassed the tent.
Dyatlov was an experienced skier and the much older Alexander Zolotarev was studying for his Masters Certificate in ski instruction and mountain hiking. Neither of these two men would have been foolish enough to allow the camp to be established anywhere in the path of a possible avalanche.