Researchers find another clue in the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass

He said that knowing the history of the place, he senses “a kind of macabre atmosphere” on the pass, which takes days to reach from the town of Ivdel, itself a day train ride from the city of Yekaterinburg. “You’re all alone up there.”

Mr Born said he was “really excited” by the documented evidence of an avalanche but said the case would always remain a mystery. “At some point in this Dyatlov mystery,” he said, “you have to be open-minded about the fact that there are some things you’ll never understand.”

Mr Gaume said the winds helped explain why no avalanche had been previously documented in the area, despite the region being home to indigenous peoples, the Mansi. “These avalanches are triggered in conditions where people don’t go out because it’s so windy and stormy, and hours later the wind has covered the tracks,” he said.

The latest article by Mr. Puzrin and Mr. Gaume, published in Communications Earth & Environment journal, is not peer-reviewed. And two avalanche experts who weren’t involved, Karl Birkeland and Doug Chabot, expressed skepticism, saying that while the Swiss scientists had shown how it could happen, it was still unlikely.

“We believe that the avalanche hypothesis cannot be completely ruled out, but that it is not the most likely scenario,” said Mr. Birkeland, director of the US Forest Service’s National Avalanche Center. “While it may be remotely possible, we would suspect it would be highly unlikely.”

He and Mr. Chabot, the director of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center in Montana, said evidence of an avalanche near the tent site “has no real relevance” because safe terrain could be right next to dangerous conditions.

They also expressed concern about whether the terrain was steep enough. Despite the 3-D mapping, they believe the slopes shown in old photos “are not steep enough for an avalanche,” Birkeland said. Researchers find another clue in the mystery of the Dyatlov Pass

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