do you think the dylatov pass incident was one of your cousins’ doing?

Possibly. For those who do not know what this is, a group of experienced hikers set out for a relatively normal hike, though in conditions usually considered complicated. Their guide had done this trek many times. They did not reach their second checkpoint. Some days later search parties were sent out, and the situation seemed bizarre to say the least. The tent had been cut from the inside. They exited the tent without their supplies, some not even wearing shoes. Their skis and boots and weather clothing were there, in the snow. Near the tree line, there were two bodies. It appeared as if they’d attempted to climb the trees or build a fire. Bodies were scattered in various states on the way to the bottom of the gorge. Four months later, several more bodies were found beneath the snow. Their injuries were bizarre; some had crushing injuries, one was missing its tongue. The last four bodies were wearing clothing from the previous corpses, some of which gave off minor radioactivity (though this is not of consequence as one of the hikers worked at a nuclear facility and it was his clothing).

I believe that they were surprised out of the tent, possibly by something from outside. The commonly held wisdom suggests a fire inside the tent, but I disagree, as the evidence of a fire was several days old, and shows up in their photography (singed clothing and so forth). I doubt very much they would have allowed another fire to take place, and also there was no evidence of fire on scene. Experienced hikers like they would never have left their tent in the snow, without their shoes, skis, or coats, unless chased. They died a few hundred yards from their tent, and they should have been able to easily return to it at any time, but they didn’t. They continued moving away from it, down the slope, into the river valley, when surely their tent and its direction would be completely obvious by the lay of the land itself.

After that point, much of their actions make complete sense. You climb the tree to scout. You build fires to survive. You steal the clothes of others to warm yourself when you have nothing else. You keep moving toward the tree line for water, cover, and a path cut into the snow by a river. You build an ice hut for shelter. You hunker down and wait for rescue.

But why don’t they return to the tent to get at least their shoes and food?

Why? What frightened them out of the tent and kept them from it for days, while they slowly moved yards away, never able to return to their supplies?

Something chased them out.

I have no idea what that might be. If one of mine, they weren’t eaten. So I cannot help but think that if it was a Cousin, it was merely one of the average sort, and they were in no danger at all.

But it is one of the mysteries I should like solved one day.

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