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Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the…

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (original 2013; edition 2014)

by Donnie Eichar (Author)

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3202052,026 (3.91)26
Title:Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
Authors:Donnie Eichar (Author)
Info:Chronicle Books (2014), Edition: Reprint, 288 pages
Collections:Your library

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Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar (2013)

  1. 10
    Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer (sweetbug)
    sweetbug: Both stories of mountaineering adventures gone terribly, terribly wrong.

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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Dead Mountain is incredibly well-researched and overall a fantastic read. However, the author does NOT entertain the idea of conspiracy theories; Eichar is a journalist hunting for a rational explanation. If you are looking for a book about the conspiracy theories surrounding the Dyatlov Pass Incident, or a book that just summarizes their journey, look elsewhere. Eichar extensively researches the confirmed events surrounding the Incident and even travels to Russia to recreate the ill-rated expedition's 1959 final hike. Eichar revitalizes not only the expedition itself, but the lives and personalities of the hikers. Truly a fantastic investigation and highly entertaining read. ( )
  bookishblond | Oct 24, 2018 |
This book was like, 30% interesting information, 20% atmosphere and cool science and 50% padding.

I understand, I mean the author is writing about a mystery we can never really solve; none of the Dyatlov hiking group survived so creating an exhaustive account of their disastrous last hike is pretty much impossible. And I think the author's conclusions at the end are very logical and well-reasoned; I enjoyed how the author didn't descend into lurid conspiracy nonsense.

But what I wish there'd been more of here was a wider context. Dyatlov and his hiking party were young adults at an incredibly important time in history; their lives were shaped by the thaw introduced by Khrushchev in the wake of Stalin's depth and I wish the author had included more historic details in discussing the hikers themselves and their environment. I recognize the author isn't an historian but I'm sure he could've found some to talk to. I think that context would've given the book more heft and made the hikers themselves feel more real.

But overall this was a good quick read about an infamous event that leads to a conclusion that makes much more sense than aliens or secret Russian weapons. If you like historical mysteries, I'd definitely recommend this. ( )
  ElleGato | Sep 27, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this one! I really like survivalist non-fiction literature, and I stumbled upon this recently when looking into Everest and K2 non-fiction texts. This one struck me as interesting right off the bat because this storyline has been so shrouded in mystery. I reminded me of the Titanic event but a mountaineering expedition. The crazy thing about the Titanic situation is that SO many things can be explained now, in the 21st century. Why did the lookouts not see the iceberg until it was RIGHT THERE!? Well, there's a scientific explanation for that. This true story is very comparable to that situation and just as fatal (though without the staggeringly high numbers). Donnie Eichar weaves his narrative storyline with the original one as he follows the original path and interviews experts. The most interesting pieces come together at the end. I was left 100% convinced that "THAT" was what happened that day (the "that" you'll have to find out for yourself). I was really happy that, as real life would have it, Donnie and his small team were able to come up with a legitimate solution to the problem that was this mystery. By the time I got to the end, I felt like there was closure and I was satisfied. In other words, thankfully, this is not a non-fiction mystery story where you don't ever end up finding out 'who dun it,' and I was very grateful for that.

So why did I give it a 4 and not a 5? There were some lolling moments for me here and there, when I was needed a bit more action to perk me up, and it just wasn't happening. That is no fault of the author's, and we can't go back and recreate history to make it more 'exciting' for us when we want it to be. So my rating is not based necessarily off of the author's abilities to write or the story in and of itself (both of which are fantastic), but the fact that I personally had moments where, as I read, I told myself to "focus, perk up, have another cup of coffee so you can get to the good stuff!"

Great read! Would recommend it to anyone who likes survivalist types of books, fiction or otherwise, enjoys unsolved mysteries, or likes the outdoors and enjoys hearing about others pushing themselves to their limits! ( )
1 vote justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
Having read some previous reviews of this book, I went in knowing what to expect. I knew there would be a lot of time spent on the author's own journey to Russia and attempts to uncover as much information from as many related people to the case as he could. I knew there would be a fair bit of time given to the lead up to the incident as well, which in truth was what I wanted. I wanted the hikers to be humanized and to have a good understanding of the world in which they lived. I wanted to feel part of the experience; the book delivered on both of those points.

The Dyatlov Pass Incident is pretty ubiquitous in Fortean circles and has more conspiracy theories associated with it than I can even count. This book doesn't delve too deeply into the more outlandish incidents, although it does give some adequate explanations for the "orbs" that often come into play when this case is mentioned. Instead, this book focuses on the story of the hikers, and one by one the reasons why the various touted explanations for their deaths (avalanches, CO poisoning, etc.) are inadequate. Yes, by the end the author does have a fairly decent explanation for all that happened.

I liked this book, and found it an extremely quick read. I devoured it, on the edge of my seat for most of it, and left at the end with a feeling of certain melancholy. It can be easy, at times, to forget that the true crimes people like me enjoy reading about have people behind them. This book pays all proper respects to the hikers and leaves you, at the end, feeling you very well might have known them - or do know people like them in your own life. While a slim volume, it is a rather satisfying one. I'm glad I gave it a read, and will definitely recommend it to others. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
I found this book to be just a little dull.

The central mystery, what caused 9 experienced hikers to bolt from the warmth and protection of their tent into freezing winter conditions in total darkness without any boots or shoes and only minimal clothing to protect themselves from deadly winter cold, remains fascinating and still not entirely solved though many explanations ranging from UFO's and Bigfoot to Soviet military weapons testing have been offered.

The book is actually rather tedious for such a compelling and mystifying event. He does a good job of telling us about the young hikers and their dreams of achieving higher hiking certification by conquering a remote Ural mountaintop. I do think that he missed an opportunity to bring something else into the story, whether it was more about the Soviet Union in the 1950's or some background on the many possible explanations that have been offered to explain this weird and interesting story.

In some ways he, an American, traveling to and writing about Russia appears to not want to offend anyone and so keeps his narrative well within predictable, sober limits. The Russian's are a little touchy about a mysterious American wandering around their countryside trying to solve a riddle that has eluded all of their own attempts to provide a solution and it shows. I guess I would describe this book as "careful" and a little too sober to be much fun.

It's a short read but still, I almost packed it in and advanced to the last chapter to look for the "answer" but managed to hang in and go through to the end.

I give Eichar credit for not sensationalizing anything, which, again, I think he might have been careful about out of respect for the many Russians who helped him along on his journey to make sense of this mystery.

The facts are fairly dry however and I can see many ways that he could have spiced up the story by telling any number of parallel stories along the way to perhaps make the narrative more compelling.

Read Dead Mountain for the central mystery which is fascinating and not so much for the story Eichar tells which just falls short, not in terms of its facts but simply because it just remains ... kind of dull.

Or maybe go to Wikipedia and start there with the The Dyatlov Pass Incident and save a credit. ( )
  blnq | Jun 3, 2018 |
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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. Eichar retraces the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter to bring the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.… (more)

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