Dyatlov Pass Pt 7: The Hikers

A brief bio on each of the hikers is in order I think and here they are:

Igor Alekseivich Dyatlov — was born 13 January 1936 in Russia. He was the group leader on this expedition. He was a student Igor Dyatlovat UPI and a talented engineer. In his second year at UPI he designed a radio that he used during his hike in 1956 to the Sayan Mountains. He was also the designer and builder of the portable heater/stove used by the hikers inside the tent during the Dyatlov hike. People who knew him said he was a thoughtful young man and one who never made rash decisions. He courted another member of the group, Zina Kolmogorova. He was also one of the most experienced hikers and athletes in the group.  Nothing in his profile seems out of the ordinary other than he must have been an adventurer and somewhat of the inventor.  Nothing in his relationship with Zina seems out of the ordinary either.

Zinaida (Zina) Alekseevna Kolmogorova — Courted the groups leader Dyatlov.  She was born on 12 January 1937 in Russia.  She was a 4th year student at UPI majoring in Radio Engineering.  Those who knew her said she was always willing to carry her own weight and that she was outgoing and energetic.  They said people were naturally drawn to her and was popular at the university.  She was remembered for always being full of ideas and for being unwilling to cause hardships for others.  There is nothing out of the ordinary in her profile.

Zinaida Kolmogorova aka "Zina"

Zinaida Kolmogorova aka “Zina”








Alexander Sergeievich Kolevatov — was born 16 November 1934 in Russia.  He was a 4th year student at UPI

Alexander Kolevatov

Alexander Kolevatov

majoring in Nuclear Physics.  Prior to coming to UPI he attended  and finished the Sverdlovsk Mining and Metallurgy College in Sverdlovsk, Russia majoring in Metallurgy of Heavy Nonferrous Metals.  He was considered to be a good student.  He moved to Moscow to work in a secret institute of the Ministry of Medium Machine Building at one point prior to the fatal hike.  This institute was known simply by its serial number 3394 and was likely run by the KGB.  He later moved to the Research Institute of Inorganic Materials which was engaged in producing materials for the Soviet nuclear industry.  In 1956 he returned to Sverdlovsk and enrolled in UPI.  Those who knew him described him as being “cautious”  yet studious young man.  He had a habit for liking to smoke antique pipes.  His friends described him as diligent, pedantic, and methodical with strong and clear leadership qualities.  He is one of the two hikers suspected by some as being a KGB agent or at least in their hire!

Semyon Alexndrovich Zoltoaryov (aka Sasha) — Born in Russia on 2 February 1921 Semyon was the eldest

Semyon Zolotaryov (Sasha)

Semyon Zolotaryov (Sasha)

member of the Dyatlov group being age 38 at the time of his death.  He was also the most mysterious group member! This man was an ethnic North Caucasian Kuban Cossack and Cossacks are, frankly, detested by some Russians.  He survived the Great Patriotic War (WW2) having served in the Soviet military from October 1941 until May of 1946. He managed to survive even though he and his unit were basically easy targets for the Nazis on the Soviet Front.  In fact the survival rate among his kind of unit was only 3% yet Semyon somehow managed to survive.  He must have been a very lucky man or a very ingenious man!  After the war he joined the Communist Party and in April of 1946 he was transferred to the Leningrad Military Engineering University in modern-day St Petersburg.  He later transferred to the Minsk Institute of Physical Education.  He had worked as a guide for hiker and tourist groups at some time based in Artybash in the Altai Mountains, Southern Siberia.  He used several aliases and had two nicknames.  Sasha and Alexander.  There is no apparent reason why he used several aliases.  There are many things in his bio that are not explained.  For one thing it seems he was constantly on the move, moving across Russia often and for no apparent reason.  Was this man running from something?  Was this man really a criminal and feared being caught or perhaps a real spy?  He never married and this was usual for a southern Cossack.  He had several “strange” tattoos which he kept hidden by clothing with one being his year of birth (1921), a military slogan which is common among Soviet soldiers who served together for a long time, the Russian letter for “friendship,” and some initials or a word that no one can interpret.  In his photos he often appears tense or bored.  He is one of the two hikers suspected of being a KGB agent or in their hire.

Lyudmilla Alexandrovna Dubinina (aka Lyuda) — was born in Russia on 12 May 1938.  She was a 3rd year student at UPI majoring in Engineering and Economics.  She was the youngest of the Dyatlov hiker group.  She was described as being athletic and strong.  She was also described as being a dedicated and outspoken Communist.  She was active in the Tourist Club (Hikers Club) and liked to sing and take photos.  She is believed to have taken many of the photos on the Dyatlov hike.  In 1957 she was on another hiking trip.  This one was to the Eastern Sayan Mountains.  She was “accidentally” shot by another hiker who was apparently cleaning his rifle.

Lyudmila Dubinina

Lyudmila Dubinina







Yuri Nikolaievich Doroshenko — was born in Russia on 29 January 1938.  He was at student at UPI majoring

Yuri Doroshenko

Yuri Doroshenko

in Radio Engineering.  Those who knew him described him as having an “impulsive personality.”  He had a bit of fame attached to him at the university as he once ran after a large bear with only a geologists hammer while he was on a camping trip!  He had formerly been in a relationship with Zina Kolmogorova who was courting group leader Igor Dyatlov at the time of the fateful Dyatlov hike.  Apparently, he was even introduced to her parents and the relationship was somewhat rather serious in nature.  For some reason they broke up their relationship but remained good friends  even though she was dating Dyatlov.


Rustem Vladimirovich Slobodin (aka Rustik) — was born in Russia on 11 January 1936.  In 1959 he

Rustem Slobodin

Rustem Slobodin

graduated from UPI.  Those who knew him remembered him as being a very athletic young man.  Some remembered him as being honest and a descent young man.  Others said he was quiet at times sometimes strangely quiet, perhaps.  He was musically talented knowing how to play the mandolin which he usually took along on his hikes.  He took that mandolin on the Dyatlov hike as well.  His father was a professor at the Sverdlovsk University and apparently was well respected.  For some reason although Rustem was ethnically Russian his father gave him a name “Rustem” that is typically considered to be a traditional Tartar name!  Some said this was because his father adhered to the popular notion which was in fashion at the time of international friendship of all men.  At the time of his death he was 23 years old.


Nikolai Vladimirovich Thibeaux-Brignolles (aka Kolya) — Born in Russia on 8 July 1935 he graduated from

Nikolai Thibeaux-Brignolles (aka: Kolya)

Nikolai Thibeaux-Brignolles (aka: Kolya)

UPI in 1958 with a major in Civil Engineering.  He was the son of a French Communist who was executed by Soviet Leader Josef Stalin.  Apparently, his parents were being held by Stalin in a Concentration Camp when he was born.  They were political prisoners it seems of Stalin.  Friends describe him as being energetic with a good sense of humor.  He was said to have been friendly and open.  He is also remembered for being caring especially on camping or hiking trips with a group of other people.  They say he was often helping weaker members of camping groups he was on helping them to carry their gear.  They say he would adjust the backpacks of other hikers to reduce the pain of carrying them and make them more comfortable.  It is said he promised his mother that his trek with the Dyatlov group would be his last hiking trip.  Presumably, his mother objected to his wilderness hikes for some unknown reason.  He was educated, well read, serious at times, and playful at other times.

Yuri Alexeevich Krivonischenko (aka Georgiy) — was born in Russian 7 February 1935.  His name “Yuri”

Yuri Krivonischenko

Yuri Krivonischenko

means “George” in English.  At the UPI University he studied construction and hydraulics.  He graduated from UPI in 1959.  He apparently went to work at  a Soviet nuclear facility known as Chelyabinsk-40.  He was present at that facility when there was a nuclear disaster which is known as the Kushtumkoy Accident.  This took place on 29 September 1957.  The plutonium plant reportedly experienced a radioactive leak and he was one of the people sent to clean up the leak!  Note that when found his body clothing tested positive for traces of radioactivity!  Some researchers believe this may have come from the nuclear leak in 1957.  Perhaps he was wearing clothes he’d worn during the leak event? Some have suggested that to be so.  However, this would be a bit odd for a young man who likely knew about radiation.  In fact, he likely knew more about it than most people did at the time so it is UNLIKELY he kept any of his clothing worn during that leak event.  Among the group and friends he was a sort of “court jester” always looking to amuse others, joking around, and playing the mandolin like Slobodin as well.  He too took his mandolin on the Dyatlov hike as did Slobodin.  Yuri’s was found at the storage shed where the group had left some of their provisions for their return trip back to the village.  On the day he died he was only 5 days short of his 24th birthday.



One response to “Dyatlov Pass Pt 7: The Hikers

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