Selection of books related to backcountry skiing and mountaineering.
A ski-tourer’s take on a retelling of the Dyatlov Pass Incident
I know, I know. You’re not supposed to buy a book for its cover. But the shadowy photo of a group of skiers heading into darkness leapt out like an encoded signal aimed at ski touring aficionados wandering the bookstore in search of a mid-summer read. Dead Mountain : The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident (Chronicle Books, 2013) centers around the unsolved mystery of the death of a group of Russian skiers in the Ural mountains on a midwinter expedition.
Opening the book reveals a double page spread photo of their objective: Dead Mountain–stark, foreboding and barren. The austerity of the black and white rendering conveys an environment as inhospitable to humans as the bottom of the ocean, or the surface of the moon. The group of students were on a mission to earn their Level III hiking certificate, for which they needed to complete at minimum: a trip of at least 300 kilometers (186 miles) over 16 days with a third of the miles navigating difficult terrain, eight of the days in uninhabited regions, and six of the nights in a tent. All were experienced in outdoor travel, yet none returned.