Often librarians act in a reader’s advisory capacity–we suggest cool books and other materials for our patrons to check out. When a patron rolls up to the desk and hits me with a title we don’t currently have, but one that immediately inspires me to seek it out, the script flips. Suddenly I’m getting the cool suggestions. Things went down this way about a week ago when a patron schooled me on the Dyatlov Pass incident. This 1959 Soviet-era mountaineering disaster occurred under such bizarre and creepy circumstances, I am mystified I have lived this long and not read or heard about it until last week. As an avid hiker and EMS provider, the circumstances surrounding the deaths of these nine hikers fills me with a macabre mix of dread and curiosity.
If you find yourself interested in learning more right away, I can recommend one book on the tragedy that we do own:
Dead Mountain: The Untold Story Of The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Donnie Eichar. We also offer an eBook version and you can find that on eCLP here.
Now to cover a couple of books we don’t have yet. In discussing the available materials we might acquire on Interlibrary Loan (ILL), I found two excellent prospects: Dyatlov Pass Keeps Its Secrets by Irina Lobatcheva and Mountain Of The Dead: The Dyatlov Pass Incident by Keith McCloskey. Spurred to action by my script-flipping patron, I’ve placed orders for these books so that other folks in our system will soon have access to them. How a mystery like this endures for so many decades, even in the face of multiple investigations, becomes part of its mystique. Anyone who spends any time in the wild will shudder when reading Dead Mountain. The gaps that remain in the story of how these young trekkers perished those many decades ago make it more fearsome. Unknowable things often conjure dread. Plunging yourself into the events surrounding the Dyatlov Pass incident will only reaffirm this.