Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dead Mountain by Donnie Eichar

Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, Donnie Eichar with J.C. Gavel and Nova Jacobs. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013. ebook, 235 pps.

There is something about wilderness that latches onto people and drives us into it. I have spent many happy hours on woods and mountains with only a dog or three for company. It is a primitive drive that takes humans back to a more rugged but satisfying existence. The needs to strike out and explore, to challenge our physical forms, to create solitude are at once understood by some percentage of humans. We are all of us alone in our own skins. By connecting to something wild, we discover the wildness in our innermost beings.
In 1959, ten hiking buddies set out for an adventure. They made for Holatchahl mountain. One had to turn back early. The other nine never made it home again alive. Holatchahl Mountain is in the Urals [in Russia]. It's very cold and snowy there in the wintertime.

Donnie Eichar became fascinated with the story. He turned a garage in his California home into a research center. He traveled to Russia twice and even met the one hiker who turned back early. Eichar also recounted the various theorems about what happened to the nine hikers and included pictures in the book.

sapphoq reviews says: Eichar has written a very thorough book about the nine hikers who died on Holatchahl in 1959. In depth and fascinating read. Highly recommended.

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