Dead Mountain - Donnie Eichar

Dead Mountain

By Donnie Eichar

  • Release Date: 2013-10-22
  • Genre: History
Score: 4.5
From 379 Ratings


A New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller – What happened that night on Dead Mountain?

The mystery of Dead Mountain: 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.

As gripping and bizarre as Hunt for the Skin Walker: This New York Times bestseller, Dead Mountain: The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident, is a gripping work of literary nonfiction that delves into the mystery of Dead Mountain through unprecedented access to the hikers' own journals and photographs, rarely seen government records, dozens of interviews, and the author's retracing of the hikers' fateful journey in the Russian winter.

You'll love this real-life tale: Dead Mountain is a fascinating portrait of young adventurers in the Soviet era, and a skillful interweaving of the hikers' narrative, the investigators' efforts, and the author's investigations. Here for the first time is the real story of what happened that night on Dead Mountain.


  • Functional but weirdly unsatisfying

    By cbscrimshaw
    It feels like the answers the author was seeking didn’t materialize leading to what amounts to another speculative theory about a mystery that remains intact. If the sonic effects were powerful enough to cause simultaneous psychosis in 9 individuals why not document it, and why only search the area in winter?
  • Fascinating!

    By Rozebramay
    Reading this book, I was struck by how dedicated the author was to his quest: to find out how nine, highly skilled Russian mountaineers, all but one students at an engineering school, in peak condition, could have died in the Ural Mountains of Siberia under bizarre, previously inexplicable circumstances having fled their tent in a frenzy. Though it happened in 1959, and investigated for months, the investigators, the hikers’ families, and friends never had a good answer to that question. He researched, traveled and sought scientific explanations when there seemed to be none. The author did an excellent job of uniting the hikers’ stories with the search, rescue and investigators’ stories, and his own search for answers into a rather suspenseful narrative. It reminded me of two books: Slavomir Rawicz’ The Long Walk: The True Story Of A Trek To Freedom, and Finding Everett Ruess by David Roberts. While the former was told by the survivor who escaped from a Siberian gulag (similar backdrop and survival hardships) and the latter by a National Geographic writer/editor who had hoped to solve the mysterious disappearance of a young artist who wandered in the desert Southwest through research and retracing his footsteps. (Jon Krakauer's Into the Wild might also be comparable.) If you enjoy exploring this sort of mystery from the comfort and safety of your home, this is a good choice of books, as are the others mentioned. Even though this tragic even took place long ago, in a distant land, to people we do not know, the author provides reasons for you care and an adventure in problem solving with a garnish of science.
  • Best book

    By Jerr72
    This book is well written, and something that I found unique is the alternation of the chapters.
  • So interesting, quick read

    By MG Hammer
    I flew through this book in two nights. Very interesting story told in a way that is easy to follow. Only complaint would be how easily he dismisses all other theories and how sure he is of his own. His theory is good though.
  • Excellent!

    By Sheabird's
    Very well written. I could not put this book down. Some very interesting and plausible theories regarding this great mystery.
  • Mesmerizing

    By Zuapac
    Dead Mountain was a highly entertaining book. I read it continuously evening after evening though I was sleepy. Yet I was able to stay alert enough to reach the end of a chapter. Because of the human interest of this tragic adventure as well as its international interest on a historical scale, the book moved the reader through eagerly to get to the end to discover what happened to this young group of friends. The author has done an excellent job of research to discover, what I believe to be the most plausible theory of what really happened to this group.
  • Excellent

    By Blueshoes57
    This is a well researched and fascinating account of a tragic Mystery. Well written and was interesting to the very last page.
  • So worth the read.

    By Abbond78
    Started reading at 10pm and finished at 4:30am. Couldn't stop. I love the lay out of the chapters. His, theirs, investigators... Loved it. Best conclusion I've ever heard for what happened. Scientific. Not just speculation. Love the parallel in the journeys... Loved it. Goodnight!
  • Interesting Subject

    By Fpiano
    The book's subject should please fans of the type of extreme adventure story where things go terribly wrong--stories that are found in every month's issue of Outside Magazine. Although Eicher is not as skilled a writer as the best journalists working for that magazine, the story he follows is so interesting that there is no problem reading his book. The diaries of the lost hiking group and the photos developed from their surviving cameras are excellent. It is very poignant to see the enthusiasm of the group in photos, knowing that they have photographed their last days.
  • Absolutely Amazing Book!

    By Shooter0730
    I have been interested in this mystery for years and this book brings new light and a solid conclusion to the mystery. A wonderfully written book that kept me enthralled the whole time. It was one of those books that I couldn't put down and written so well that at times I felt I was in the book living and watching the story unfold first hand. Awesome, absolutely awesome job bringing this tragic story to life!!! What a monument to those involved in this tragedy!