Found Deceased Spain - Esther Dingley, from UK, missing in the Pyrenees, November 2020 #5

Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by FrostOwl, Nov 29, 2020.

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  1. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    To respond to @10ofRods . The slope down into France from P de la G is more like 65-70 degrees than 30. And @otto ’s photos show no switchbacks. But even switchbacks (hairpin turns) would be nutso. Black ice..
     


  2. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    To respond to @10ofRods . The slope down into France from P de la G is more like 65-70 degrees than 30. And @otto ’s photos show no switchbacks. But even switchbacks (hairpin turns) would be nutso. You’d potentially zoom through an apex on the descent. Black ice. Slippery grit on the trail.

    IMO I agree with your inclination that ED saw the trail as a flat loop on an electronic device or with a downloaded commercial map. For some reason this struck me as the most likely scenario since she went missing, but I have no real basis for that point. The reliance on phone GPS concerned me as well.

    A topo map. That’s what I was looking for. Not an auto map. Topo maps are SPENDY critters, and you might have needed more than one to cover that loop.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2021
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  3. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    I think the GC is a great comparator. The P de la G is not quite as steep, but the GC trail bed is much wider, and the switchbacks flatten the angle quite a bit.
     
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  4. Corina

    Corina Well-Known Member

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    "SPENDY critters" translates to "expensive/costly items", yes?
     
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  5. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC New Member

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    Hi everyone, I have been following this thread since Esther’s disappearance. I have been hoping beyond hope that Esther would (past reasonable expectation at this point) somehow be found alive.
    However, my mind keeps circling back to the possibility of suicide. In a Facebook post 11/16/20 (a little less than a week before she went missing), Esther was discussing being in the mountains, ending with “wanted to stay up there forever ”. that comment and wink at the end really struck me (but maybe I’m reading into it?). Also, I find it odd that she went up to Pic de Sauvegarde two days in a row. It makes me wonder if perhaps she may have been looking for a secluded place in the area where she could ‘stay up there forever’.
    Along with the comments above, it’s notable that she arrived to P de S so late in the afternoon, lingering there and connecting with her loved ones.
    My thoughts, FWIW.
     
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  6. Federico_A

    Federico_A Well-Known Member

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    I think imaginations are running a bit wild and we're losing sight of some basic issues.

    1. She disappeared without trace on an easy trail. The weather wasn't bad enough to cause any problems, and she was fit, experienced, and risk-averse. That's enough for me to discount misadventure almost completely.

    2. She went to Spain because she wasn't allowed to hike in France. I suspect Esther was a highly conscientious and law-abiding type - she wouldn't flout the rules so brazenly, just as I don't think she would trespass on private land or leave litter. That's enough for me to discount the whole French loop altogether.

    3. 'Dip into France' and 'heading to P de la Glere' are almost totally incompatible statements. Unless we assume she liked that side of the valley so much that she was prepared to go up again next day too visit Glere as a destination. That itinerary would most likely require spending the night back in the Benasque valley rather than going down to the Refuge de Vanesque and back up again next morning. I guess when she sent that text she hadn't yet thought it through.

    A new sub-theory: <modsnip> who gave her a lift that morning <modsnip> He could have driven back up to Besurtas that evening in the hope of finding her again - she might actually have told him she intended to spend the night there <modsnip>
     
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  7. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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  8. RickshawFan

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  9. Federico_A

    Federico_A Well-Known Member

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    I guess the term is relative to how old you are ;)
    It doesn't look bad to me from the 3D satellite images. This website describes the route as a 'fun excursion' and 'an excellent path' Port De La Glere
    In any case, would be easy to find her gear along there if she had an accident.
    I'm assuming she even didn't make it there. Everything's possible, but I would think <1% probability.
     
  10. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Great pics, Otto. Visibility was perfect on the day; she'd have had to walk off a path then either fall or deliberately try to cross the scree? I'm not saying she didn't, just that it seems odd of her if she did.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  11. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Amazing facts, NoSI. A PH of one!
     
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  12. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    Yes he doesn't, at face value, seem like the kind of guy getting a backhander from the local tourist agency to conceal the presence of hundreds of drugs-war-related corpses hanging from bridges in Pyrenean villages with warning notices hastily attached to their chests.
     
  13. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    I was wondering exactly that. Does a single IGN map cover the area she was walking over? Was ED carrying an IGN map?
     
  14. Hexe

    Hexe Well-Known Member

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    The weather in the mountains can change very fast. The fit, experienced people can have bad accidents on easy (or relatively easy) part of a trail.

    I know the story of a group of climbers with great experience, even in Himalaya. One time that group tried an extra hard climbing route in mountains lower than the part of Pyrenees Esther went missing in. They haven't managed to do that route and started to descend from the mountain in bad mood, arguing and bickering a bit. On a relatively easy slope, with the refuge already in sight, one of them slipped and started to tumble down, taking with him the man that was still tied to the other end of his rope. Unfortunately they haven't managed to slow down or stop the fall and smashed into a pile of rock. Both died on the spot. Two super experienced, extra fit young climbers.

    My point is that a serious accident can happen anywhere in the mountains and to anyone, no matter the weather, the level of fitness or difficulcy of the trail.

    Esther herself expressed the intention of going onto the French side, I see no reason to doubt her own words.

    One of the basic rules of safety in the mountains is to not hike solo and if you hike solo to leave someone your exact route. If Esther didn't have a route planned beforehand and sent to Dan, then she wasn't playing it very safe.
     
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  15. BobbleBob

    BobbleBob Well-Known Member

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    Esther Dingley: Human remains found are missing British hiker's, charity says

    Human remains found in the search for a missing British hiker have been confirmed as being hers, a charity says.

    A bone found in the mountain range last week was DNA tested and confirmed as being Ms Dingley's, said the overseas crisis support charity LBT Global (formerly the Lucie Blackman Trust).



    It makes me sad but also happy that the family and Dan will finally get some closure on this.
     
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  16. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    If we take the dossier as wholly reliable then we can be confident that ED did not take a compass with her. This is an extraordinary detail.
     
  17. sarahboirin

    sarahboirin Verified Crafter

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    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
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  18. Steve13

    Steve13 Former Member

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    I feel profoundly sad to think that Esther may have laid there injured but alive for some time, while it took 3 days (according to dossier) for SAR to be alerted. I also really hope SAR were not alerted on 24th (as Daily Mail has it) then allowed 2 nights to pass before commencing the search.
     
  19. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    RIP Esther Dingley, forever in the mountains


    As expected, still so sad.
     
  20. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

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    Esther Dingley: remains found in Pyrenees are missing Briton’s

    “At this stage, with just a single bone found and no sign of equipment or clothing in the immediate area (which has been closely searched again over several days), the details of what happened and where still remain unknown.

    “The search and rescue teams intend to continue their search on foot and with drones, particularly trying to find some sign of Esther’s equipment to understand how this tragedy occurred.

    “The family would like to express their gratitude to the officers in charge of the various police units in France and Spain, the British consulates in Bordeaux and Barcelona, and LBT Global, all of whom have remained in close contact with us for months now. Their continued support and their determination to find answers is welcome.”


    BBM
     
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