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.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    7,127
    Likes Received:
    26,838
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Yes, this is always the consideration. No one can count on a rescue. If the conditions are adverse in summer, even, SAR won't go out because of the risks someone could get hurt or die (which happens.). SAR helicopters crash, rangers fall down crevasses, rescuers can permanently damage their backs, etc. So, wind, fog, heavy rain, snow, soaring temperatures, forest fires, no SAR. No risking a life to save a life, but especially if the odds are "recovery" not rescue. IMO in ED's case, the odds of a rescue were very low because of the time that elapsed and the frigid night time temperatures.
     
  2. ZaZara

    ZaZara AstraZaZara

    Messages:
    7,586
    Likes Received:
    13,956
    Trophy Points:
    113
    La familia de Esther Dingley comunica que los restos hallados pertenecen a la montañera

    It was a hiker who a few days ago, while on a trip in the vicinity of the La Glera pass, in the municipality of Benasque, alerted the Guardia Civil to the discovery of a skull. Members of the GREIM of Benasque located the remains about 100 metres from the pass but on the French side.

    At the beginning of July, members of the French Gendarmerie and the GREIM of Benasque, supported by the Air Unit, carried out a day's search for the woman on the southern slope of the Salvaguardia peak and the La Glera pass and with an inspection on foot on the Spanish side of the Sacroux peak and the vicinity of the Tuca de Gorgutes, but the searches were unsuccessful.

    Esther Maria Dingley, of British-Dutch nationality, aged 37, disappeared on 22 November while on an excursion on the Salvaguardia peak.


    BBM
     
  3. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    7,127
    Likes Received:
    26,838
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thanks @otto . This "trail" freaks me out. So much of it goes straight up, no switchbacks. And look how steep some of the switchbacks are!
     
  4. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    37,590
    Likes Received:
    73,492
    Trophy Points:
    113
    SAR believes that she was off trail. The ridge near the Port de la Glere is 500 meters of vertical scree. If she was ascending, with light snow, cloud, wind gusts, she could have missed the switchbacks.

    If bones were moved by the lammergeier, there would be no clothing near the bones.

    SAR believes her equipment is not too far away, but without knowing the intended route or how far off route she travelled, her equipment has to be found to know more.

    She may have ascended in the area of the red arrow rather than the switchback route marked in yellow.

    upload_2021-7-30_11-21-4.png
     
  5. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    7,127
    Likes Received:
    26,838
    Trophy Points:
    113
    The clothes make fantastic nesting material: wool, down, nylon.... and it all smells really great from humans being in it!
     
  6. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

    Messages:
    7,127
    Likes Received:
    26,838
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I'm thinking she was descending....
     
  7. Satchie

    Satchie Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    4,985
    Likes Received:
    23,302
    Trophy Points:
    113
    RIP Esther.

    She has been gone for many months, IMO this is the death of hope that she survived.

    We all die alone, whether in a hospital room attached to equipment with distressed family hovering over us, or on a mountaintop close to the sky. I know where I'd rather be.
     
  8. Pinkizzy

    Pinkizzy Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,114
    Likes Received:
    2,203
    Trophy Points:
    113
    It looks like Esther's bones were found near her last photo stop - shame she wasn't found in time.
     
  9. Herat

    Herat Way out West

    Messages:
    7,559
    Likes Received:
    54,780
    Trophy Points:
    113
    From photos of the top of the Port de la Glere taken in summer, I recall the top starts off rather deceptively flat and then takes a sharp downturn to the scree, with an area of scree having a thick wire established in the adjacent rock to use as some sort of a railing.
     
  10. RedHaus

    RedHaus Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    422
    Likes Received:
    3,185
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Rest in Peace, dear Esther.

    I so hope any suffering you endured is released and your spirit is filled with love and now free to soar the mountains.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2021
  11. Kike76

    Kike76 Active Member

    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    201
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Incredibly sad- may she rest in peace.

    The reports in Spanish indicate the bone found was at the Port de Glere, just 100m to the north side (ie. in France. Looking at the area searched by DC, this was not area he looked at extensively as he may have thought it unlikely she reached that area. I wonder if she had got to Port de Glere safely from whatever direction then decided to take the path up Pic de Sacroux which is West by North West from there and rises to 2676m (see Randonnée Port de Venasque par le chemin de l'Impératrice | rando-marche) . There is a video here of that summit which looks treacherous (Pic de Sacroux - YouTube) and if you look at the video below at 8.51 there is actually a vulture photographed there so they clearly do reside in the vicinity. DC's search route didn't go right to the top of Pic de Sacroux I think as per this BBC map Esther Dingley: Partner baffled by no signs of her - BBC News.

    Pic de Sacroux is just over 500m from Port de Glere and given she would have been able to look up at it perhaps she decided to go up it and had an accident up/around there. I think the area where other remains might be found is incredibly large and would be hard to search effectively given the contours.

    Terribly sad.
     
  12. fridaybaker

    fridaybaker Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,243
    Likes Received:
    3,689
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I am back to trying to understand the diverging opinions on the challenges of this hike, whichever her exact route. Otto, that last photo with the paths marked in red (and yellow for switchbacks) leaves me open mouthed. Just hard for me to believe someone would be doing this solo, late in the day, in November, when trails were essentially closed (so no one around)and temps dipping below zero at night, without a serious signalling/locating device?

    I know there are different philosophies as to risk and that for some, the risk of the dangerous, solo, hike is part of the game, but this just leaves no room for error or accident. A slip, a twisted ankle, a bit of light-headedness at the end of a long day could easily result in a painful death for the hiker, desperation and anguish for the family, and risk of serious injury to members of the (obligatory) search team.

    Perhaps Esther "ended it all" of her own volition, but I can't help but see the probability of a nightmare for everyone involved, including Esther. We can only hope she didn't suffer terribly for a long time.
     
  13. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    37,590
    Likes Received:
    73,492
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I do too. I'm curious why Dan turned her words around to have her hiking into France as soon as they ended their communication after 4 PM.

    "Still in the same area" and "might dip into France" became leaving Spain immediately. Heading to Port de la Glere "tomorrow" became immediately starting the loop route to Port de la Glere. It's as though he couldn't make sense of what she said, so he re-arranged what she said to fit what he thought seemed logical given that she was at the Pic de Sauvegarde.

    I do think that the search has been challenged by the ambiguity surrounding what she wrote about her plans and how Dan interpreted it.

    I also find it interesting that he searched the area where she was found once, yet he blanketed other areas.

    [​IMG]

    upload_2021-7-30_11-38-16.png
     
  14. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    37,590
    Likes Received:
    73,492
    Trophy Points:
    113
    This is the Port de la Glere above the scree. The link is posted upthread.

    upload_2021-7-30_12-41-13.png
     
  15. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    37,590
    Likes Received:
    73,492
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I would expect her to turn around once she understood the situation, and the only reason I can imagine that she did not turn around is that something happened quickly that prevented her from turning around. Descending from the Port de la Glere, she could have slipped as soon as she started. Ascending doesn't make sense, because she could have seen from below that the route was too dangerous to do alone.

    Perhaps she was ascending, and weighed the difference between a 7 hour hike back to Refuge de Venasque versus 500 meters to France and decided to risk it.
     
  16. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    37,590
    Likes Received:
    73,492
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Thank you for posting the videos of the area. I think you posted the video of the lammergeier dropping bones too? That was very interesting in terms of understanding why animal and human bones might be near to each other. Apparently it takes 7 years for the birds to understand how to drop the bones from the correct height onto rock to break the bones. That leads me to think that the birds develop favourite spots for dropping the bones.
     
  17. dalsglen

    dalsglen Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,038
    Likes Received:
    4,411
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Those pictures give me the absolute fear. I think faced with that, even the smartest most experienced climber may have an oh sh#t what do I do moment.

    I wonder, APART from the vultures, how far would other animals drag parts of remains/gear? Need to go google, suppose it will be much different in this environment though.
     
  18. Hatty

    Hatty Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    97
    Likes Received:
    664
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Dan had a conversation with ED after all the texts. We have no idea what they talked about. It might have been further clarification about her route, which made him so certain of her intended route.
     
  19. Herat

    Herat Way out West

    Messages:
    7,559
    Likes Received:
    54,780
    Trophy Points:
    113
    And I take note that Dan was able to either ascend or descent Port de la Glere, while she does not appear to have been successful.

    I wonder if he will make any comments about his experiences in that area, just several days after her disappearance.
     
  20. otto

    otto Verified Expert

    Messages:
    37,590
    Likes Received:
    73,492
    Trophy Points:
    113
    All bears in the area are tagged, and bears seem to feast in place. There are lynx, but they would not carry anything too far either - perhaps to a den to feed young. Same with wolves.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page



  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice