Found Deceased Spain - Esther Dingley, from UK, missing in the Pyrenees, November 2020 #6

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

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  1. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    I just can’t imagine that Esther, who Dan thought would mainly be sensible and stuck to the trails, would look at that and consider it doable. I can’t imagine anyone would, unless they had a death wish (perhaps that’s what you mean)

    Anyway, we don’t even know if where she fell was beneath that particular bit of ridge.
     


  2. Cryptic

    Cryptic Well-Known Member

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    I think that is a good assessment.

    I think the limits of her endurance could have been reached. Though she had the required level of endurance in theory, in actuality, she may of exceeded her endurance.

    In the end, Esther was not only attempting the hike, she could well of been very undernourished, and was not dressed for the weather and was travelling very light gear wise for wet weather etc.

    She was also facing several psychological challenges. She was not familiar with the area, did not know the local language, and could have been fearful to ask for help as she was violating COVID restrictions.

    Compounding all of the other psychological challenges, she was alone. If exhaustion or even hypothermia set in, there was nobody to encourage her, nobody to assist in decision making and nobody to "veto" a bad decision.

    Sadly, I think the totality was "A Bridge too Far"*. I suspect she went off trail, became disoriented, and succumbed to exhaustion.

    * The title of a book about a WWII battle that was clearly winnable for allies in theory. In practice, a series of challenges compounded each other. The allied defeat was not for any one specific reason. Rather it was due to a series of relatively small compounding issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  3. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Yes. Suicide. That is what I meant. A good view. And pitch up. No matter the consequences? I just don't know.
     
  4. OEJ-JEO

    OEJ-JEO Well-Known Member

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    My reply was to Grouse - part of an ongoing exchange about the route by which ED might have reached the point where she fell. I don't believe either of us think it's possible that she fell to the east of the peak, or indeed took that ridge at all. The picture is just more evidence against that possibility.

    Might I respectfully suggest that we all slow down and consider our responses more carefully? This isn't a race.
     
  5. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    If it is proven that Esther fell from a particular spot (and I do believe they will be able to pinpoint it) we may never actually know with 100% certainty whether she fell or jumped. The only clues we are likely to get are from her phone or any notes she might have written.
     
  6. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    I did consider helicopter, but that's disrespectful to the local services...
     
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  7. gribb0

    gribb0 Active Member

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    It's hard to tell without something for scale - check out google images of Sharp Edge on Blencathra in the english lake district or Crib Goch in Wales. Lower altitude but people have accidents scrambling on them every year. I can imagine if ED had walked up Pic de la Montagnette she might walk along the ridge to Glere
     
  8. fridaybaker

    fridaybaker Well-Known Member

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    One point against suicide for me is that Esther would know that she would be endangering many, many people. She would have known that a huge SAR expedition would be launched. I just can’t wrap my mind around that.
     
  9. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    If it turns out that Esther was murdered and dropped onto the ledge by drone or helicopter, you can have my house :D

    Look, if Esther had been found in the days soon after she vanished, we’d still be on thread 1 and everyone here would’ve been long gone by now.

    The snow stopped the searching, it effectively paused the case, delayed the inevitable conclusion, and only led to so much conjecture, speculation, and ever wilder theories.
     
  10. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Then again, someone made a point earlier about her very hike being resistant to both common sense and Coronavirus restrictions. Perhaps she wasn't well? She slapped the back of her leg on the CCTV footage in the shop (was it at Benasque?) - was that a sign of a dead leg? Was she really low on fuel then? Her responsibilities to the environment she was in were admirable (her pockets full of litter she had picked), but perhaps her lack of self-care leading to the endangerment of others hadn't occurred to her? Perhaps this is proof it wasn't deliberate? Was she, sadly, just tired and lost orientation at height alone in the dark?
     
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  11. CoverMeCagney

    CoverMeCagney Well-Known Member

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    There is a video of Esther and Dan somewhere, where mountain rescue is nearby searching for someone. They talk about what an amazing job SAR do in sometimes treacherous circumstances. She was fully aware. I’ll try and find it.

    Found it!
     
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  12. OEJ-JEO

    OEJ-JEO Well-Known Member

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    That's true, and I was thinking about Crib Goch as I posted. But Crib Goch is a well documented and busy route. I haven't found any suggestion at all that this ridge is passable, walking or scrambling, and there's no reason to think that Esther was ever on the Pic de la Montagnette.
     
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  13. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Nah I'm good. Seen it. Talking about services versus employing consideration of them in your own behaviour when in crisis completely different.

    Although perhaps that raises a separate point. Her phone. Perhaps it was dead and there was no coverage? Especially if it was the next day? Or something happened to it? Perhaps she didn't fall at all? Perhaps that happened after death?
     
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  14. Owlpellet

    Owlpellet Well-Known Member

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    Yes I agree, but Esther seemed to be making lots of friends on her travels and arranging to go on long walks with them, some of them overnight... so it doesn’t sound to me that she was socially withdrawn at all.
     
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  15. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Two points:
    -I'm actually quite surprised ED had a bulky pack with her if she wanted to scramble up the PicdelaG. It would be easy to throw you off balance and might prevent you from squirming up/down a tight spot. Plus, there's absolutely no one around. I would have ditched it at the PortdelaG, scrambled without it, and picked it up again after my little peak-bagging adventure.
    -remains didn't end up at 2200m near a path except one piece of skull. The remains were found above the PortdelaG and below the PicdelaG. That's much higher than the 2200m level. Either an animal would have moved the skull piece (per LE), or it rolled down, taken by gravity, or carried on water streaming down the mountain from snowmelt or a storm. If simply gravity or water, you'd first look vertically upwards to find the remains. That seems to be what happened. With animals involved, there's no telling where you'd look.
     
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  16. OEJ-JEO

    OEJ-JEO Well-Known Member

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    The part of her skull that was found previously was said to have been at about the 2200m contour on the French side. Reports of the location of the rest of her remains and her belongings are confused at the moment, and some reports contradict others, but I don't believe there's good reason to think - at present - that her body was found near a path at 2200m.

    I do think there's good reason to wait until we know more before speculating further though, and that's what I intend to do!
     
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  17. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Not being socially withdrawn and asking people around you as there's no-one else is very different.

    The fact is, she was hiking alone, at night, in the Pyrenees, and no-one saw her after a certain point, and there were no more phone updates.

    It suggests something happened overnight or the next day.
     
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  18. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    Being socially withdrawn and asking people around you as there's no-one else is very different.

    The fact is, she was hiking alone, at night, in the Pyrenees, and no-one saw her after a certain point, and there were no more phone updates.

    It suggests something happened overnight or the next day.



    Yep, I'm giving up - for now.
     
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  19. poirotoupierrot

    poirotoupierrot Active Member

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    The big pack also suggest to me that if she did plan to finish her life, it was an impromptu thing. That, or circumstances prevailed to take her life, rather than her choosing it. Perhaps that is a comfort to the family. Also, I remember her backpack was nearby. That would make sense, if she had kept it on the whole time, and either fallen by accident or lost consciousness due to exposure and fallen, no? I really should go now....
     
  20. RickshawFan

    RickshawFan Verified Outdoor Recreation Specialist

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    Yep, crazy. Definitely not along that ridge. Thanks for the photo.
    When I looked at the map early on, I looked for trails along the flank of these peaks, and couldn't find one. If there were such a thing, you wouldn't have to go all the way into the valley to get from the PortdeV to the PortdelaG, so that might be an advantage, though perhaps not, depending on terrain. There is such a trail along the Spanish flank in the other direction from the PicdeS. Hikers use it to make a loop down to the Hospice (see journal and spectacular photos: Randonnée Pic Sauvegarde 2738m – Les Topos Pyrénées par Mariano . This gave me the idea that there could be a trail from PortdeV and PortdelaG without having to go down to the valley, but as you can see, not a snowball's chance in hell...
    The quickest way to get there was down to the Cabane (a trail ED already knew well, because she'd done it 3x) and then up to the PortdelaG. Otherwise, she'd have to make a big loop via the Hospice or Otto's shortcut which is extremely dicey. SAR/LE found no evidence that she'd headed in those directions: they were quite clear.
    'We have nothing': police stumped by disappearance of Briton in Pyrenees

    French LE commentary on the early search. I am placing this here also as a way of bumping it from earlier threads, since there seems to be some discussion here that French LE were not supportive enough. Missing hiker: French police reject UK press 'speculation'
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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