Discussion in 'Located Persons Discussion' started by FrostOwl, Nov 29, 2020.
Thank you .
Google translate said "return variant" , whatever that means.
Regardless, I'm convinced that we can't rule out there being other people on or near the peak when Esther was up there on 22nd due to the various possibilities regarding routes.
“Esther, 37, had undertaken a hike from Port de la Glère to Port de Venasque, a hike that follows the border between France and Spain, according to local police. Mr Vigo del Arco told La Vanguardia newspaper he met an Englishwoman around 3 p.m. on November 22 – the same day Esther went missing on her long solo trek in the mountains. He said, “She was going up, we were going down, she was very loaded with a really big backpack. The couple then stopped for a chat with the woman. Mr Vigo del Arco added: “She asked us if we had any fruit or something fresh, but we had nothing. “She continued. The couple didn’t see anyone else going up the mountain – and they are believed to have been the last to see Dingley. An hour after the meeting, just before 4 p.m., Dingley reached the peak of 8,983 feet where she sent a selfie to her partner Dan Colegate. The photo shows her at the top, with a solar panel and a telecommunications mast on the top reflected in her sunglasses.”
This is the most succinct summary of those final few hours that I have found, quoted from Fr 24news
Missing hiker Esther Dingley ‘last seen by Olympic skier who says Brit continued to summit after asking for fruit’ | FR24 News English
<modsnip: Quoted post was removed>
The way I'm thinking now, after reading through this is that:
Sunglass reflections etc indicate Esther not alone at summit
Vigo has not said that there were no other people behind him - therefore there can have been people behind him and if they are behind him, he doesn't know exactly where they are - they can still be quite a way behind him.
We have not seen any reports from other people that met Esther as she ascended - but that doesn't mean she didn't meet other people.
So in summary, I am now thinking she was not the only person up that mountain (on 22nd at around 4pm)
IMO, the biggest problem is the tabloids never figured out which route she was supposed to be on. I saw numerous maps printed in the DM that were completely wrong, and researched it myself and documented on here my conclusion that she intended precisely what this witness said she did.
The second problem is the attempted communication of Esther ---> witness ----> tabloid journalist is fraught with pitfalls. For example, are Esther or the witness completely fluent in French?, ie an easy command of multiple shades of the future tense?
Also, Esther's lifestyle/cirumstances may have been very unusual for an older, vehicle-driving Spaniard. So communicating about how she had a camper van in Benasque, and was going to return to it on the 25th, and then drive to her winter home near Toulouse, may not have been understood. It appears the witness imagined that, since she was walking up the road, that she had no vehicle and was going to walk to France.
Then, IMO the tabloids have no interest in clearing up the confusion and mystery, they thrive on confusion and mystery.
Snipped for focus
This regards the Refuge de Venasque...
ED might not have known the water was off. She could have planned on it being there, not only because she needed a source, but because she needed a good source. If she hadn't brought water treatment, she'd know this was v difficult and involved.
No water means ED would have to go get some. Absolute necessity. (If she was all out, at the earliest) she wouldn't be able to get any more until she hiked into town at the end of the next day.)
And I'm suspicious that she asked a passing hiker for fruit, because this may have meant she wasn't carrying enough liquid. (cfo. she could have asked for chocolate). IMO this is VERY significant, since it would be an easy route to an accident:
1. going off trail to find a water source
2. tipping into a water source, especially if she felt it needed to be clean (with a good treatment system on hand, it wouldn't have to be clean; it's very possible she wasn't carrying water treatment)
3. slipping and breaking bones clambering about to find a water source
4. doing all this in the dark, since she'd got to the refuge late in the day
If evidence that she didn't make it to the refuge is simply that she didn't sign in, she might very well have intended to sign in AFTER she got water in waning light.
Note: there had to be a water source nearby, otherwise they wouldn't have built a refuge there. There's probably a spring with piping.
It just seems like with all this that K9's would have found her.
The pipes might indeed be shut off; otherwise they'd be in danger of freezing. There likely is a spring that feeds the pipes. That would be fine in daylight, a potential catastrophe in the dark.
No problem being without running water. BIG problem if you don't have any water.
Workers on an official project may well have been authorized to turn the water on when they arrived and off when they left.
FWIW workers would have been getting supply drops (probably by helicopter). Water may have been included.
Also, ED went missing waaaay past those two weeks at the end of October.
Snipped for focus.
I can't imagine there's running water in winter. The pipes would freeze.
Keep in mind, though, where there's pipes, there's a source.... You've just got to find it.
It's amazing to me how misinformation enters the news media and then spreads like a virus.
The official statement issued in the early days was not "she had undertaken a hike from Port de la Glere..."
The actual statement was released by French Search and Rescue, not the police. Search and Rescue stated " The area envisaged for her hike extends from the port of Glèrere to the port of Venasque (French and Spanish slopes). Anyone who has seen or crossed this hiker..." PGHM Luchon
IMO SAR were not describing her intended route. They were describing the boundaries of an area of a map, from west to east, and on both north and south slopes. If you were in that area between the November 22 and the 25, and saw someone like the photo, please call SAR.
Surely we have all seen missing persons alerts that state 'the person was in the area of x and y streets.' The person's route is not being described.
This French site got the info correct IMO:
"The areas prioritised (for the search) are those that Ms Dingley had planned to visit during her hike, including between the Port de la Glère and the Port de Vénasque. The experienced walker began hiking from Benasque in Spain, and had planned to stay at the Refuge Vénasque on Monday night, her partner said."
Search for British hiker missing in Pyrenees
However, we later got a precise description of her route:
"Dingley was on the Chemin de l’Impératrice (Empress Path) hiking route via Port de Venasque before heading for Porte de la Glère in the Luchon valley"
Gendarmes to scale down search for British hiker Esther Dingley in Pyrenees
It seems very obvious to me, comparing the quoted news report in the OP, with the official quote in the Guardian, she was not hiking from Glere to Venasque, she was hiking from Venasque to Glere (I simplifly the names to just make it absolutely crystal clear).
Unfortunately, there are no online maps of that hiking route. If I had a high-quality topo map of that section of the Pyrenees, I could trace it on the map (kind of ruining the map) and then scan it in to show people. But I can't/won't do that. That's what the news media are supposed to do, instead of getting graphic designers to carelessly create, and then gleefully publishing for the world, incorrect, unverified maps.
The best online map I could find is this one:
Salvaguardia desde los Llanos del Hospital
ETA: the link does not show her whole intended route, but it shows the sidetrack to the peak, and then the route in red, to the Refuge and continuing on, her intended route, that goes in a loop back to cross the mountains at La Glere.
It said the Olympic fella was believed to be the last person to see Esther... which leads me to believe he has told police there wasn’t anyone behind him.
The partner of British hiker and blogger Esther Dingley, who vanished in the Pyrenees last month, has dismissed a theory she could have orchestrated her own disappearance in order to continue her nomadic lifestyle.
Ms Dingley, 37, had gone off on a month-long tour of the Pyrenees alone as her partner Dan Colegate decided to take a break after six years roaming Europe in a campervan.
She went hiking alone at the end of October and was last seen on November 22 on top of the Pic de Sauvegarde. After weeks of searches by both Spanish and French authorities in the mountains were halted due to heavy snow, police said they were now focusing on a theory that she may have gone missing deliberately.
“We can confirm that there is no indication whatsoever of any breakdown in Dan and Esther’s relationship. There is no sign of any wishes to seek a new life," the family's spokesperson, Matthew Searle, told the Sunday Mirror in response to the speculations.
Partner of missing British hiker dismisses theory she set up her own disappearance
I've just spend a while googling to find reference to an alternate route up/down Pic de Sauvegarde. I can't find anything. It is pretty sheer on one side, you'd pretty much have to abseil down it. Here are a few maps showing it is very much an extra leg of the loop, rather than an integral part of it:
"pic de sauvegarde" map - Google Search
I'd be interested if anyone can find otherwise, but, as it stands the Olympian said there was nobody else going up and I believe he would know that.
If you have a search the weather was way more chilly and snowy in September (photographed and recorded temp wise on the refuges Facebook page) than it has been since. Well below freezing and the guardians, cooking facilities and water were all still supplied. I am guessing the only reason this stops is due to lack of demand and to give staff who will have worked long hours for months some down time. As someone else pointed out, that was misinterpreted- there is no hot water, still running water available.
Yes, that is true. Normally, a hiker would say "hey, nice to see you, so I'm not the only crazy one to be doing this in late November" I guess one could speculate that, instead, a super bad tempered hiker might have say "Oh no, another human, I expected to be alone on this trip" and then proceeded to murder her and hide her body in order to properly enjoy the wilderness solitude they were seeking. Or perhaps, they thought she had better quality stuff, and decided to kill her and hide her in a lake, in order to steal it....end of speculation.
I am struggling to follow your post, so in your opinion the french news reports were both incorrect, but the guardian is correct about the pathways?
OK, here's a summary.
Any statement that says "Her route was from Port de Glere to Venasque" is, IMO, wrong.
Any statement that says "The search area, ,or, the area being searched, is between Port de Glere and Venasque and the slopes on either side" is, IMO, right.
Any Statement that say "Her route was from Benasque to Port Venasque, then along the Chemin L'imperatrice in France to Port de Glere, and back to Benasque" is, IMO, right.
I’m confusing myself now- so was Esther seen by the skier walking from pic de sauvegarde (where she posted a selfie) downhill towards the refuge, or had she been up and back down and was walking back uphill towards the refuge? The more I read, the more I am struggling match up selfies and witness statements made on the 22nd. (And that’s ignoring the man who claimed he gave her a lift with his grandson and was the last person to see her alive). If anyone feels like dumbing it down for me at this moment in time please feel free.
Thanks, I sort of understood that. Where do you think she was walking on that last day?
Marti del Vigo (skier) was going down the Salvaguardia when they met Esther going up. He and his female friend were the last ones to see her alive, as far as we know now. It is unknown (as far as I am aware) where Esther had passed the night.
The man who gave her a lift, saw her on the day before.
Hmm, yes that is a bit more than I'd speculated
I wasn't thinking that much into it, just wanting to make the point that I don't agree with everyone concluding no one else coulda been up there, just cos of what the skier guy said.