Esther Dingley Search Called Off Due To Snow Storms

The search for British hiker Esther Dingley who went missing while hiking in the Pyrenees between France and Spain has been cancelled due to snow storms hitting the area.

Search parties in both France and Spain have been looking for Esther Maria Dingley, 37, who last showed signs of life when she communicated with her partner for the last time on 25th November.

The search party was expanded from the Pico Salvaguardia, in the Spanish northern region of Aragon, where she was last reported to be, to nearby valleys, as can be seen in this video provided by the Spanish Civil Guard to Newsflash.

A Spanish Civil Guard spokeswoman told Newsflash that the search has been cancelled due to snowstorms in the area and the forecast is still bad for the whole weekend. However, “there will be an evaluation day by day to know if the search party can be done”, she said.

“The snow is covering the areas and it is therefore more confusing and therefore more difficult”, she added.

The last time Ms Dingley wrote on her social networks profiles was on 21st November with the message “I am in heaven… the snail is again in movement and I love it”. That was just one day before she hiked up to the Pico Salvaguardia.

Dan Colegate, her partner, received a message when she arrived at the top of the mountain on 25th November and she was supposed to go back to Benasque, in the Spanish region of Aragon, after completing the circular route between France and Spain.

Local newspaper La Vanguardia reported that the Olympic skier Marti Vigo del Arco and a friend might have been the last people to see her, as they climbed Salvaguardia on 22nd November.

Esther Dingley with her boyfriend Dan. (@estheranddan/Newsflash)

Vigo del Arco said that they came across her and she asked them for a piece of fruit but they did not have anything and so she carried on her way, on what was a sunny and relatively warm day.

Her partner reported her disappearance on Wednesday 25th November and asked on social networks for people to help.

La Vanguardia reported that in France there are restrictions regarding going out into the mountains due to the coronavirus pandemic, so she started the trip in Benasque, Spain, where there are no rules against it.

So far, the British hiker has not been found despite efforts on both sides of the Pyrenees. More hypotheses are also reportedly being investigated by the authorities.

The search was conducted in the Salvaguardia area, and also in nearby areas such as Salenques, the Coronas refugee, the Literola valley, Perdiguero peak, and the Estos Valley.

It is still believed that she could have changed plans and changed her route.

Mr Colegate said on social networks that she might not be in the mountains after search parties failed to locate her.

He also told Newsflash: “Now this is with the police, I’ve been asked to let information come out through formal channels”.

They had been travelling all around Europe with a camper van for years.

The investigation is ongoing.