‘Still no sign of missing British hiker Esther Dingley in the Pyrenees’, says partner

Anthony France
·2-min read
British traveller Esther Dingley who went missing in the Pyrenees (Dan Colegate/Facebook)
British traveller Esther Dingley who went missing in the Pyrenees (Dan Colegate/Facebook)

The partner of missing British hiker Esther Dingley said there was still no sign of her in the Pyrenees despite extensive searches on both sides of the border.

French and Spanish teams entered a sixth day hunting for Esther Dingley, 37.

Ms Dingley and Dan Colegate have been travelling throughout Europe since 2014.

According to local police, she set out on a solo hike from the Porte de la Glere to the Port de Venasque, which follows the border between France and Spain. Ms Dingley was expected to return last Wednesday.

Mr Colegate wrote about the search on Facebook at the weekend and today he thanked the many well-wishers who have sent messages of support.

He said the search was continuing, adding: “I want to write a more complete update soon, but as of now there is still no sign of Esther anywhere in the area she was intending to explore, despite extensive searching from both sides of the border.

“I’m going to do some more walking myself now before the sun goes down.”

The couple from Durham had been documenting their campervan adventures online.

<p>Esther Dingley and Dan Colegate </p>Dan Colegate/Facebook

Esther Dingley and Dan Colegate

Dan Colegate/Facebook

But for the past month Ms Dingley had opted to hike in the Pyrenees while he stayed in a farmhouse in Gascony. They started to travel after Mr Colegate had a serious health scare.

The pair last communicated on WhatsApp on November 22, when Ms Dingley sent him a selfie from the Pic de Sauvegarde.

A day earlier, she posted a series of pictures on Instagram with the caption: "I'm in heaven - the snail is on the move again and loving it."

Before Ms Dingley went missing, they wrote on their joint Facebook page: “Since then we’ve thru-hiked in the Alps many times, crashed a hot air balloon by the Nile, been free-diving in the Mediterranean Sea, adopted a dog who surprised us by being pregnant, and completely changed the way we view the beautiful world we all share.

“Today we continue to travel, now with five dogs in our furry, fun, laughter-filled motorhome.

“Our priorities are living in the moment, appreciating the little things in life and sharing those things that inspire us the most.

“Every morning we wake up and ask ‘what adventures will we have today’?”

But on Saturday, Mr Colegate wrote on the couple's page: "I'm broken. Shattered to report that my beloved Esther, the person who taught me how to feel, is missing. Search and rescue teams have so far found no trace of her."

Spanish authorities were reportedly alerted of her disappearance on November 25 and informed their French counter parts the next morning, having found her camper-van parked on the Spanish side of the border.

The French yesterday sent 16 more rescuers to the area, with national police experts joining the gendarmes.