Hiker vanishes after sending text message to partner from mountain top

Kamilia Palu
·News Editor
·2-min read

A British woman who has spent six years travelling around Europe with her partner has gone missing in the Pyrenees mountain ranges on the border between Spain and France.

Esther Dingley, 37, has not been heard of since she spoke to her partner Daniel Colegate on November 22, sending him a photo of herself on top of Pic de Sauvegarde.

She went missing after travelling in the couple's camper van on her own while he stayed at a farm in Gascony in France, Mr Colegate was quoted by the BBC saying.

Esther Dingley poses for a selfie on top of a mountain
Esther Dingley sent this photo to her partner on November 22 before her disappearance. Source: Facebook/estheranddan

She started hiking last Saturday from Benasque, Spain, and planned to stay the next night at Refuge Venasque, France but never arrived, he said.

On the couple’s Facebook page, Mr Colegate confirmed the devastating news, saying he was “broken”.

“Shattered to report that my beloved Esther, the person who taught me how to feel, is missing,” he wrote.

“She was last seen six days ago when she sent me this photo. Search and rescue teams have so far found no trace of her.

Esther Dingley poses for a photo on top of a mountain range
Ms Dingley had been travelling around Europe for six years and was an experienced hiker. Source: Instagram/estheranddan

“The only purpose of this post is to ask for prayers, thoughts, candles and whatever you have. I've not been saying anything, but this wonderful person believes in the power of positive thought and right now I'll take anything if it means that she can be found. I need her back. I can't face the alternative.”

Mr Colegates’ post generated hundreds of comments of support, with many praying for Ms Dingley’s safe return.

A spokesman for the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office said: "Our staff are supporting the family of a British woman reported missing in the Pyrenees."

Dan Colegate and Esther Dingley share a special moment on their journey
Dan Colegate and Esther Dingley share a special moment on their journey. Source: Instagram/estheranddan

French authorities have confirmed six search teams are looking for Ms Dingley.

The couple started touring Europe by foot, bike and motorhome six years ago after a “health scare”, their Facebook page states.

Mr Colegate has written several books on his travels and adventures with Ms Dingley.

- with Reuters

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