Esther Dingley: Olympic skier ‘saw’ missing British hiker on day she disappeared in Pyrenees

A former Olympic skier is thought to have been the last person to see missing British hiker Esther Dingley.

The 37-year-old woman was expected to return from a solo trek in the Pyrenees on the border between Spain and France on 25 November – but failed to appear.

Following an extensive search of the area, Ms Dingley’s partner Dan Colegate said on social media that emergency services were looking at “options beyond a mountain accident”.

Speaking to Sky News, Marti Vigo del Arco – who competed for Spain at the Winter Olympics in 2018 – said he saw a British woman heading up a mountain in the area at 3pm on 22 November.

This was the day that Ms Dingley was last seen.

Mr del Arco, 22, said: “I was coming down the mountain with my girlfriend, coming down the valley and the weather was good. And we saw this girl.

“She asked us if we had anything to eat, a bit of fruit or something fresh, but we didn’t have anything left from our hike. Then she carried on up the mountain and we went down.

“The conditions were good, it was sunny, there was no cloud or snow, it was good. She was alone, nothing appeared out of the ordinary and she wasn’t injured or didn’t appear tired.

“You can’t go up there now because of the snow.

“She seemed prepared for the hike, she had a very big backpack.

“She told us she had informed the civil guard that she would be spending two or three days hiking in the mountains, I think this was the first day of the trip.”

He added that starting to climb at 3pm was unusual.

Ms Dingley and Mr Colegate, who last spoke on 22 November, have been travelling throughout Europe in a campervan since 2014.

They started after Mr Colegate suffered with a serious disease.

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