Hiker Esther Dingley’s ashes to be scattered in places she loved, family says

Loved ones of the hiker who died while walking in the Pyrenees nine months ago said her ashes will be scattered “in places close to her heart”.

Esther Dingley’s family said a small, private cremation will be held close to the mountains she loved, once her body is returned to them by the authorities.

She went missing in November and her remains were found earlier this month following extensive searches by specialist teams in France and Spain.

Her partner Dan Colegate, 38, spent months looking for her after she vanished while she was adventuring alone in the Pyrenees.

Esther Dingley missing
Esther Dingley went missing in November last year in the Pyrenees (LBT Global/PA)

Her mother Ria and partner Terry joined Mr Colegate in paying tribute.

In a statement, they said: “Dan, Ria and Terry are saddened by the passing of their beloved Esther who, after nine painful months of uncertainty, has now been found among the mountains she loved so much.

“Once Esther is returned to the family, a small, private cremation will be held close to the Pyrenees before Esther’s ashes are scattered in a number of places closest to her heart.

“In lieu of cards and flowers, the family asks that people consider a donation to the charity Sightsavers who work to tackle preventable blindness around the world.

“This is a charity Esther long supported in line with her commitment to sharing the beauty of our planet.”

A fundraising page, Remembering Esther, has been set up at: https://gofund.me/e3023ba0

People can send messages when they donate, or via email to remembering@estheranddan.com, and they will be read out at the funeral service.

The family also thanked the charity LBT Global which provides overseas crisis support.

Ms Dingley and Mr Colegate met at Oxford University and lived in Durham before they set off travelling around Europe in a campervan six years ago and blogged about their adventures on the road.