Friday 15 February 2019

'Bikini climber' freezes to death after 30-metre fall into ravine on solo hike

‘Bikini Climber’ Gigi Wu
‘Bikini Climber’ Gigi Wu

Karla De Wintours in Taiwan

Taiwanese rescue teams are trying to retrieve the body of a hiker who became famous on social media for taking selfies on top of mountain peaks dressed in a bikini.

Gigi Wu - dubbed the "Bikini Climber" by fans - used a satellite phone on Saturday to tell friends she had fallen down a ravine in Taiwan's Yushan National Park and badly injured herself. Rescue helicopters struggled to reach her because of bad weather and officials eventually located her lifeless body on Monday.

"The weather conditions in the mountains are not good, we have asked our rescuers to move the body to a more open space and after the weather clears we will make a request for a helicopter to bring the body down," Lin Cheng-yi, from the Nantou County Fire and Rescue Services, said.

Officials said Ms Wu had told friends she was unable to move the lower half of her body after a fall of some 20-30 metres (65-100ft) but was able to give her co-ordinates.

New Taipei City native Ms Wu (36) built up a sizeable social media following through photos of herself at the top of mountains dressed in bikinis. She usually wore hiking clothes to scale the mountains, only changing into a bikini once at the top.

In an interview last year, she said she had scaled more than 100 peaks in four years.

Taiwan is a largely tropical country, but it boasts a spine of towering peaks down its middle that regularly top 3,000 metres. In the winter, temperatures routinely drop well below freezing on the slopes.

A rescue team hiked for 28 hours to reach the body, only sleeping for three hours because they knew temperatures were rapidly plunging.

Irish Independent

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