'Bikini Climber' tragically dies after falling down a ravine
A mountain climber famous for posting pictures of herself in bikinis on top of mountains has died after falling down a ravine during a solo trek.
Gigi Wu, who was nicknamed the 'Bikini Climber', used a satellite phone to contact friends for help after she fell down a 20-metre gorge in Taiwan’s Yushan national park on Saturday.
A rescue operation was launched, but bad weather conditions meant that three rescue helicopters were unable to reach her and the Nantou County Fire Department was forced to send a team on foot.
Wu was allegedly unable to give her coordinates and the team didn't reach her until yesterday; the 36-year-old is thought to have died from hypothermia after her injuries left her unable to move.
The rescue team is believed to have hiked for 28 hours to reach the body, only sleeping for three hours because they knew temperatures were rapidly plunging.
Lin Cheng-I, head of the 3rd Squadron of the Nantou County Fire Department, reportedly told the Liberty Times: "Everyone tried their best, and they are regretful that they could not successfully rescue Ms Wu."
Discussing plans to recover Wu's body, the commander continued: "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."
The New Taipei native had become a popular figure on social media, gaining more than 18,000 followers by uploading photos of herself at the top of mountains dressed in bikinis.
According to reports, she was an experienced climber who would wear hiking clothes to scale mountains and change into her swimwear once she reached the top.
In an interview with local channel FTV last year, the 36-year-old claimed she had scaled more than 100 peaks in four years, stating: "I put on a bikini in each one of the 100 mountains. I only have around 97 bikinis so I accidentally repeated some."
When asked why she did it, she responded saying: "It just looks so beautiful, what’s not to like?"
In a 2018 interview cited in Focus Taiwan, the climber admitted she first had the idea of posting bikini photos after losing a bet with a friend.
After her untimely death was announced, fans flooded social media with comments to express their condolences, with many praising Wu for being an inspiration to the hiking community.
One follower named Michelle Tang wrote on Facebook: "Beautiful and brave little G… thank you for letting everyone see your beautiful scenic photos."
Another fan called Senzhong Shaoxian commented saying: "Gigi, thank you for filling us all with happiness - I wish you happy travels."