'Bikini Climber' dies after ravine fall in Taiwan

Social media star Gigi Wu (left), known for posting photos of herself in a bikini on mountaintops, used a satellite phone last Saturday to tell friends she had fallen down a ravine in Taiwan's Yushan National Park and badly injured herself. Rescue wo
Social media star Gigi Wu, known for posting photos of herself in a bikini on mountaintops, used a satellite phone last Saturday to tell friends she had fallen down a ravine in Taiwan's Yushan National Park and badly injured herself. Rescue workers struggled to reach her because of bad weather and officials eventually located her lifeless body on Monday.PHOTO: GIGI WU/ FACEBOOK

TAIPEI • Taiwanese rescue teams tried yesterday to retrieve the body of a dead hiker who became famous on social media for taking selfies on top of mountain peaks dressed in a bikini.

Ms Gigi Wu - dubbed "Bikini Climber" by fans - used a satellite phone last Saturday to tell friends she had fallen down a ravine in Taiwan's Yushan National Park and hurt herself badly, Agence France-Presse (AFP) said.

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," Nantou County Fire and Rescue Services' Lin Cheng-yi told reporters.

Officials said Ms Wu had told friends she was unable to move the lower half of her body after a fall of some 20m to 30m but was able to give her coordinates, AFP said.

She is the latest in a string of social media adventure seekers who have met an untimely end.

Last week, the bodies of an Indian couple were found at the bottom of a popular overlook in California's Yosemite National Park after hikers alerted officials to their camera equipment at the top of the cliff.

 
 
 
 

New Taipei City native Wu, 36, built up a sizeable social media following by posting photos of herself in a bikini at the top of mountains. She usually wore hiking clothes to scale the mountains, only changing into a bikini once she reached the top.

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

When asked why she did it, she replied: "It just looks so beautiful, what's not to like?"

Taiwan boasts a spine of towering peaks down its middle that regularly top 3,000m. In winter, temperatures routinely drop well below freezing on the mountain slopes.

Hundreds of people have posted comments on her Facebook page, some applauding her for her novel approach.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 23, 2019, with the headline ''Bikini Climber' dies after ravine fall in Taiwan'. Print Edition | Subscribe