A mountaineer known for hiking in bikinis has frozen to death.
Gigi Wu, also known as Wu Chi-yun, was found by a search and rescue party inside Taiwan’s Yushan National Park, but she had no vital signs and was declared dead on January 21.
Having set out on a solo hike starting in the landlocked Nantou County in Central Taiwan on January 11, the 36-year-old known as the ‘Bikini Hiker’ made a distress call to a friend using her satellite phone on January 19.
In a message to be passed on to the Nantou fire service, Wu revealed she had stumbled more than 20 metres down a ravine inside a national park named after the summit Yushan – Mandarin for Mount Jade.
Wu said she was trapped at the bottom and unable to move due to the injuries sustained during the fall.
The island’s National Airborne Service Corps said it attempted to dispatch Black Hawk rescue helicopters to her location on three separate occasions, but the flights were ultimately grounded due to poor weather conditions.
It finally decided to send in two search and rescue parties comprising three members each. They found Wu’s body at the location of her distress beacon 28 hours later.
Rescuers say they are still waiting for stable weather in which to airlift Wu’s body out of the ravine, with the search party having since set up camp near the site of the accident.
Commander Lin Cheng-I, who heads up the Nantou County Fire Department’s Third Squadron, revealed Wu’s distress beacon was activated at an altitude of 1,700 metres above sea level, where night-time temperatures reached just 2 degrees Celsius.
Wu had a large following on social media where she often posted photos of herself wearing bikinis atop many of Taiwan’s highest peaks.
In 2018, she revealed she spent 127 days – roughly a third of the year – hiking.
On Christmas Eve, she also shared an image showing her bruised legs following another fall, which she admitted she was lucky to survive.