In Brief

GiGi Wu: ‘bikini hiker’ freezes to death after mountain fall

Tributes pour in for Taiwanese social media star who posed on peaks in skimpy swimwear

A Taiwanese social media star known as the “bikini hiker” for her swimwear-clad mountain treks has died after plunging into a ravine.

GiGi Wu, 36, is believed to have frozen to death eight days into a 25-day hike through Taiwan’s Yushan National Park after falling between 20 and 30 metres into a gully on Saturday afternoon and injuring her leg.

Wu managed to contact emergency services and give them co-ordinates of her location, but poor weather conditions hampered rescue efforts.

“Due to bad weather, three rescue helicopters were unable to reach her, and Nantou County Fire Department travelled to meet her on foot,” says Taiwan News.

After a 28-hour trek through perilous conditions, rescuers found Wu’s lifeless body yesterday. She had apparently died of hypothermia in zero-degree temperatures overnight. Her body was airlifted from the scene of the accident.

Wu had built an online following in Taiwan and beyond for her daring expeditions. She had successfully completed more than 100 hikes over four years, posing in 97 different bikinis.

In one striking image, she poses in front of snow-capped peaks wearing only a bikini and a woolly hat.

The gimmick may appear foolhardy, but Wu “usually wore hiking clothes to scale the mountains, only changing into a bikini once she reached the top”, says AFP.

Despite the carefree image she conveyed online, Wu was “an experienced hiker [who] used proper equipment and procedure on expeditions”, Sky News reports.

Fans have flooded her Instagram and Facebook page with tributes in the hours following her death.

One message quoted in the London Evening Standard read: “From one fellow hiker to another, may you spend eternity scaling heavenly mountains.”

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