A woman known for climbing mountains and taking photos at their summits in bikinis has frozen to death while on a solo hike in Taiwan.
Gigi Wu, also known as Wu Chi-yun, began the hike one week ago, setting off from the Nantou County in Central Taiwan.
The 36-year-old had reached Taiwan’s Yushan National Park when she made a distress call to her friend on January 19 using a satellite phone.
Gigi was found by a search and rescue party inside the park over 24 hours later, but she had no vital signs and was declared dead on January 21.
While speaking to her friend during the distress call, the ‘bikini hiker’ revealed that she had fallen more than 20 metres (65ft) down a ravine in the national park.
The 36-year-old asked her friend to contact the Nantou fire service, saying she was trapped at the bottom of the ravine and was unable to move due to the injuries sustained during the fall.
The island’s National Airborne Service Corps attempted to send rescue helicopters to the scene on three different occasions, but poor weather conditions meant flights were ultimately grounded.
It was decided, as a result, that two different search and rescue parties would be sent into the park, each consisting of three members.
Gigi’s body was discovered 28 hours later when rescue teams located the whereabouts of her distress beacon.
Rescuers say they are still waiting for weather conditions to improve so the the hiker’s body can be airlifted 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 gained an insight into the conditions faced by analysing the altitude at which the beacon was activated.
At 1,700 metres (5,577 ft) above sea level, temperatures would have peaked at just 2°C in the middle of the night.
Gigi had a large following on social media, where she often posted pictures of herself wearing swimwear in the midst of climbing many of Taiwan’s highest peaks.
The social media influencer previously revealed she’d spent 127 days hiking in the past year – roughly a third of the year.
The 36-year-old was constantly challenging herself to push the limits and improve her skillset.
She sustained injuries on occasion as a result, with it reported she had suffered a fall on another hike recently, on Christmas Eve.
Gigi shared a picture of her bruised legs following the fall, admitting afterwards that she was lucky to be alive.
Our thoughts are with the family of Gigi at this tragic time.
Rest in peace.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).