Is there anything more scintillating than watching people play with death? We love danger. And, more specifically we love watching other people play daredevil. Extreme sports like sky diving, ice climbing and cliff diving garner the interest of the thrill-seeking. But some people take even regularly extreme sporting events to new heights. One such person is Gigi Wu whose fans have affectionately titled her the ‘Bikini Climber’
The name itself is self-explanatory. This Taiwanese sportswoman made a living mountain climbing, often risking her life on treacherous terrain. And she didn’t stop there. Wu would then take photographs – often selfies – in scintillating bikinis against beautiful scenic backgrounds. The audiences loved her and her fans would scan her social media accounts eagerly awaiting new content. Sadly, it was her adventurous zeal that lead to her death.
The 36-year-old tragically fell off the side of a mountain to a 65-foot drop. And reportedly froze to death. So what precisely led to her accident? Some credit her immense fan base as the root cause of her death. Questioning whether she would have taken such risks or pushed herself so far if not to satisfy them. But there is very little merit to these claims.
Wu was a professional mountain climber – an expert at her craft. A recent interview reported that she had scaled over a hundred peaks during her successful 4-year career. And it was her immense passion that motivated her to push herself. Wu often spoke of the sheer joy of reaching the top and being able to gaze at the beautiful views. And the sense of accomplishment that came with it.
In fact, despite her title as the ‘Bikini Climber’ she didn’t really scale mountains wearing a bikini. That would have been an extremely ridiculous and ill-advised decision. Like all professional climbers, she dressed in proper hiking gear for her adventures.
It was only once she reached the peak that she traded out the sensible clothes for the bikini that was part of her brand. When being interviewed Wu talked about how she had worn approximately 97 bikinis in her 100 peak run. And she had photographic mementos for each.
Wu’s final adventure was the Yushan Mountain situated in Taiwan. Taiwan has numerous high mountains that have an approximate average height of around 3000 meters. In fact, when Wu called her friend to ask for help after her fall and subsequent injury she had already been hiking for 8 days. And since she did most of her hiking solo there was no one around to help her for thousands of miles.
But her friend quickly contacted the necessary authorities. And rescue helicopters were immediately dispatched to go to her aid. However, the bad winter weather made the journey arduous even for the helicopters.
Wu was 5500 feet above ground and the temperatures were near freezing. It took the rescue team 28 hours of almost consecutive hiking to get to her. And they stopped for no more than 3 hours, hurrying to her coordinates. But by then it was too late. Wu had already frozen to death.
Even more shocking than her tragic death was Wu’s friends sharing how Wu had narrowly escaped death only a month before. Then too she had fallen off a cliff and receiving a lot of scratches and bruising on her legs. In this final fall, her injuries were more extreme as her lower body had been crushed by the 30-meter fall.
In the hours preceding her death, Wu had been unable to move her legs and lower torso. Meaning that she had had no choice but to simply wait for the rescue team that arrived too late. The rescue team retrieved the body of Gigi Wu so her family could give her a proper burial.