Taiwan Control Yuan advocates better mountain education in wake of ‘bikini climber’ death

The government organ said ensuring citizens are safe during outdoor activity is a top priority

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Teapot Mountain Trail, New Taipei City. (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

Teapot Mountain Trail, New Taipei City. (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Control Yuan is urging relevant departments to implement better mountain and wilderness education in Taiwan following the death of “bikini climber” Gigi Wu.

Wu died during a planned 25-day hike through Nantou County (南投縣) after she fell into a 20-meter valley beside Mabolasi Mountain. As Wu was climbing in an unregulated area and had not notified authorities via written application prior to departure, it was difficult for rescue services to respond effectively to her distress call.

The incident caught global media attention and prompted discussion about current mountaineering practices, legislation and education.

The Control Yuan said on Jan. 4 2012 it launched an investigation into national mountain and wilderness education then-criticized for being ineffective. The government organ produced a report on Sept. 16 of the same year imploring the Ministry of Education and the National Fire Service to cooperatively improve education on safety measures.

The report requested the ministry’s Campus Security Report Center to help implement mountaineering safety announcements prior to national holidays, and issue parental guidance letters before winter and summer vacations.

Taiwan’s technical colleges began offering courses in 2009 on mountain and wilderness education, mountaineering, risks and dangers, safety education and other related subjects.

Questions on mountain and wilderness education have already become part of the “Principles of Physical Education” section on high school examinations.

The Control Yuan said life is invaluable and citizen safety during outdoor activity is a top priority. It will continue to urge relevant bodies to adopt necessary safety procedures and education policies for the sake of the human rights of the Taiwanese people.