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China’s ‘glacier chaser’ presumed dead while exploring waterfall in Tibet

A Chinese ‘glacier chaser’ has been presumed dead after he fell into icy waters while exploring a glacial waterfall in Tibet on December 20.

The body of Wang Xiangjun, 30, has not been found but his social media account confirmed his death.

Wang often shares videos exploring glaciers and highlights the impact of climate change on them.




A viral video on Chinese social media showed Wang losing balance while climbing near the base of a waterfall and he is seen slipping into fast-flowing icy waters.

The incident took place in Lhari county, northern Tibet, according to reports.

Rescuers are still searching for him, but a member of the rescue team quoted by China’s Global Times newspaper said it was likely that Wang had been swept under an ice floe – a sheet of floating ice – and that it was “almost impossible” that he had survived.



In a statement on social media Wang’s administrator wrote: “My brother… lies forever in his favourite waterfall. I hope everyone does not hype up [his death], and respect the deceased.

“For all of his life he was obsessed with glaciers, and gave his life to glaciers. This is the best resting place for him.”

Chinese state media reported that Wang became interested in glaciers when he saw a tourism advert for a snow-capped mountain.

He visited dozens of glaciers and posted videos on social media. His clips, which usually featured him clambering across icy terrain and enthusiastically exploring glacial caves and tunnels, quickly went viral.

He was also known in China for photographing more than 70 glaciers in seven years, and had addressed the UN Climate Change Conference last year to share his experience of melting glaciers.

As a result of his travels, he became passionate about raising awareness of the impact of climate change.

“Almost all the glaciers I visited looked different from the images on my phone,” he told Xinhua in January.

“You need to stand in front of the glaciers to realise how fast they are melting.”




Wang Xiangjun sought to raise awareness of climate change with his videos of glaciers