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Anne Springs Close, 87, plans mountain ascent

The 87-year-old matriarch of the Springs textile family in Fort Mill, S.C., recently completed an ascent of dangerous Mount Washington in New Hampshire and now plans to mark a special anniversary with another mountain climb Thursday.

Anne Springs Close plans to climb Mount LeConte in Tennessee, marking the 50th anniversary of the first time she climbed that 6,593-foot peak. She has climbed Mount LeConte about 40 times over the years.

Close climbed 6,288-foot Mount Washington on June 27. It is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States and is famed for its dangerous weather conditions.

The highest wind speed in North America, 231 mph, was measured on Mount Washington in 1934. That stood as the world record until it was eclipsed by a 251 mph wind in Australia during a hurricane in 1996.

Close had tried to climb Mount Washington in November, but that effort was aborted when winds gusted to more than 70 mph. Close, who walks daily and rides a tandem bike despite macular degeneration, first climbed Mount Washington in 1939. Her June ascent took about six hours.

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