Today marks the birthday of one of the legends of American mountain climbing — Annie Peck. Born in 1850, she was a dedicated scholar and became one of the first women professors in the U.S. Turning her attention to mountain climbing at the age of 44, she was only the third woman to scale the Matterhorn in Switzerland. At the age of 58, she climbed the north face of Mount Huascaran in Peru — the first American, man or woman — to scale the more than 22,000-foot peak. She continued strenuous climbing into her 80s. While few Americans attempt to scale such tall mountains, more than 12 million go backpacking on a regular basis on the nation’s trails. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at .
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