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Grace Hudowalski, 98, pioneering hiker

GUILDERLAND, N.Y. -- Grace Hudowalski, an energetic and enduring champion of High Peaks climbing in the Adirondacks, died Saturday at the age of 98.

Ms. Hudowalski was a founding member of the Adirondack 46ers, which consists of hikers who have climbed all 46 of the mountain range's High Peaks. She also was the club's first president and first female member.

Called "Amazing Grace" by friends, Ms. Hudowalski climbed Mount Marcy, the highest peak in New York, at age 15. In 1937, she and her husband helped start the 46ers of Troy, along with members of their church.

John Van Norden, a club member who knew Ms. Hudowalski for 25 years, said she was the moving force behind the Adirondack 46ers, and just loved to climb mountains.

When Ms. Hudowalski retired in 1961 from the state Commerce Department, she volunteered as a historian for the group and answered letters from the club members.

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