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One-Legged Woman Aims for Mount McKinley jjmcal

April 30, 1985

BOSTON (AP) _ A Boston Univeristy graduate who lost a leg when hit by a car 13 years ago will try to climb the highest mountain in North America - 20,320-foot Mount McKinley in Alaska.

Sarah Doherty and three able-bodied mountain climbers were scheduled to fly into Anchorage today, said her mother, Jane Doherty, from her home in Tauton.

″They have hopes of reaching the top on the 18th of May, depending on weather conditions,″ Mrs. Doherty was quoted as saying in The Boston Herald today.

Miss Doherty, 25 and a 1982 graduate of BU, now lives in Seattle, where she practices occupational therapy. Last August, she became the first one-legged woman to reach the top of Mount Ranier in Washington.

She made that climb using crutches with baskets on the bottoms and ice axes on the shafts, instead of an artificial leg.

″She isn’t wearing the leg to go up. She said it holds her back,″ Mrs. Doherty said.

Miss Doherty lost her right leg and part of her pelvis when she was hit by a car while riding a bicycle at the age of 12.

″There’s a certain amount of apprehension, but I’m excited,″ Mrs. Doherty said. ″She’s prepared. Other than the usual mother concerns, I’m very happy and confident.″

She said her daughter will accompany Bill Sumner, a well-known climber in the Northwest.

″He climbed Everest and K2, and this is his third trip up McKinley,″ Mrs. Doherty said. ″She’s in good hands. If they didn’t think she could do it, they wouldn’t have asked her.″

Mrs. Doherty said her daughter, one of nine children, has been named a first alternate on the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

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