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Sartaj Ghuman

Yasushi Yamanoi after a climb of Heaven (5.12d), Yosemite, in 2012; the missing digits were amputated a decade prior, after an expedition to Gyachung Kang (7952m). [Photo] Ryota Kumagai

To Look the Bear in the Eye; The Life of Yasushi Yamanoi

In this story from Alpinist 62, Sartaj Ghuman chronicles the adventures of Yasushi Yamanoi. At 53 years old, Yamanoi has survived multiple epics in the mountains. He remains a talented climber despite lost fingers and toes, broken teeth and bones and other severe injuries. He is on the long list for the 2018 Piolets d’Or for a first ascent he did last year with Takaaki Furuhata of a 5970-meter peak in India’s Zanskar Range. Ghuman was their liaison officer and, after meeting Yamanoi, he wanted to write about the low-key man who has been making significant high-altitude first ascents for decades–in pure alpine style.