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ISAMU Tatsuno and Mathis

playing japanese flute and Alphorn together at bachalpsee


Early in the morning at the Bachalp-Lake


When i finished my alphorn playing early in the morning at the Bachalp-Lake high above Grindelwald

i turned around and a group of Japanese hikers were standing behind me and applauding enthusiastically. It turned out to be Mont-Bell company members on their Switzerland trip. They were very excited to hear an alphorn at such a wonderful place. I offered the owner and founder of the company, Isamu Tatsuno, to have a try on the horn and he did quite well!

Isamu then pulled a Japanese bamboo flute out of his backpack and we played a duet together - alphorn and japanese flute! Incredible, absolutely amazing! what an experience!

Altitude 2265m, facing Wetterhorn, Schreckhorn, Finsteraarhorn and Eiger!

After our playing Tatsuno invited my to join their traditional Japanese tea ceremony at the lakeside on a red picknick cloth, where he boiled some fresh water with a camping stove and stirred the green tea. Back to Grindelwald in his Mont-Bell shop he dedicated to me his 50 years jubilee Eiger-climb book with drawings and calligraphic writings on four sides - what an honour!

Arigato - thank you very much Isamu!

Born in 1947 in Osaka, Japan, Isamu Tatsuno  had two dreams; to be the first Japanese person to climb the North Face of the Eiger and to start a company somehow involved with the mountaineering industry. In 1969 at the age of 21, he became the second Japanese to climb the North Face of the Eiger in the Swiss Alps. In 1975, when he was 28 years old, Tatsuno achieved his second dream when he founded his own company, MontBell Co., Ltd., to manufacture mountaineering clothing and equipment. In his free time, Tatsuno can often be found practicing the art of traditional Japanese tea ceremony or playing the Japanese flute.


So it happened in the morning of the 6th of July 2019

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