Beginnings . . .


Twenty years ago this week, when it was nowhere near such a common achievement and in the autumn season to boot, Doctors Charlie Hornsby and Roddy Kirkwood summited Mount Everest bringing to a successful conclusion the 1994 British Mount Everest Medical Expedition.

Taking part in the expedition as a young researcher, this was my first taste of the Himalaya and the expedition opened doors to me that led onto many wonderful subsequent adventures in the high places of the world. In retrospect this was also the place where my photography came of age. I returned from the trip with many stunning pictures shot on film on my Pentax MX (a 21st birthday present from my parents) and, somewhat to my surprise, found people being very complimentary about the images that I had taken in Nepal.

One of the great joys of the trip was the opportunity to climb some of the peaks in the Everest region which we did unaided and in alpine style. This image shows the summit ridge of Imja Tse (Island Peak) with the magnificent peak of Ama Dablam in the background. My friends Gerald Dubowitz and Saye Khoo can be seen walking the final hundred metres to the summit. Despite being at over 6000m we needed nothing more than windproof fleeces to protect us from the gentle summit breeze.

Easily within the top 10 pictures that I have ever taken, this image also captures for me, what remains to this day, one of the finest mountain days of my life.

For more on the 1994 British Mount Everest Medical Expedition, see the Facebook page of Simon Currin, the expedition leader:

Jewels to Gather: Cardiff Exhibition, 7th November to 5th December, 2014

am thrilled to announce this forthcoming exhibition charting my mountain journeys during the last 10 years from my home hills of the Brecon Beacons in Wales to the high peaks of the Himalaya, taking in along the way the European Alps and the achingly beautiful arctic Lofoten Islands of Norway. There will be around 50 images on display, many in panoramic format that capture the beauty of high mountain light; the thrill of exploring virgin snows on ski and the lives of the tough, proud but highly vulnerable mountain porters of Nepal that I have encountered through my time working as a volunteer doctor at the International Porter Protection Group's Machermo Rescue Post in Nepal and my subsequent work as one of their trustees - see

And the title of the exhibition? This comes from a poem, The Small Window, in which the Welsh poet, R.S. Thomas, describes how:

In Wales there are jewels
To gather, but with the eye
Only. A hill lights up
Suddenly; a field trembles
With colour and goes out
In its turn; in one day
You can witness the extent
Of the spectrum and grow rich
With looking . .

I shall be present throughout the opening weekend of the exhibition, 8th - 9th November, so please drop by and say hello!

Venue:  Saltmarshe Gallery, 352, Caerphilly Road, Cardiff CF14 4NT  (tel: 029 2065 7585, website:

All images and content of this website © Nick Mason. No part of this website may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form without prior permission.
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