Photo of Holy Mountain wins 2002 Banff Mountain Photography Competition 

A dramatic image of a sacred Tibetan peak floating above darkening clouds has taken first prize in the 2002 Banff Mountain Photography Competition.

James Whitlow Delano of Tokyo, Japan, was awarded the Grand Prize for his photo Jambeyang Holy Mountain, Kham, Tibet.

Delano's image topped an impressive collection of more than 2,700 photographs from 25 countries submitted in the seventh annual competition. The competition is presented by Eagle Creek Travel Gear and the National Geographic Society, and sponsored by Chevy Avalanche.

American photographer Delano has been based in Tokyo for nine years. His photographs document the hinterlands of Asia – from the deserts of Central Asia to the peaks of the Himalaya. Delano says the inspiration for his winning image came from a photograph taken almost 80 year ago.

"I first became aware of Jambeyang from a 1928 photograph by naturalist Joseph Rock, a hero of mine and a National Geographic photographer," Delano said. "It was described as rising above a valley inhabited by Tibetan Buddhist monks who supplemented their meager rations through banditry – intriguing.... It took four days, via bus, jeep, and finally on foot escorted by a mule train to reach the 4,500-metre high valley from the lowlands. I'll never be able to describe the feeling standing before this mountain, except to say it never felt so important in my life to represent a moment in its proper context."

Delano's work has been published world-wide in publications such as Life, Time, and Outside and featured in gallery shows in North America and Europe, most recently at Leica Galleries in Solms, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic.

The 2002 Banff Mountain Photography Competition jury included Jaime Trento, Alec Pytlowany and Kelly Stauffer of Alberta.

In addition to the Grand Prize, the jury chose winners in five subject categories. Another 10 photographs received special mention. Winners include:


James Whitlow Delano of Tokyo, Japan, for Jambeyang Holy Mountain, Kham, Tibet. Delano wins: $1,000 Cdn, plus prizes from Eagle Creek Travel Gear and National Geographic.


The following photographers won category prizes and will each receive: $500 Cdn, plus prizes from Eagle Creek Travel Gear and National Geographic.

• Best Photo - Mountain Adventure: Holden's Line, Keoki Flagg, Olympic Valley, California, USA

• Best Photo - Mountain Culture: Arat With Catchpole, Dave Edwards, Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

• Best Photo - Mountain Environment: Mountain Billboard, Robert Berdan, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

• Best Photo - Mountain Flora and Fauna: White Tail Deer, Banff, Robert Berdan, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

• Best Photo - Mountain Landscape: Entering the Pamir - Pakistan/Afghanistan Border, Matthieu Paley, Hong Kong


In addition, each of the following photographers received Special Mentions:

• Rob Buchanan of Revelstoke, British Columbia for Nilgiri South Peak

• Jerry Dodrill of Sebastopol, California, USA for Above Evolution, High Sierra, California

• Thomas B. Eastman of Baltimore, Maryland, USA for Woman and Horse, Tingri, Tibet

• Cameron Lawson of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA for Rafting the Cotahuassi River, Peru

• Bobby Model of Cody, Wyoming, USA for The Gabra Girl

• René Robert of Chamonix, France for Midi Plan Ridge, Chamonix Morning

• Zoltan Szabò of Budapest, Hungary for Awakenings

• Mario Verin of Olgiate Molgora, Italy for Italy-Appennino, Winter Time

• Mario Verin of Olgiate Molgora, Italy for Tibet Lhasa, Monks Reading Prayers

• Kennan Ward of Santa Cruz, California, USA for Denali Moonrise

The Banff Mountain Photography Competition is a program of Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre. Winning photos will be unveiled in Banff during the Banff Mountain Festivals (Oct. 27 to Nov. 3, 2002). The photos will remain on display through to October 2003 at The Banff Centre and will be exhibited at select locations in North America and abroad. Winning photos can be viewed at



Editors: Electronic files of the winning photos are available for download


Published photos must include a copyright symbol with the photographer's

name, the photograph's title and the prize title and competition name (e.g

"Best Photo, Mountain Culture, Banff Mountain Photography Competition

2002"). This information must appear directly above, under or beside the

photograph. Failure to display the correct photo credit with the photograph

may result in the user's liability for the full commercial value of


Mountain Culture at The Banff Centre promotes understanding and appreciation of the world's mountain places by creating opportunities for people to share – and find inspiration in – mountain experiences, ideas and visions.

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