Mountains have served as a source of spiritual inspiration, a gathering place for cultural and recreational activities, and a means by which climbers can challenge their own physical limits. In celebration of these grand geological wonders and their surrounding ecosystems, the year 2002 has been named the International Year of Mountains as proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly. Canada Post commemorates the event with the issue of eight self-adhesive domestic rate ($0.48) stamps featuring summits located around the world: 1) Mount Logan in Canada; 2) Mount Elbrus in Europe; 3) Puncak Jaya in Oceania; 4) Mount Everest in Asia; 5) Kilimanjaro in Africa; 6) Vinson Massif in Antarctica; 7) Aconcagua in South America; 8) Mount McKinley in North America. This special stamp set also pays tribute to two accomplished Canadians; explorer Bernard Voyer, who has been sponsored by Canada Post to undertake expeditions to Vinson Massif, Mount McKinley and Mount Logan, and explorer, climber and photographer Pat Morrow, who was the first man to climb all of the Seven Summits. This feat made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.
A Designer's Point of View
Q30 Design Inc. of Toronto set out to create the Mountain stamps while increasing awareness of the global importance of the mountain ecosystems and celebrating the beauty of summit regions around the world. This goal was achieved through the use of a unique circular format, custom die-cuts, and an information-rich presentation, which appeals to audiences of all ages, especially the young collector. Over the past 10 years, Q30 has designed 28 stamps for Canada Post, including the History of Housing in Canada, High Technology, Ocean Fish, and the Holocaust.
Although Puncak Jaya belongs to Indonesia, it's located in western New Guinea, in the province of Irian Jaya. At 4,884 metres, Puncak Jaya is Oceania's highest peak, characterized by very steep cliffs, a tapered arête, and dangerous rock needles. Fog, melting snow, and constant thunderstorms make expeditions especially perilous, and swampy, boggy, wet territory around the base of the mountain makes the approach arduous.