Cover Postmarked Mount Roraima
Cover Postmarked "Mount Roraima PA" to Commemorate Joint
Guyana - United Kingdom Mountaineering Expedition
At the top of Mount Roraima, at an altitude of 9000 feet, there is a twenty-five mile square plateau where Guyana's border meets Venezuela and Brazil. In 1973, Scottish mountaineer Hamish MacInnes was part of an expedition backed by The Observer, supported by the Guyanan Government, and accompanied by a BBC camera team, that trekked through dense rainforest and swamp to climb the sheer overhanging sandstone wall of "the great prow" of this mountain that is said to have inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 serial novel, The Lost World.
Even in 1973 this was still a remote and relatively unexplored region. The expedition fought its way through "a saturated world of bizarre vegetation, fantastically contorted slime-coated trees and deep white mud; a world dominated by bushmaster snakes, scorpions and giant bird-eating spiders." The climb up the cliff face itself was complicated by streams of water on the rock and dense tropical foliage infested with scorpions on the few ledges that the climbers could find. There was a plan for Adrian Thompson, the Guyanese co-leader of the expedition and the "honorary postmaster" to cancelling commemorative covers at the "Postal Agency" put in place by Guyana's GPO using a helicopter. Unfortunately the helicopter that was supposed to resupply the expedition was grounded by the weather and it is not clear where the covers actually received their postmark.
The cover has a cachet depicting the prow of Mount Roraima and circular date stamps for "MT RORAIMA PA GUYANA" dated "12 NO 73". It is franked with three stamps from the Flora definitive series of 1971 - 1976: the 3 cent "hanging haliconia" of 1971, the 5 cent "annatto tree" of 1971 and the 40 cent "tiger beard" of 1972.
Mount Roraima is frequently seen on the stamps of British Guiana and Guyana from the Queen Victoria Jubilee issue of 1897 to the "Guyana Independence" overprints on Queen Elizabeth II definitives.
Mount Roraima is depicted on this British Guiana Surcharged 1897 Jubilee Issue
Mount Roraima is depicted on this British Guiana George V Pictorial Definitive
Mount Roraima is depicted on this British Guiana Elizabeth II Pictorial Definitive